Humans built Artificial Intelligence to reduce mental work. Khoros built A.I. to reduce customer and agent mental stress.
Walking through the halls of history, humans' ideas of what the future might look like is often laughable at best. Most examples show the brightest mind of our past missed the mark by a mile. Once in a blue moon, history's forward-thinking minds make shockingly accurate predictions about how the future will look.
Take a look at the painting series ‘En L’an 2000’ (In the year 2000).
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
In the late 1800s, a group of French painters was asked to envision what the year 2000 might look like. While we might not have flying firefighters or underwater lawn games, they absolutely nailed one key aspect of our modern world, automation.
To be fair, there was no possible way that those old french painters could have imagined how small technology would be or the invention of the computer. Credit where credit is due, their mechanical cleaning robot is oddly similar to what currently sits in roughly 17 million households . A simple artificially intelligent cleaning hockey puck called the Roomba.
What exactly is A.I.?
Shouted in the news as a frightening new buzzword and strewn throughout pop culture, from Skynet in the Terminator series or HAL 3000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey , artificial intelligence has developed an unsettling otherness .
This narrative does make for a great science fiction horror story, but it’s a bit off course from the truth. In the simplest terms, A.I. is nothing more than a computer program that completes tasks commonly suited for humans.
Take one of the newest models of the Roomba, for example. To those who own one, it can seem like magic that the way it can map out a room and keep your floors clean enough to eat off them. Behind the scenes is an impressive piece of A.I. born out of a simple problem. In previous models of the Roomba, the tiny cleaning robot would spread pet accidents around the house because it couldn’t detect said pet accident.
To any human tasked with cleaning a floor, avoiding a messy pet would be child's play. For the designers at Roomba’s parent company, iRobot, this problem was a computer engineering nightmare. How do you teach a robot to see, understand, and avoid pet accidents? A.I. was the most straightforward answer to solve this question.
Photo Owner | QualComm
How exactly the iRobot team programmed their A.I. is a closely guarded secret. They were willing to tell CNN that it has to do a lot with image recognition algorithms. The scope of how these algorithms work is sadly beyond the breadth of a single article; however, the layman’s explanation would follow along the lines of feeding an algorithm millions of photos, and testing which version of the algorithm can identify your photos correctly and then keeping that version.
But A.I. is brand new. Right?
The version of A.I. that we use today is brand new in a manner of speaking. Some versions of A.I. exist in everything from vacuum cleaners to phones, computers, cars, and even your thermostat . Surprisingly, the idea for A.I. goes back to the early 1900s when computers first came to fruition.
In his 1950 paper, Computing Machinery and Intelligence , mathematician and early computer scientist Alan Turing developed an 'imitation game' for computers. A test to see if a computer could trick a human into believing the computer was a fellow human. In Turing's mind, if humans could store information and then apply that information to solve new problems, why couldn’t machines. The main reason that A.I. is seemingly popping out of nowhere today was the sheer cost of computing.
According to the Economist , In 1956, the cost of a single megabyte of data (roughly one minute of MP3 song data) was $99,250 when adjusted for inflation. In 2019 that same one minute of song data cost approximately $0.00002.
There’s a lot more to A.I. than fancy robots.
As mentioned above, the technologically infused world of today is full of A.I.: Algrothims, deep learning programs, and A.I. running every social channel, streaming website, or service. Airline A.I. programs can detect at which max price point a customer will buy a ticket, and even IBM's Watson doctor program is helping to detect lung cancer in humans.
While this is all well and good, one A.I. system has gotten quite the bad rap. The customer support chatbot or automated voice. It’s stuck into an endless cycle of miscommunication jokes in pop culture. This does make for great content but it is far from reality. Today's chatbots are so powerful that Vice News reported in early 2022 that people fell in love with Repilka’s A.I.-powered digital friend chatbot.
These chatbots are so prevalent that everyone from banking care systems to yoga mat companies is using chatbots and A.I. in several ways to reduce the time from customer question to answer. At least that’s the theory. Some brands use these chatbots exceptionally well. For example, after six questions in Instagram DMs, you’ll be sent to either the brand's community page, receive your answer via chatbot, or connect directly to a live agent. Others use chatbots to make you answer the same six questions and leave you no closer to a solution.
