I recently came across a product called “Gladly” which triggered me to learn more about their product and the space they operate in.
Gladly offer in app chat support and I subsequently learned about competitors like Intercom, Zendesk, LiveAgent, Freshdesk, Hubspot and Ada. These are some of the things I learned from looking at their respective products, understanding how they go about providing in app chat support:
The problem – For customers, raising a problem or complaint about a product or service can often be a very painful experience. I think back to my experiences chasing my support ticket with an online fashion company or the painful ‘computer says no’ moments with the customer support agent at a well known telco …. Aforementioned customer service platforms are on a mission to improve the customer experience post-purchase and bring brands and customers closer together:
“Gladly is the service platform that treats customers like people not tickets”
“Power up your customer support with Zendesk”
“This is Intercom: the best way to connect with your customers”
The opportunity – With the growing number of people buying products and services online, there is a huge opportunity to improve the customer support experience. Brands can use this as a way to retain and strengthen customer relationships.
If we look at the size of the global ecommerce market opportunity alone, customer support platforms like Intercom, Zendesk and Hubspot empower brands to provide personalised customer support experiences that will help or even delight customers. Think about businesses having the capability to access a full profile of their customers, including data about a customer’s purchase history, average lifetime value and personal preferences.
The features – “Omni-channel support” is a key feature of most customer support platforms, enabling customers and businesses to have a frictionless conversation, irrespective of the channel customers use to engage in the conversation. Irrespective of whether customers engage via WhatsApp, Facebook or on the phone, customer support staff should be able to pick up on a seamless thread and engage without friction.
The ability for customers to self serve, quickly and effectively, is another important feature to consider with respect to in app customer support. Especially when it comes to frequently asked questions or problems, customers should be able to resolve the problem quickly.
The outcome – On the Gladly podcast I heard the founder of Chubbies refer to his customers “as the 5th co-founder of the business.” Customers thus become a valuable community, acting both as brand advocates and a valuable source of product development / improvement. A positive post purchase experience can play a vital part in turning a one off purchaser into a loyal customer, and the different customer service platforms enable companies to provide these positive customer experiences. Moreover, through the customer information collated about customers on a single platform, brands can be more proactive with their customers, and focus more on the pre purchase experience.
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