Customer Service Lessons from my night in A&E


Earlier this month,I was playing bubble football with some random strangers thanks to a competition I won on the radio. I was only 5 mins on the pitch when I fell and dislocated me knee.


This was not the first time I had injured myself in way I should not have been able to and I doubt it will be the last. While I sat on the hospital bed in accident and emergency of Beaumont Hospital, looking the those around me I began to realise some of life lessons I learned from my many trips to the hospital. The following looks at those lessons and how I feel they can be applied to customer service.

Lesson #1:I have learned be a better listener.

I was born with a condition called Neurofibromatosis, this was the underlining reason to my many trips to the hospital. However, as it so rare I have often been left explaining what it is to the medical professionals around me. To be sure they understood what I was saying it took everything in me to sit still and really focus on not only what I said but how I said it. So that they could use this information when deciding on my treatment.

Customer Support Application: With a focus on minimising resolve times there can often be a rush to solving your customers issues. In the heat of those moments, we must sit still and really focus on what the customer is saying. For it is in those moments of listening that we often are able to determine the real issue and how we can solve it to prevent repeat issues. If we practice this often enough, it will not take any more time to solve the issue the customer is experiencing.

Lesson #2: I have learnt to be more patient. 

As a patient I have sat in waiting rooms for over 50 days of my life to date. When a doctor, surgeon, physiotherapist or nurse was running late I had no choice but to wait. When I finally did see them I didn't really care why they were late, I was just so appreciative that someone was there to see me.

Customer Support Application: When your customers are having issues, they may not be able to articulate the issue they are experiencing as well as the next person. You need to have the patience to allow them the time they need to explain their problem. The other side to this coin, is learning to be more patient with customers who may not fully understand the solution you give them, to fix the problem they are having. It is this through patience that we can actually turn around and save time.

Lesson #3: I have learned to be more appreciative.

Patients are one appreciative bunch! They truly are grateful when a doctor, can see them at short notice, review their labs with them, review all their medications with them, allow them to the ask questions, listen to them, educate them, counsel them….and the list goes on and on. Being around people like this many who were often much worse off than I was has taught me to be more appreciative of what I have.

Customer Support Application:  Just like patients, customers can be appreciative bunch, when they take they time to offer you feedback be sure to always say thank you. It is not just about having good manners. It is about showing appreciation for the fact your customer took the time to share the experience they had with your product/service.

Lesson #4: I learned about individual uniqueness. 

This lesson I learned from other people who also suffer from Neurofibromatosis. The genetic condition affects everybody differently. Indeed, no 2 patients are alike. As there is no cure for the condition, there is no one size fits all for how each patient should be treated. When I came to truly understand this I learned how we are all the same but yet uniquely different.

Customer Support Application: Just like patients in A&E every customer is different from the last and will be different to the next. Just like any good doctor will know what works for one patient may not work for the next. You too should know what works for one customer in solving there problem may not work for the next. You should also be aware that not everyone will be as familiar with your products/service as you are and you should be able to adapt as such to help them with any issue that they may have.

Working within customer service can one of the most challenging of occupations, but it also can be one of the most rewarding and gratifying. I know it is for me and I have my customers ( and my many nights on a hospital bed) to THANK for this.

What Pokémon Go has taught me over the last 7 days.


Since its release on July 6th Pokémon Go has been a massive success. It has taken over tinder as the most downloaded app. It has boosted Nintendo's valuation by as much as $7.5 billion. It dominates popular culture media and conversations on a daily basis. It has even resulted in a Pokémon themed dating service, PokéDates a service that promises to match you with your PokéParamour all you have to do is turn up the Charmander.





As someone who rushed home from school to finish my homework so I could watch Pikachu and Ash on one of their many adventures I can easily see why the game has become such a huge success.

Even if you’re not playing, there’s no way you could have missed the gamer changer that is Pokémon Go. This worldwide phenomenon, is quickly changing the way that we interact with our phones and the world. While augmented reality apps have been around for a while, nothing has changed the game like Pokémon Go. So as I’m sitting at my desk, burning virtual incense to attract Pokémon, a few things have occurred to me that relate to actual work.

