A Conversation With Carl Holmquist, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer

carl holmquist

You’ve already made a considerable impact on how brands engage with their customers, what’s next for Freespee?

CH: We’re at a stage of international growth at Freespee – which can expose the team to significant challenges. That being said, the addition of scale-up experts like Anne de Kerckhove and Dominic Ely to the executive team – is a step towards contributing positive change to the multi-billion heavy communication tech stack.

Personally, I’m now able to do what I love and focus on the product more, especially regarding solutions to our customer’s problems two to three years in the future. Conversational user interfaces, like messaging apps, are growing quicker than social media interfaces. The impact is already considerable in private communication (friends and family) but has hardly started in B2C communication threads.

In 2017 we began to see some early trials on new ways to interact with businesses. Facebook wants their users to communicate with their bank through Messenger; Amazon took the chance to introduce voice-controlled shopping through Alexa for basic in-app purchases. Eventually, it means that the big three – Facebook, Amazon, and Google are investing in a future where consumers use their voice more frequently to interact with both machines and humans. This process is referred to as “conversational commerce.”

I believe Freespee is ahead of the curve, and we will accelerate our investments with the goal of embedding AI and machine learning into B2C communication.

How do you see the problem of connecting with customers, as compared to when you began Freespee?

CH: When we started Freespee, the first use case on our open communication platform that gained traction was our call analytics application. The perception in the market at the time was that consumers don’t want to talk to brands anymore, but that has changed with data-driven marketing. With the visibility that data tools introduced to marketers, they realised that digital consumers are more communication-intensive than in-store shoppers. The internet isn’t a tactile forum, so the number of questions you have before deciding to purchase is even higher than for in-store shopping.

But we’ve also got this paradox where, as consumers, we’re becoming less loyal to brands; the internet is influencing and enlightening us. A decade ago, my influencer was a friend, a family member. Now, influencers are more prolific. With less loyalty, the expectations from consumers increase. We’re never more than a click away from buying from someone else.

We need to help brands respond to that behavioural change by offering communication experiences that match the expectations of consumers tomorrow, not yesterday.

What is the most important lesson you learned through the years bringing Freespee to life?

CH: I think the most valuable lesson I’ve learned is that success comes from focus and obsession. If you’re obsessed with customer satisfaction and building a great product that solves their problem, you will develop a great company. If you have an obsession with your core offering, and you build a team with the same passion, then you can endure pretty much anything the world throws at you.

Which Freespee breakthroughs are you most proud of?

CH: I’m most proud of our amazing team. Our offices have grown throughout Europe: London, Paris, Dusseldorf, Barcelona, and Uppsala. It’s this team that global brands choose to trust. Our customer roster is unbelievable, for being a 70-people collective.

What do you think the future of customer communication looks like?

CH: I think the future is going to be increasingly consumer-centric, rather than brand-centric. It’s up to the consumer to decide how they want to speak to the brand; if I want to chat, talk or message. Brands are increasingly going to suffer if they are not available in the channel that the customer wants to speak in. You hear all the time that consumer expectations have changed and it’s no different in the communication space.

The enterprise communication software needs to be built like a consumer product – there’s two in the conversation, the consumer and the brand. Legacy contact centre platforms are built for the brand, not the consumer. This will change, and it will be a wake-up call for the tech industry.

The Benefits Of Geolocation For Predicting Behaviour

Google recently announced a plan to test new geolocation technology in emergency response systems, so that 911 services in selected American states could get to mobile users in distress a lot quicker. “Google tested its new system across parts of Texas, Tennessee, and Florida covering about 2.4 million people. The test took place in December and January and was apparently only for people using Android devices that called into 50 different 911 call centers in those states,” stated Hot Hardware. 
Companies like RapidSOS who participated in the test claimed that “the data sent by Google was more accurate with a radius of 121-feet around the caller, rather than the 522-feet typical of data sent by the carrier.”
Geolocation technology like Google’s has become a standard feature in many industries from e-commerce to law enforcement. Since a majority of today’s society exists online, using a device’s GPS to help with things like shopping, mapping, and even our well-being is just another way to make life easier for we humans. When it comes to customer service, geolocation is a handy tool that many marketers swear by,
“Every advertiser has an understanding of where consumers are located through their devices translated as specific GPS coordinates,” Jim Kovach, vice president of business development at CrowdOptic told Fortune

