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Creating a Better Experience for Indian Customers

By Anand Gupta, Knowledgebase Author

The Customer Experience Management (CXM) 2019 event that took place in Mumbai on 25th April at the Hilton Hotel turned out to be a wonderful experience for Creative Virtual. The Founder & CEO of Creative Virtual, Chris Ezekiel, and Executive Director India, Shantanu Purandare, participated as representatives of the company. The event also witnessed the participation of market leaders in an array of fields. Business Heads, Chief Executive Officers, Marketing Heads, Vice Presidents, Chief Operating Officers, and other dignitaries belonging to Book My Show, Edelweiss, Future Group, Indigo, GVK, and Craftsvilla presented their perspectives of the market and customers during the day. Creative Virtual sponsored the event as the CX Product Leader Partner.

Customer Experience Management 2019Discussions were held among representatives to magnify the solutions granted to customers. Taking up the dais, Shantanu began with a pun and jest before drawing the audience’s attention towards losses incurred in the market due to fallacies. He sought heed on the loss of thousands of crores of rupees due to bad customer experience the previous year (2018) in addition to the year before that. In his presentation, he emphasized the importance of providing a delightful customer experience. Shantanu discussed key elements needing to be addressed by the industry to improve CX that repeatedly arise in customer surveys year after year. He also stressed the importance of providing support in the customer’s language. For example, Creative Virtual is helping organizations in India provide self-service in Hindi, Tamil and Marathi.

After this, Chris took over the platform and deciphered the real business benefits of chatbot solutions. He noted the strength of Creative Virtual’s chatbot technology through illustrations and highlighted best practices for using chatbots, virtual agents and live chat. He explained that the chatbot is capable of conversation which bridges the gap of human interactions through a live example. The emphasis remained on the personalized interaction. He displayed the customized integration of the chatbot with different devices and channels like Facebook, WhatsApp and WeChat. The company founder also demonstrated the integrations with voice technology and live chat during the presentation before handing the podium to Shantanu again.

Exhibiting the varied aspects of our company’s chatbots, Shantanu demonstrated some of the features of the retail chatbot Swara designed to assist with the selling and purchasing of items. It showcased the capacity of reminding the logged-in user when the transaction remained incomplete after re-opening the bot on another device. He presented one of the features that allowed for human intervention while maintaining a seamless customer experience. The chatbot provided options that enabled the customer to connect with a customer care executive by selecting to receive a phone call to the user’s own device. Shantanu placed an order during the live presentation using the chatbot on both his laptop and his mobile. He then showed the integration of Swara with Amazon’s Alexa device and rescheduled the delivery of that purchase. This demonstration of an omnichannel experience left everyone in awe and thinking about how they could integrate chatbot technology to provide a similar experience to their own customers.

You can watch the full presentation from the CXM event below, and then request a personalized demo to learn more about how Creative Virtual’s chatbot and live chat solutions can help you provide a delightful customer experience. Special thanks to the CXM event organizers for putting together a wonderful event and to all the attendees who stopped by our table throughout the day.

Alexa, Please Play Music

By Mandy Reed, Marketing Manager (Global)

Do you say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ when you’re talking to a digital assistant like Alexa or Siri? Is it rude if you don’t? Does it really matter?

When I came across an article back in December exploring this topic, it gave me pause. The author, Chaim Gartenberg, argues that even though it doesn’t really matter to digital assistants if you’re being polite – they are just machines after all – that being polite to them helps reinforce positive behaviour. We speak to our devices the same way we speak to real people, in natural language, and so he comes to the conclusion that we should be polite to these digital assistants for our own benefit.

I had never really thought about this before. As I considered how I interact with voice-activated assistants, my niece popped into my head. When I first got my Amazon Dot, she was very interested in how I spoke to Alexa but was hesitant to try herself. She would regularly ask me to ask Alexa for the weather forecast or to play us music while we made dinner or tackled a craft project. Then one day she finally felt comfortable enough to ask herself and said, ‘Alexa. . .please play music.’ At the time, the fact that she said ‘please’ had made me smile to myself because she sounded so polite even though she was just talking to voice recognition software. She was illustrating the author’s point perfectly, speaking to Alexa the same way she would an actual person.

This past weekend that article came to mind once again. I wasn’t paying much attention to how my niece was asking Alexa to play music – ‘Alexa, play music’ – until she turned to me and said very matter-of-factly, ‘You don’t really have to say please.’ She was right of course. Alexa is not a person, and I had never specified that my house rule about using manners extended to electronic devices!

So often when I’m writing about customer engagement I talk about how technology is altering our communication preferences and the nature of our conversations. There are millions of articles about Millennials and how they’d rather text or get information online than make a phone call, and how organisations can take advantage of that to improve customer service. In some ways it all seems very over-hyped.

Yet, the truth is that technology has, and continues to, rapidly change how we interact and our expectations around communications. When I was young, the idea of talking to some kind of device to check the status of a bus or train, play a song list or even simply set a timer was the thing of fantasy and cartoons. Today my niece, at the ripe old age of five-and-a-half, lives in a reality that’s very different. Her world is texting, FaceTiming, Googling and not really having to say please when she asks Amazon’s Alexa to play her some music. She will never know a world without smartphones and talking to digital assistants will always be a normal part of everyday life.

I think it’s an important point Chaim raises in his article about ‘rudeness’ to digital assistants bleeding into our normal speech patterns. If we are constantly interacting with voice-activated assistants and chatbots in a blunt, please-and-thank-you-less way, will we start to interact with the real people around us in the same fashion? My inner anthropologist is intrigued with how this may impact our cultural norms and the ways my niece’s generation will communicate as they get older.

For now, I’m left with a dilemma. Do I extend my rule about using manners to include Alexa? Or will that cause me to lose some points in the family competition to be the ‘cool’ auntie? If only Alexa could please tell me what to do. . .