Web 2.0 is the umbrella term for new technologies and techniques that enable users to drive greater personalisation and interaction with web sites. Examples include social networking sites such as YouTube and MySpace, blogging and wikis. The challenge for organisations is selecting and implementing the right Web 2.0 techniques to positively enhance their brand and sales.
“The advent of Web 2.0 opens up communication between organisations and their customers, enabling unprecedented personalisation as users drive how they interact with brands of all sizes,” commented Dee Roche, head of strategy and marketing, Transversal. “This is the perfect opportunity to increase customer satisfaction and interaction. Customer service departments should be at the forefront of adopting Web 2.0 techniques and use them to build stronger relationships based on listening to customers and responding to their needs.”
Transversal’s technology can use the information the customer provides, such as where they are on the website and what they search for, to alter what is displayed to them – and use that information to direct customers to the correct customer channel. An intelligent web self-service interface is also a platform for including other interaction technologies and response mechanisms such as chat, virtual sales agents, RSS feeds, opt-ins for product news and offers, importantly based on how customers interact and qualify their requirements on the website.
Transversal believes that the benefits – and potential pitfalls – of Web 2.0 vary across different business sectors. For example, financial services organisations have to meet stringent compliance and security regulations, so providing unmonitored user groups and blogs would be inappropriate, as consumers could make a poor financial decision based on a user group post and then hold the organisation liable. Instead, providing access to independent financial product reviews and articles, based on customer interaction through RSS feeds delivers improved service levels without fear of litigation.
For product-based companies providing technical support through blogs and user groups is a perfect way of interacting with customers. Sony Computer Entertainment UK (SCEUK) is using Transversal’s intelligent web self-service software to support the PlayStation 3, by providing customers with fast and accurate answers to their questions online at www.playstation.co.uk. SCEUK has launched a technical forum where users help each other get the most out of the technology and functionality, and solve issues, such as internet connectivity, together.
Transversal’s software is used by customers to intelligently search all consumer-generated content and find the relevant information. Consumers can also contact SCEUK through email and instant messenger chat facilities on its web site.
The top ten Web 2.0 technologies Transversal believe can positively impact customer service are:
- Interaction. Use channels to provide human interaction and take on board customer feedback. These could include real time chat, instant messenger or linguabots
- Personalisation. Deliver a personalised experience by providing
tailored content in response to queries, such as special offers or added information.
- RSS. Keep customers and partners updated with changes to areas of interest automatically through RSS feeds
- User communities. Build communities that enable users to exchange information and help self-support
- Blogging. Engage in dialogue with customers through relevant and tailored blogs
- Social networking. Build links with relevant social networks through interaction and posting tailored information
- Search Engine Optimisation. Tailor your website to ensure that queries are pushed quickly to the correct page from internet search engines such as Google
- Tagging. Allow users to rate usefulness of answers and information provided to gather valuable feedback on customer service effectiveness
- Wikis. Use wikis to share information quickly, particularly for a
- Podcasts. Make information and updates available through other channels than your website through channels as podcasts and video updates