Location history is an excellent indicator of customer behaviour and a useful predictor of how to keep them happy. Here are a few ways to do that:

Geotargeting for better segmentation

This is a useful method for zeroing in on where a customer base will usually be, knowing ahead of time where a prospect plugs in is another way to enhance personalisation. Geolocation tracks by IP address and connected to that is a range of data which aids in targeting ads specific to a customer’s location. “If a user from a high-income neighbourhood visits a car dealer’s site or clicks on a paid search display ad, that consumer may be directed to a landing page displaying a luxury vehicle, while consumers located in a lower income area may be targeted with a deal on an economy vehicle,” writes Search Engine Land, This knowledge can also help segment customers in a brand’s database for the after-purchase phase when retention comes into play.

Bridging the gap between online and offline customer data

We’ve reiterated this fact, but connecting digital brands with their on-the-ground vendors is essential for increasing the bottom line. One way to do that is to join mobile ads with brick and mortar campaigns. Unilever is a good example of this. Their ice cream brand Magnum saw great success in Ecuador when a mobile banner ad invited customers to create their own ice cream and pick them up in store. According to Mobile Marketer, “Magnum saw 14 percent in-store sales increase and claims to have doubled the world record of ice-cream bars sold in a store on a single day.” Another method for geo-tracking online to offline behaviour is by using a feature like Google’s AdWords. This system allows for a more granular scope of customer location possibilities, such as TV regions, airports, cities, departments, municipalities and more.
All in all, geolocation is a useful way to stay technologically adept and produce relevant marketing which many customers respond to positively.
Via: Search Engine Land, Fortune, Mobile Marketer, Hot Hardware. 

Why Brand Success Means Cultivating Your Community


At its inception, a company pitches its core product ad nauseam, believing fervently in its potential to boost revenue and change buyer’s lives. It’s in that honeymoon period of development that a brand wants the general public to find them attractive, fun and dare we say, sexy.

Straying from the core product

What often happens, as with human relationships, is the first blush eventually fades and once said bees are in the honeypot, there is no need to continue to cultivate that interest. A common example of this is Facebook, whose core product is the “social network.”

Initially, It was sold as a place where people could come together as a digital community, but still create a snapshot of intimacy.

It started that way but as it morphed into the social behemoth it has become, turning that massive collection of personal data into revenue is Facebook’s new flavour of the month — leading to a loss in engagement from its once sole interest, real people.

“The fundamental confusion with Facebook is that it increasingly talks about itself as a community platform, but that is not the reality,” Benji Vaughan, chief executive at Disciple Media told The Guardian. “Do users feel part of a community when they are there? I have reservations about whether they do. Facebook’s core purpose is to sell targeted content to individuals. All its issues begin there.”

Maintaining the community 

As we move into the age of chatbots and neural networks, it seems robotically imitating humans or viewing them as merely data sources are becoming more important than actually helping their flesh and blood counterparts. “Sometimes the limitation of AI just reflects the lack of knowledge of the people who implement these solutions: they might not know much about the business operations and products and are sometimes glorified coders,” writes Data Science Central. A clear indication that technology always begins and ends with human beings.

When it comes to how digital enterprises interact with their human base, a growing trend to fix the overemphasis on data acquisition is personalisation. Putting the value of customer data back into improving the customer experience has proved to be fruitful. “The Harvard Business Review states that personalisation can reduce extra costs by 50%, lift revenues by 5-15%, and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by up to 10-30%,” says Digital Marketing Magazine.