Go with Flow.ai to improve your care system.
For many, the use of more advanced technology, especially those built with A.I., is a change not worth making. It costs money to retrain staff, and have several cross-organizational meetings internally, which takes time and money, and the saying “if it's not broken, don’t fix it” is a saying for a reason. The question is, is it still profitable to lose customers repeatedly for poor customer care? Is it the best practice to lag behind and spend money on powerful tools only to not use them to their full potential?
One customer here at Khoros cited a 200%+ increase in ROI after implementing custom Khoros’ bots into their Care suite. The most likely reason for this is simple; happy customers. Happy customers will spend more with brands and recommend those brands to people in their social circles.
Take a fictional but all too common situation of a customer needing a simple exchange form for a pair of sneakers they bought on a brand’s Instagram page. It’s most likely that this customer is in a younger, more tech-savvy demographic. All they need is a page link to send their sneakers back for an exchange. They are not going to care if they get that link from a chatbot or a self-service page .
An important question to ask is, what is the likelihood of that customer continuing to use and recommend that sneaker brand if they can get an answer to their question in under 1 minute? How are the brand’s agents going to perform when they can focus on more complex customer calls and not a customer just looking for a single form?
Powerful doesn’t mean one size fits all.
Now, the idea of using the full suite of Khoros Care with Flow.ai for every brand is wildly shortsighted. Every brand is different in size, needs, and customer demographics. Some brands have younger, tech-savvy customers who would much rather use self-service, and some brands will have customers still paying their bills with paper checks and would love to just be connected to a live agent.
No matter which customer demographic is using a brand’s Care system, it is wise to use Chatbots and Flow.ai to get your customers routed as quickly as possible. If a customer can get their answer in 3-4 questions with the bot, that customer will be pleased.
Being mindful of your chatbot routing will be vital in utilizing their abilities. While increasing your call deflection could be appropriate for simple questions, relying on chatbots to answer every customer question could leave your customers frustrated, without an answer, and possibly looking at other options.
Before implementing any care system, take a moment to discover exactly who your customers are , and how to best route your chatbots to provide the best possible service.
Now that you have a broad understanding of A.I. and Khoros Flow, expand your knowledge and stay up to date on the latest in innovation by heading over to the Khoros resources below.
Preview Flow.ai and the onboarding experience by taking a look at our crash course video series
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Trust us. You don't want to overlook Instagram.
If your brand is wondering whether they should turn on Instagram DMs via Khoros , first ask yourself, "Are your customers using Instagram?"
"Many of our clients are on Instagram and we needed to find a more efficient way to respond to the hundreds of inquiries we receive daily. The Messenger API for Instagram has enabled our team to easily resolve queries received via Instagram messaging, comments and story mentions within the platform, providing a seamless experience for the client.”
- Hilary Lin, Sephora
Give customers the private support they need in the channels they love.
A key factor in driving positive “voice of customer” brand loyalty and increasing the levels of customer satisfaction is having a plan and process in place to help customers from the get go. A simple IG customer Care playbook will make a massive difference in turning casual shoppers into customers for life.
Consider the opportunities that Instagram DM provides to help your customer where and when they need it.
If someone is following your brand, they often expect to be considered a customer; this offers an opportunity for personalized support.
If you already know they are a customer, they expect you to handle any needs in any channel they are on, especially customer service.
Providing excellent support, both publicly and privately is a great way to build loyalty and brand awareness.
Whether it’s text, photos, videos, or voice chats, Instagram DM’s “ end-to-end ” encryption means no one but your care team and your customer can see any data shared. This attention to the protection of privacy not only improves customer loyalty and trust, but ensures your data is equally secure.
Customers want to feel valued and are more likely to promote and advocate brands that offer support in their channel of choice. The various forms of social media draw people in from all walks of life for meaningful connection. From liking and commenting on their friend’s vacation to shopping with your brand, Instagram DMs through Khoros could be the missing puzzle piece to providing a customer experience that genuinely fosters engagement.
