Brands and customer service leaders are buzzing about our June 19th launch event surrounding Connected Customer Conversations, our new platform that delivers a unified support experience built for today’s consumers. The platform is designed to connect digital channels, phone support, self-service and bots for a better customer support experience. As part of that, we also introduced Helpshift for Phone, a new integrated voice and messaging solution that enables customers who begin their conversation on messaging to jump over to a live phone conversation — and vice versa.
To watch the exciting event on demand, click here.
We Covered a Lot of Innovation in Just 90 Minutes
At the launch event, we gave an overview of Connected Customer Conversations and Helpshift for Phone, including an impressive real-world demonstration of the technologies in action for a top B2C brand, Vivino.
The event was bolstered by expert customer service insights from Vivino’s VP of Customer Experience Chad Boonsupa, Helpshift Chief Strategy officer Abinash Tripathy, and VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester, Kate Leggett — a leading expert on CRM and customer service strategy.
Helpshift CEO Linda Crawford introduced Connected Customer Conversations, stating that this is a fundamentally different approach to B2C customer service that empowers brands to dramatically improve the way they serve their customers. “It is the evolution of everything we’ve been doing at Helpshift,” she said.
Helpshift for Phone and Connected Customer Conversations are enabling Helpshift to deliver where traditional omnichannel has failed — connecting channels and creating a cohesive and convenient experience for the end user. Linda highlighted the impetus for this innovative new platform, saying, “We recognized that the brand has a single view, why not the customer?”
Giving Customers What They Want
Linda explained that customers want continuous, connected conversations with a brand. Connected Customer Conversations, she noted, enable a whole new experience so customers never wait on hold on any channel and have every bit of information follow them across channels, with their conversation history always available.
At the event, Forrester’s Kate Leggett stressed the value of customer-centric service: “Consumers expect any desired information or service available on any device at the person’s moment of need.”
In line with these customer expectations, Helpshift’s Director of Product, Erik Ashby, provided a unique two-part demonstration of Helpshift for Phone and Connected Customer Conversations. He assumed the role of a Vivino customer (Vivino is the world’s largest online wine marketplace and most downloaded wine app.)
In part one of the demo, customer Erik calls Vivino’s support phone number to change the quantity of an order he has already placed. When greeted by the IVR, the automated system offers him an option to ‘Dial 1 to Message’— to immediately be connected with messaging-based support. He selects that option, receives a text message, and completes his order change without ever engaging a person.
Not only does Erik accomplish his order change quickly, he does so seamlessly by jumping from phone to messaging. For that same interaction, Erik then assumes the role of an agent viewing the backend where he can view the entire experience — where it started, the issue, the handover to a bot, and the resolution — all run by an automation bot. This is one of many “phone to messaging” use cases.
Part two of the demo is where the power of asynchronous messaging really comes into focus.
Erik starts off by seeking support from the Vivino website’s messaging widget, then progresses to a live call. In this “messaging to call” use case, Erik requests help, via messaging, for a suggestion surrounding wine for a dinner party. Helpshift’s AI kicks off the conversation and recognizes the inquiry as a “wine suggestion request.”
The platform also determines that Erik should speak with an automated bot first to gather more context around the request. But, before he responds, Erik is “interrupted” and suddenly leaves the discussion. When he returns 20 minutes later, he re-opens the Vivino website and sees his messaging conversation is still active. If this had been live chat, the message would have timed out, forcing Erik to start over.
When Erik re-starts the communication, the system recognizes him as a VIP member and offers him an option to have a phone call with a live sommelier. Upon saying “Yes,” he is offered an immediate call to his preferred phone number and call time. He opts to use an international phone number and selects “Call ASAP.” Within seconds, his phone rings. Erik can complete the order with the agent, but decides to order via the Vivino app. Everything that happened is based on the way Erik preferred to communicate.
The Helpshift ‘Secret Sauce’ Makes this Possible
Helpshift CEO Linda Crawford summed it up this way: “We unite — into a single view for the customer — the conversations the customer has had with your brand, both digitally and via the phone.”
Linda expanded on this point with an explanation of Helpshift’s messaging-centric approach that makes possible asynchronous — on-again, off-again — conversations that run seamlessly across channels. Helpshift is differentiated from other customer service platforms in several ways:
- AI and bots are embedded within the messaging conversation itself.
- The approach elegantly marries agent and bot-based interactions to carry context from channel to channel.
- The asynchronous nature of messaging makes it easier for brands to scale their support
The Impact of Connected Customer Conversations
To help the audience understand just how impactful Helpshift’s technologies can be for a brand, Chad Boonsupa of Vivino gave a very compelling description of how the blended elements of AI, bots, phone, and messaging within Helpshift have made it easy for Vivino to shift from being purely a wine-discovery app to the premiere wine ecommerce marketplace that it is today. Such a dramatic shift in strategy means pleasing entirely different types of customers who want their experiences in new and different ways. Whatever support they want, when, and how they want it are all made possible through Helpshift.
To view this ‘must see’ event for all customer service leaders and stakeholders, click here.