Also, the value of community is inarguable. A southern African humanist philosophy called “Ubuntu” is centered on this concept. “It is a demand for a creative intersubjective formation in which the ‘other’ becomes a mirror (but only a mirror) for my subjectivity,” describes Michael Onyebuchi Eze in his book, Intellectual History in Contemporary South Africa.

Staying true to this sense of community, seeing a buyer base as a reflection of a core product is a proven key to both increased retention and conversion. A great example of this, when Coca-Cola decided to put people’s names on bottles as a part of their “Share a Coke” campaign, they saw an increase in US sales for the first time in ten years.

Cultivating the consumer interest that grew a product in the first place could be the secret to success and finding technology that can help with that is ready to be utilised.

Via: The Guardian, Digital Marketing Magazine, Data Science Central, Marketing Tech News. 

A Few Integrations Aimed At Improving Customer Relationships

Meeting customer expectations during a purchase journey now require segmenting and analysing a large pool of data to create a workflow that will hopefully nurture leads and make ideal use of a consumer’s time. Luckily the technology is there to manage these intricacies for digital enterprises. We’ve touched on integrations before and this round we’re looking at a few that can step up your CRM game.

Maximise your advertising lifecycle with cross-platform measurement

Making an impact is the basis of every campaign but managing the multiple platforms used by consumers can confuse the metrics a bit, leading to a short-sighted campaign. Cross-platform measurement systems have revolutionised how businesses understand their various datasets. Before this introduction, it was difficult to keep up with consumer behaviour as it nimbly adapted to the changing technologies. However, platforms like comScore have altered the campaign process starting with data scale first and going from there. “We believe that scale drives quality,” comScore CEO Fulgoni told MediaPost. “You can’t start with a panel and build up on it.” Scale is vital especially in a world where multiple screens are utilised at one time, by measuring the overall impact of a fragmented digital media environment, it’s easier to build an ironclad campaign.
Learn more about Freespee’s comScore integration here.

Become a conversion hero

Optimising a website for higher conversion rates is a very complicated way of describing how to make a site desirable to droves of click-happy people — whether it be buying something or spending a length of time researching a car. Conversions are when customers follow through, creating a desirable space for this to happen is a priority for most online-centric businesses. WPO stats found that 53% of visits to mobile sites are abandoned after 3 seconds according to research from Google’s DoubleClick. Technology offered by a platform such as Webtrends Optimize uses both A/B testing and more in-depth multivariate testing to boost the customer’s experience across multiple screens and units. The testing is whittled down to even the colour button an audience prefers clicking. In this digital age, figuring out what your customers want is based on more than just a gut feeling, delving into the incidentals of their online interactions is essential to upping that conversion rate.
Learn more about Freespee’s WebTrends integration here.

Figure out where your digital spend is most effective

Knowing whether programmatic advertising has any punch is down to the numbers, but often with a highly competitive digital environment plus separation of online and offline data pools, it can be difficult to achieve an accurate bottom line.
Additionally, “You’re fighting for customers on a digital battlefield where Google and Facebook command nearly 80% of internet time and over 60% of online ad dollars,” says Marin Software. With this in mind elevating advertisement performance is the first step towards victory, delivering dynamic campaigns targeted at specific customers can make it easier to understand where the revenue derived from those ads is coming from. Custom-made algorithms can automatically adjust set budgets per top performing audiences, helping brands save money and refocus on lucrative client pools.
Learn more about Freespee’s Marin Software integration here.

These are only a few of our integrations up for grabs. Check more of Freespee’s multiple integrations on our website.
Via: MediaPost, The Drum, WPO Stats.