Instagram DM provides opportunities to "get to know your customer" beyond Care.
If someone follows your brand, you already know they have some interest.
If they have already purchased from you, you can access their style.
If you follow them back, it is easy to see what interests they have to offer a personalized buying experience.
Why not slide onto their DM and give them a discount code for their next purchase? Based on what you have observed about their interests and past purchases, you could even set up a new marketing strategy for social media with Instagram at its core.
With great information comes great responsibility.
While you can access all of your customers' public Instagram data at the touch of a button, it’s important to balance your outreach with your customers. While some customers may love to have your brand’s DMs flash in their inbox, some customers might be turned off of your brand.
Try to avoid sending a mass DM to all your customers. A better strategy could be using the current customer data to send personalized DMs to only your most engaged customers.
Depending on your brand, use call deflection strategies to get your customers the support they need as quickly as possible.
Limit the amount of personal data you use to send messages to your customers. Too personalized of a message can easily dissuade a customer as it could increase engagement.
In simple terms, everyone loves when their friend remembers their birthday. Few people love when their friend knows how they organize their sock drawer.
Support customers in Instagram DMs, even if you have a small Care team .
Instagram direct messages (IG DM) could be considered less than ideal for your customer support systems from a business perspective. However, your customers are already liking, sharing, and posting about your brand in IG. If you plan on conducting any manner of business on IG, then chances are that your customer buying your product or service on Instagram will also seek customer support in the same place.
At first glance, a tidal wave of volume may overload your team’s capacity to provide meaningful support. Despite the initial frenzy of a thousand messages, a beautifully simple trend will emerge via Khoros.
Across your existing channels, you will discover that similar questions or brand topics repeat themselves. While utilizing the right tools for your brand, even a small care team can handle a thousand requests for support when the same six questions constantly repeat themselves.
Your agent experience goes a long way in creating a positive customer experience .
Having tools and processes for agents to quickly find and use answers will make it much easier for your customers and create a more positive experience!
Creating that positive experience can often be achieved via automation, bots and suggested responses, and an online Community.
Online Communities with public knowledge bases can significantly improve customer self-service and agent workload!
Change is only as complicated as you make it.
No matter what it is, change can be a complicated process. The old saying, “if it’s not broken, then don’t fix it” can ring especially true here. Maybe your customer care team is new to Instagram or maybe it’s only been a few months since your brand as a whole created an Instagram page. It can be unnerving to change a working system and adding Instagram to your care system is a prime example of this. However, our world of customer engagement is changing and Khoros is here to help you change with it.
Using Change Management planning and optimizing existing processes , you can quickly begin to ramp up the tasks necessary to take on this new channel with as few change friction points as possible. Take advantage of your Khoros tools such as throttling, welcome responses, and priorities to reduce the workload on your Care teams.
New to private messaging? Look at your public messages for the best initial strategy . With Khoros's analytics capabilities, you can provide personalized service while measuring response times to derive actionable insights.
Based on your other social channels , you can anticipate the types of conversations your current user base will start and will be able to prepare your agents accordingly.
It is always a solid goal to prepare your agents for predicted volume, the actual amount of predicted volume for IG DM’s could go one of two ways. It will most likely follow the amount of volume in your channels. However, for a clearer picture examine the number of your engaged IG customers to better predict volume for your IG Care channel.
Whether conversations are via social, community, or call center, you can quickly determine your top call drivers and high-priority conversations. Based on this, you can begin to create your SLAs. You will soon notice that customers who receive accurate answers on the first try will create positive sentiment and improve CSAT.
This, in turn, makes for a more positive agent experience .
You're ready for Instagram DM !
Be sure you've reviewed these necessary resources before authenticating an Instagram account.
Instagram Messaging API: Phased Access
Instagram Messaging: Access Controls
Instagram Authentication Checklist
Get a jump start on configuring your team flow. Khoros expert and product coach Lindsey will guide you through the various ways to use this new channel in Khoros the most effective way possible.
If you are using Marketing Inbox for responding, the following video will help you enable the Instagram Direct Message Channel, add streams, and create Topic queues for Instagram Direct Message.
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