Too Many Products, Not Enough Service

Introducing The Questions

What if the appliances and electronics you purchase came with white-glove customer service for the whole life of the product from the manufacturer? For example, you purchase a new refrigerator and a year after you buy it the internal water filter light comes on. You have to replace it. Now what? Where is it located in the refrigerator, how do you replace it, where do you even buy one of those things? And the two big questions, how much with it cost and how big a hassle is it going to be to install? All too often products we buy are purchased from a reseller or distributor and your relationship with the manufacturer is just non-existent. So, getting answers to questions, easily and quickly, is challenging. Multiply this angst across dozens of products and appliances we use at home and you can understand both the problem and the opportunity of creating a way for you the customer to be engaged with manufacturers throughout the ownership lifecycle of a product.

What if you could ask, “Hey, Google my refrigerator needs service.” Google would then be able to ask a few follow-up questions to identify your problem, the model of your appliance and help you locate and troubleshoot the problem. We are using Google in our examples, but you can imagine this with an Alexa or a new service called Jeni.

You could then ask Google to purchase the correct water filter model for your refrigerator and tell or better show you how to install it. Some months later you can ask “Google when was the last time I replaced the water filter on my refrigerator?” Google would answer and have the filter queued up to purchase when that time came. Or, you get an alert in about a year reminding you it was time to replace the filter.

You get the idea. We face a simple fact – there isn’t enough product service for all of the technology in our modern lives from the original manufacturer. This topic is near and dear to our hearts at ConverseNow. We believe there is another way to address the rising cost of support for the manufacturer or service provider and the lack of real brand loyalty because the support we get is rarely easy or straightforward to acquire.

There is a great irony in our present day life: we have near-instant access to companies wanting to sell us something anywhere we are any time of the day. We’re used to asking for something and having it show up in a few hours on our doors step. Now it is time to provide that same level of convenience for product support – anytime, anywhere, right away with our voice or with text. We live in a ‘get things done quickly’ world so searching for resolutions to our difficulties is painfully time-consuming.

Extended warranties sound like a solution but in reality getting the service you need when and where you want it is still the issue. Best Buy might offer you an extended service, but they are still the intermediary to the manufacturer or service provider. Why can’t you engage directly with the manufacturer from the beginning of ownership? Wouldn’t that be better for everyone? Getting direct feedback for improving their products sure would be easier and faster for the manufacturer. The original manufacturer would have constant and immediate feedback from customers. Surely there is a way to this an leverage the relationships with existing resellers.

Businesses have budget trade-offs from the ever-expanding need for customer service staff. Some companies are working hard to build a stronger brand experience by improving their customer service agents, but let’s explore a different way to bring greater satisfaction with potentially less expensive. Why not think of this as customer engagement that brings direct access to answers from customers in text, voice, and video to see things like user manuals? Remove the burden of weeding through unwieldy support pages or streams of social media reviews and comments to hunt for answers or hundreds of pages of support forums on a website. Youtube videos are a solution if you can find what you need and the information is current. User manuals become lost in a drawer or file cabinet. They provide information, not real answers to our questions.

The following series of blog posts will explore our vision for consumers and manufacturers to build greater trust and satisfaction with a rapidly maturing technology called ‘conversational interfaces.’ Our goal is to lead a new path toward profitable use cases of AI technology to ultimately bring a sense of delight to our customer service experiences that elevate the brand overall. Many of these ideas stem from insights learned from the founders of ConverseNow.ai.

What we all want is an easy way to ask for an answer to our problem or request without having to commit time to search across a sea of information scattered around the Internet or waiting on hold for an agent to retell our product ownership history or figure out what hours service is available. Ideally, we want a relationship that starts before the sale and endures as long as the product is in our hands. If manufacturers and services providers want to delight us in a way that keeps us coming back, they will learn how to anticipate our individual needs over time. In short, remember who we are and what we purchased from you. It’s a tall order, but we at ConverseNow.ai are coupling a new age of instant access to products with instant access to service engagement throughout the lifecycle of ownership.

Be sure to stay tuned to learn more about ConverseNow.ai solutions for conversational interfaces for companies wanting to delight their customers.