Here's How To Strengthen A Brand's Verbal Identity

On average businesses in the UK spend around £116,000 on “tone of voice” development, meaning that brands are just as interested in defining the way they sound as refining how they look.
One company that has aced verbal branding is Apple. A substantial portion of people on earth can identify the voice of Apple’s intelligent personal assistant Siri, whose original American female voice is borrowed from flesh and blood human and not whipped up in a computer. Apple recognised our need for human interaction, even if we’re only talking to our smartphone.
That reliance on smartphones is increasing; upcoming generations are leaning more into self-service than ever before. But, for more demanding queries or more expensive purchases, callers want to hear another person.
So what does this mean for the future of verbal customer service? “There’s so much noise in the world, and you’ve got a very small window to initiate a conversation with people. If people aren’t interested in what you have to say, they’ll go elsewhere,” Fred Perry’s brand director Rob Gaitt told Marketing Week.
Fully utilising the time a company interacts with customers after initiating a conversation is a hurdle for any enterprise, because no two callers are alike. Here are some ways to make a brand’s voice heard.

Making the call-centre standout

A caller emotionally connects with a brand the moment they pick up the phone to interact with an agent. No pressure. Robotic legacy tech just isn’t going to cut it anymore; callers want to know that if they’re making the jump to put receiver to ear — it’s going to be worth the time. Every word should be on point. “[It’s] 80% good writing principles and 20% [what] we can own in our writing style that makes us distinctive,” explained Jon Hawkins, former head of brand language at BT and founder of Honk to Marketing Week.

Get a head of brand language

Having someone’s single vision guide a brand’s voice isn’t a bad idea. Brand identity must stay consistent to maintain caller loyalty. Humans, man; we’re all far more comfortable with the familiar, and the best organisations know that.
“Sixty percent of global consumers with Internet access prefer to buy new products from a familiar brand rather than switch to a new brand,” says Nielsen.

Sophisticated analytics

After engagement, understanding the metrics behind what worked or didn’t between caller and agent is essential data in this algorithmic age. The future of CX means that content finds consumer and not the other way around, integrating the right technology into a verbal communication system is a great way to ensure that no discourse data is wasted.

The whole concept of “verbal identity” is still relatively new, it was only introduced into the marketing sphere some fifteen years ago by marketing consultant and author John Simmons, yet its become mighty useful for brand growth since. Its success could be attributed to the simple idea behind it; what do you want to say?
Via: Forbes, Marketing Week, Nielsen

WhatsApp Business: What The New App Could Mean For B2C

B2C (Business to consumer) engagement usually requires a certain amount of understanding between brand and stakeholder. Often a campaign is centered on a consumer concern like WIIFM or “What’s in it for me?”

“Whether B2B or B2C, good marketing essentials are the same. We all are emotional beings looking for relevance, context, and connection,” said Beth Comstock, GE Vice Chair.

Instant messaging juggernaut WhatsApp recently debuted their consumer-focused Business App, targeted at small businesses and their clientele with the aims of enabling the 1.3 billion loyal WhatsApp users worldwide to connect with companies a lot easier.

“People will know that they’re talking to a business because you will be listed as a Business Account. Over time, some businesses will have Confirmed Accounts once it’s been confirmed that the account phone number matches the business phone number,” WhatsApp said in a statement.

The business app also allows users to create a standard business profile boasting a “quick replies” feature which saves and reuses frequently sent messages.

Probably the most useful aspect of the new application is the messaging statistics element, giving access to insights such the number of messages sent, read and received.

So far, it’s available solely on Android in Indonesia, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the US but a global release is expected in the next month. No word yet on when it will appear on iOS.

WhatsApp isn’t the first messaging service to create a system specifically with e-commerce in mind, Chinese-owned competitor WeChat already hosts 10 million official business accounts for 980 million monthly active users. In this case, however, WhatsApp is arguably more universal. Time will tell how much of a ripple it will create in the B2C universe, but until then we have a few predictions.

Consumer engagement

B2C messaging is quickly becoming an asset to most brands and is seen as a personalised way to communicate with the modern consumer. Most marketing strategies consist of a multi-screen system of promotion and engagement. So what will the debut of WhatsApp Business mean for the way a company connects with their clientage?

