SaaS provider Zoho has released several new tools for Zoho Desk, the company's main customer service platform application, including so-called blended chat, a blended human- and robot-powered chat service, as well as various enhancements for your user. Interface. to better assist customers with accessibility needs.

Over the past few years, in the customer service industry, there has been a drastic shift towards self-service, said Prashanth Krishnaswami, Zoho's director of market strategy, adding that while the industry expected to see some changes, the pace at which place caught some off guard.

“Many aspects of a customer's ability to manage their relationship with a brand have been made available to self-service in the last two or three years, much more so than before the pandemic,” he said.

As a result, Zoho has made self-service a priority, and to help organizations better deliver the customer service experience consumers are looking for, Zoho has added a number of new features to its Zoho Desk offering.

The first new tool is Blended Conversations, which combines Zoho's instant messaging (IM) framework and its Guided Conversations tool to balance human intervention with bot-driven automation to help customer service agents deliver the best consumer experience.

The Guided Conversations feature was launched by Zoho in 2021 and works as a low-code self-service platform that allows organizations to create virtual agents to guide customers through the first steps of inquiries.

"It's really not breaking news that customers prefer chat channels when receiving services from brands," Krishnaswami said. However, while bots can be the source of some customer frustration, Krishnaswami explains that they have a key role to play in the customer service process, as they can help consumers solve their own problems through bots that maintain themselves, ensuring higher priority for clients. it must be dealt with quickly.

“Bots are really good at a lot of challenges, but customers hate the impersonal experience they get when a bot is left in charge of the overall experience,” he said. "Robots are also often designed to go through the entire flow independently and don't really work in tandem with human agents when conversing with the customer."

The new blended conversations tool will allow agents to delegate most manual and transactional tasks to bots, while maintaining control of the overall service experience. Meanwhile, the IM Framework can integrate any messaging service with Zoho Desk and is pre-integrated with services like WhatsApp, Telegram, Line, WeChat, Messenger and Instagram, with more to be announced in the future.

Krishnaswami said that Zoho believes this tool is the "real middle ground" because it brings together the bot and the human agent to deliver a "truly seamless" customer experience.

In addition to the merged conversations, Zoho also announced a redesign of its user interface to make it simpler, faster, and more accessible for users with a wide range of different needs. Updates include options to support: cognitive and dyslexia challenges; visual impairments, including astigmatism; reduced entertainment for people with seizure disorders; colorblind customization capabilities.

Krishnaswami said that in recent years the customer service industry has begun to see experience become a key differentiator for brands at all levels as customer expectations continue to rise.

"Before, the focus was largely on customer satisfaction or happiness, which is just the last mile of the experience measurement itself," he said.

Now, brands understand that the experience must be end-to-end, which means that the customer service component is more important than ever.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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