In the US, over 50 percent of companies currently provide customer service via social media, and we have already seen Places enabling customers to talk to any local business via text message. Moving customer relations online makes support teams more available and approachable, significantly cutting down on the stress and costs associated with call centres. Now, two new solutions from Germany and India are hoping to help the rest of the world’s businesses catch up — providing new platforms for digital customer service.
Haptik is a mobile messaging assistant from India which enables customers to receive real-time support and information for over 200 international companies, including American Express, BMW, British Airways and many more. Users begin by downloading the app to their smartphone or tablet. They then send a query to Haptik via the WhatsApp-style platform and an assistant will respond within six minutes. The platform’s experts — who specialize in specific areas such as wireless and telecom or food and delivery — offer a huge range of services from finding a mobile plan, to locating a nearby ATM, to troubleshooting a customer’s IT problem. Users simply browse the categories in the app to see if Haptik can help with their particular problem. As more companies come on board, potential services offered will continue to expand.
In Germany meanwhile, Hello.de offer a similar service using the pre-existing social messaging platform — WhatsApp — as well as social media sites including Facebook and Twitter. Businesses can outsource their customer services to Hello.de who will provide a gateway platform on WhatsApp where consumer problems and enquiries can be seen to by Hello.de’s e-commerce sales assistants. Additionally, their staff can respond to queries on Twitter and Facebook, managing the companies’ reputation and offering customers a more enjoyable alternative to lengthy, costly phone calls.
Are there other businesses that could make use of these services?