“WhatsApp is an easier medium to access for all age groups compared to emails, besides, it’s extremely easy for emails to get lost in all the chaos that a 2018 inbox is,” writes blogger Prateek Malpani. 

This implies that using a medium like WhatsApp can only bring customers, closer. According to Braze, “the longer that a customer goes without engaging with your brand, the less likely they are to be retained.” Ease of access to consumers through a community messaging system such as WhatsApp will more than likely create an environment of interaction.

Strengthen small businesses

The app is targeted at small businesses which can’t usually afford a large-scale promotional campaign. As such the app may just put smaller enterprises on par with the giants. B2C-infused technology is desired in certain corners of the world, more than 80% of small to medium businesses in both India and Brazil use WhatsApp to communicate with customers, claims a Morning Consult study.

WhatsApp Business

For now, WhatsApp is trying their hand in the smaller enterprise arena, but the plan is to eventually roll out to large sectors such as airlines and banks. The Facebook-owned company is set to monetise the growing B2C trend, and we think they just might blow it out the water.
Via: WhatsApp, Business Insider, Braze, Blue Leadz. 

The Underestimated Value Of Conversational Data

Taking a buyer from browsing to highly engaged is the goal of most marketers out there. Increased customer engagement represents a revenue increase of 23% for a brand, but in the age of tech-savvy prospects utilising multiple channels, how do you keep them coming back?

Of course staying ahead of the technological curve is a priority, according to Marketing Tech, “a survey of Fortune 500 marketing professionals carried out by LiveWorld, 52% of respondents thought that advances in technology would allow them to engage in meaningful two-way conversations with their customers.”

However piquing the interest of a buyer is something that requires a strategy of both personalisation and modern tech, which is where the often undervalued power of conversational data comes in. Conversational data is an indicator of how a brand’s customers are engaging with a conversational interface, be it chat, text or call.

Its value lies in the fact that it analyses real-time interactions – “with conversational analytics, for example, you can single out a target demographic or user to see whether they’re talking to a bot or application, then view every step of the conversation as it’s happening,” says Chatbots Magazine. It’s a key segmentation tool, enabling a brand or marketer to understand their buyer base on an intimate level. Thanks to data pioneers like Google, any business from large enterprises to small startups can access this bounty of information, evening the commerce playing field.

The Google Analytics Shift 

By far, a leader in the data game. The platform is now integrated into more than half of the websites on earth. It’s also altered how many marketers perceive their purpose — taking them from brand developers to keen data analysts and innovators. Google has done more for the planet than just bring us the Google Doodle. It has also brought the buyer to the forefront.
Where Google Analytics particularly stands out is in its endeavours to create an omniscient view of the customer journey, providing concrete evidence of their digital path, using Analytics 360 which includes features like enterprise analytics, tagging, site optimisation, data visualisation, market research, attribution, and audience management. Google claims to consider the current multi-screen environment that both marketers and their pool face.

Check out more about Freespee’s Google Analytics integration here. 
Despite this reputation, It has been accused in the past of disregarding offline channels and providing inaccurate information that, none-the-less, marketers have come to rely upon.

“Rightly or wrongly, the startup world cares mainly about direct-response metrics — and that is reflected in the “Goals,” and “Events” triggers in Google Analytics,” wrote TechCrunch contributor Samuel Scott.

Thanks to its recent collaboration with CRM platform Salesforce, that critique is now somewhat silenced. Whether naysayers like it or not, by the end of last year, “tablets and smartphones comprised 87 percent of the globally connected device market,” meaning that to keep ahead of the pace requires an understanding of the online sphere and a greater focus on the customer’s say so, especially concerning their interactions with the brand both online and offline. Google seems to be onboard with this by coveting the data gleaned from those buyer encounters and with this partnership, there is no doubt that ‘offline’ conversational data, namely call data, is aimed to become a hot commodity.

