Make your customer experience a slam-dunk

Today’s always-connected consumer expects fast, easy access to accurate information. Increasingly, your website is their first point of contact. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, consequences are triggered – a frustrated customer, an at-risk brand reputation and an escalation to a more expensive channel for issue resolution. To avoid ramifications of poor self-service, Windstream, a Fortune 500 telecommunications company, introduced an intelligent virtual assistant to help customers successfully navigate and leverage its website. Read on to discover how a smart assist can positively impact more than the outcome of an NBA game.
In the game of customer experience, virtual assistants can provide help navigating complicated company websites.

We’re fresh into the NBA season and we’ve already been reminded of how important a good assist is. On November 13th, Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook handed out an NBA-high of 17 assists, making him the first player since the early 1970s to achieve more than 120 assists in only four games. Assists are a smart, game winning strategy that builds excitement and improves the overall experience for fans watching the game. But assists aren’t just for point guards or limited to the NBA. In the game of customer experience, intelligent virtual assistance is key.

In today’s digital age, customers begin their search for solutions on a company’s website.  If answers are not readily available, negative impressions are quick to form – the company is perceived as “behind the times” and not customer-centric. As consumers, we’ve all been there: the nightmare of scrolling through an FAQ or ‘Help’ section, never to find the help we seek, left with frustration rather than an answer. The business impacts of a poor digital experience are also real – introducing an element of dissatisfaction and the risk of churn, while also impacting the bottom line when customers are forced to engage with your call center agents to find answers.

Windstream, a Fortune 500 network communication provider, faced a similar challenge. New competitors were entering its markets, creating more consumer choice, while the static FAQs on its website were proving to be ineffective as a customer self-service tool. Redesigning its website and increasing its use of live chat conversations were both cost-prohibitive solutions. To achieve its vision of an innovative web site experience, able to quickly and effortlessly support complex customer needs, Windstream looked for a virtual assist.

The result was Wendy, a branded digital persona that delivers personalized service via a conversational interface. In addition to understanding what is typed in the dialog box, Wendy is able to discern intent and help customers refine their request, so she can deliver accurate answers that fit their unique needs. She regularly helps customers troubleshoot Internet issues, guiding them through technical activities such as restarting a router. Additionally, Wendy integrates with Windstream’s live chat solution, creating a seamless handoff when customers have an issue best handled by an agent.

With Wendy’s assist, Windsteam significantly improved its website effectiveness. Seventy-two percent of all site visitors were able to resolve their issue without needing to engage an agent for additional support, minimizing customer’s time investment and frustration, and saving Windstream money. Wendy handled more than 24,000 conversations a month and deflected 44 percent of interactions from escalating to the call center in her first three months on the job.

Using Wendy, Windsteam is able to meet the evolving needs of customers and pinpoint issues for an even greater customer experience.

“In order to win in our markets, Windstream must keep pace with customers and that means delivering content and support to them when, where and how they want it. Using a virtual agent delivers the kind of always on, engaging, and contextual experience that our Web-savvy consumers expect,” said Sarah Day, senior vice president of small business sales and marketing at Windstream.

As customer expectations continue to rise and social media makes voicing their dissatisfaction second nature, delivering an extraordinary customer experience is essential to being a market leader.  And if, like Russell Westbrook, your organization strives to rewrite the record book for customer satisfaction, it’s time to consider adding an MVP like Wendy to your digital line up.

Are you ready to step up your game with some virtual assistance?

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Pablo Supkay

About Pablo Supkay

Pablo Supkay is Senior Manager, DCS Product Management, responsible for Nuance’s virtual assistant, Nina. Pablo has over 20 years of experience in UX design, customer engagement, targeting and personalization. Prior to Nuance, he held product management positions at Corbis Corporation and Microsoft, where he worked on a variety of initiatives to optimize customer experience across the customer journey. Pablo holds an MBA from Rice University and a Plan II Honors BA from the University of Texas at Austin.