The advent of web analytics tools like GA has arguably done more to help than hinder the ecosystem, though some would disagree with its intention. Still, the way in which we communicate continues to elevate and technology seeps into our every day. Hopefully with Google’s help, the monetary power of conversation will continue to rise in value.
Via: TechCrunch, Chatbots Magazine, Marketing Tech, City Segment

The Google/Salesforce Collab Brings Omnichannel To Life

Creating a singular data pool containing the entire online to offline customer journey is something big brands struggle to achieve (a topic we touched on in a previous blog). However, the multinational tech giant that is Google seems to have discovered the last piece of the omnichannel puzzle and is intent on closing the loop in attributing offline sales — taking CRM platform Salesforce along for the ride.
After announcing their official partnership in November, Google and Salesforce released the first of many integrations to come this week. “Sales pipeline data from Sales Cloud (e.g., leads, opportunities) can now be imported directly into Analytics 360. So any marketer in a business that manages leads can see a more complete view of the customer’s path to conversion and quickly take action to engage them at the right moment,” wrote Google in a press release.
This collaboration is a way to gain a foothold in an arena previously ventured by Google competitor Microsoft, “This partnership offering gives customers another choice in the market and is targeted towards the traditional Adobe – Microsoft buyer,” Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research told TechCrunch.

Forging A New Digital Path

In this day and age, understanding the motives of a customer as they move from touchpoint to touchpoint is a brand’s ultimate goal. However, most brands see significant disconnects between their online properties and local stores, so when the data doesn’t quite add up they see wasted marketing budget.
In fact, “eConsultancy reports that 66% of all companies believe that the siloed data within their organisations prevents them from making the most effective use of their marketing,” according to The Drum.
Connecting the dots in the digital path usually involve deterministic or probabilistic matching using data onboarding platforms like LiveRamp. The omnichannel identity resolution provider generally uses people-based data to help brands reach consumers.
What could set Google and Salesforce’s partnership apart in this instance is the use of Analytics 360 which will provide a more complete picture of the conversion path through the integration of Big Query, Google Cloud’s enterprise data warehouse.
The emergence of this trend means brands will have to lean closer to implementing their omnichannel strategy to keep up with the competition. Something Google definitely seems in favour of but with a different strategy to LiveRamp.

The Omnichannel Debate

Some say it’s too open-ended, others think its development isn’t happening fast enough, and that legacy tech-reliant brands are holding back the pace. The debate over “omni-channel” is ongoing, but with Google’s backing, it should start finding its way into the mainstream tout suite.

What is omnichannel? The term “is what’s used to define how retailers are using technology to become customer-centric and creating a seamless… experience for consumers between the mobile, the web and brick-and-mortar channels,” says
Buyers of the future are changing how they shop, that fact remains. More than half of shoppers use multiple channels when placing orders over £100. Therefore, It’s safe to assume that a cohesive experience is expected across all touchpoints.
With an array of Google and Salesforce integrations coming our way aimed at just that, 2018 could be the year we bring it all together. Stay tuned.
Via: TechCrunch, Google, The DrumPYMNTS.

A Short Explanation Of Dynamic Phone Numbers

analytics - dynamic phone number

Simply put, dynamic call numbers allow companies to track all inbound calls to their business. They are unique phone numbers assigned to each visitor, displayed ‘dynamically’ on the brand website or in a digital advertising campaign. It’s a handy tool that allows marketers to see how their marketing activity, including advertising, is affecting inbound call volume and measure ROI (Return On Investment). Brands can see a visitor’s complete contextual history – including the source and medium that led them there to the page and even the page from which they decided to reach out.

How Does DNI Work?

Standardly, one line of javascript is added to the website or app, which serves a unique number to each visitor as soon as they arrive on the site. Once a visitor has perused the site and chosen to call, the javascript connects the two phone numbers.

Why It Works

A benefit of using Dynamic Numbers is knowing exactly how successful marketing campaigns like paid search (SEM) and social media are in driving calls and ultimately, benefiting a brand’s bottom line. DNI provides real-time data which can allow businesses to better track where their funds are making the most significant impact. It can also record a customer’s collective communication history with a brand based on one number which remains consistent throughout. No matter who they converse with or the size of their team.

Using dynamic numbers also improves the visibility a brand has over the customer’s journey from research to purchase. Often one call (or any one touchpoint) won’t close be the final sale, so dynamic numbers offer an opportunity to connect every touchpoint by recording the user’s online behaviour post conversation. This data can be retrieved in future conversations brand teams have with that user, enriching their experience

The SEO and Call Tracking Myth

There was a misconception that dynamic number insertion or call tracking would hurt a brand’s SEO clout. This just isn’t true, when done correctly DNI is more beneficial than harmful to SEO.

“The problem is that the call tracking industry has traditionally done a very poor job of educating marketers about what correct use of call tracking actually is,” writes Search Engine Journal.

The initial confusion came about thanks to NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number). Google likes these elements to be consistent across all channels, having multiple numbers can confuse the algorithm. However, this only applies to directories and has nothing to do with on-site DNI. In that regard, companies are just fine and dandy.

Word to the wise though, sprinkling call tracking numbers throughout the internet’s directories will definitely harm SEO and hurt a brand in the long run.

“As long as a precaution is made to make certain your tracking number doesn’t get scraped by Google, or some other authority, tracking numbers are totally fine,” writes Adam Steele via Search Engine Journal.

There is no denying that DNI is helpful for both ends of the purchase. On the company side, it produces a bounty of data that reveals the intricacies of the customer journey. From the customer’s perspective, it can greatly reduce the time it takes to find what they are looking for from a brand.
Via: Search Engine Journal

The New Psychology Behind Customer Service

Humans are complicated; this fact becomes even more obvious when they are thrown into a ‘situation’ with customer service (any conversation with customer service is initially perceived as a situation). The pressure that comes from needing a problem solved, is akin to outing a raging flame, according to blogger Seth Godin. “Customer service (whether you’re a school principal, a call center or a consultant) can’t begin until the person you’re working with believes that you’re going to help them put out the fire on their head.”

The psychology behind every customer interaction points to the fact that decision making is almost always an emotional event. Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio discovered that those with damage to the emotional centre of the brain were unable to make simple decisions. His research concluded that every choice we make has a bunch of feelings behind it.

Therefore with this understanding, customer service interactions should be smooth sailing — once a brand ensures that every step an interested party takes is a positive one. But it’s not always that seamless, because like we previously mentioned — humans are complicated. It’s not always easy to predict what will make them happy.

The phenomenon of customer service began in the eighteenth century when folks started saving copper coins to give to merchants in exchange for goods. Contact with customer support primarily consisted of face-to-face interactions. It wasn’t until 1894 that phones were added to the mix. It was a simpler time.

These days, however, the playing field is much more technologically dexterous and so are people’s expectations. 

The Self-Talk Method

Tackling the issue of customer satisfaction means coming up with inventive ways to draw them in. One useful tactic begins in their heads.

Heard of self-talk? It’s something we ALL do on a regular basis; our inner voice is one that silently prefaces everything we say out loud and speaks when we can’t find the audible words.  

Finding a way to address a customer’s inner voice and encouraging them to speak to themselves about a product could turn a consideration into a lead.

“If you can get customers to say it to themselves, by thinking, they’ll make quicker decisions,” writes Tagove.

Promoting self-talk could mean taking the human element out of it, because whether we want to admit it or not, speaking to a neutral chatbot takes the pressure off of reciprocating in a conversation with another person. It also allows time for inner thought.

A New Generation

Such a process fits well with the upcoming generation’s needs, only 29% of millennials like talking on the phone to customer service. While their desire to speak through chat has risen by 9%.

Self-talk and self-service are looking more and more like the future of customer interaction, and constantly evolving tech is eradicating legacy procedures. Gone are the days of copper coins and switchboards, today’s customers require less friction.

Via: Aspect Blog, Seth Godin, Tagove, User Like.