Pokémon Go lesson #1: When you promise an experience, make sure you deliver.


As Ninatic is a former Google company (A company that held Gmail in beta for 5 years) it is no surprise that Pokémon Go has been released at a beta stage. A quick search will show you that almost everyone who has used the app has encountered at least one if not all of the following issues since the app was launched earlier this month.
  • servers not responding
  • inability to create accounts, 
  • an app that hangs just when you’ve caught that Abra that took 10 Pokéballs to catch. 
  • or the app not accepting your login and having to start from starch again.
To make matters worse when you do take the time to submit a support request, you will have a better chance of finding a Mewtwo than receive a response from there customer support team.

All this together is almost enough to make you want to drop kick your phone and quit playing altogether. 

A post on Reddit highlights how some customer imagine these issues have come about.


Now imagine that you are about to launch a brand new website/app/service. You’ve paid for media, and emailed your entire database, and then you suddenly spot an issue that could result in serious problems for you customers. Do you take a leaf out Ninantic's book and launch anyway or do you stop and fix the issues even if it does mean having push your release date back by a few months.

Follow Ninatic's approach and all of your hard work, and the excitement you’ve built with your prospects and existing customers, has just been washed away. Of course marketing snafus will happen – it’s inevitable. Nor is any software ever 100% bug free. However you can mitigate some of the risk with a couple of key steps;
  • Test
  • Test
  • Test 
  • and Test again.
Testing is something that should be done at every stage of any project you take on and not just something to tack on at the every end. Even you have managed to do this and the project launch has has been a success you should continue to test. Over time you will make slight changes, developers will come and go and you will hopefully gain a lot of new customers. All this can lead to stress on your application and without the proper testing along the way it can lead to a lot of frustrated customers.

At Cogneto Smasher.io our stress testing service that cant help you with this testing before you launch and long after your project has become a success to help you ensure it remains that way.  If you are launching a project soon and would it to be fully verified by a third party  I would be happy to discuss with you how Smasher can help you.

Pokémon Go lesson #2: People will hand over their information for the promise of a great experience.

When I first set up my Pokémon Go account last week when it launched here in Ireland I was pleasantly surprised by the brazenly broad amount of personal information that was required for logging in. Niantic, the makers of Pokémon, requested access to just about everything about me except for what I ate for dinner and whether I wore boxers vs. briefs (reports suggest they have since backed off). 

Yet this did not stop me and millions of other people from signing up immediately? Nope. Setting up “gates” by putting forms in front of your best, most compelling content, is truly OK. This not only helps B2B marketers to convert unknown visitors to known contacts, but it also provides an opportunity to score those contacts through how they have interacted with your high-value content.

However given Ninantic's lack of communication or willingness to return the favour and share information with its customers when issues occur it shows a lack of transparency with the company something which will be sure to come back to haunt them later.

Had the company reciprocated the sharing of information via status page informing customers of errors as and when they happened. Frustration between customers and company may not be so high.

Yet it seems even this basic task was left to fans of the game to create themselves. As fans of the game and providers of a status page service StatusHub we too created our status page (pokemongo.statushub.io). 

If you would like to offer your customer a level of transparency and trust that comes with sharing information about issues to your services. I would be happy to speak with you about how StatusHub can work for you and some of the company's that are already enjoying the benefits tour StatusHub service.

Pokémon Go lesson #3: People are social and actually like talking with other people about topics that excite them.

Over the last week I have got to experience the unstoppable virality of Pokémon Go. All you have to do is take a walk down to your local park/ shopping centre to see what I mean. Yes you may see zombies staring at their screens and think that people have been doing this long before Pokémon Go. So what has changed. For people who have been playing the game things couldn't be more different.



People who don’t know each other are working together as teams to battle gyms, and actually talking with each other to coordinate attacks.I have even stopped what I was doing to offer tips to the person sitting next me on my regular commute who was just starting to play the game.

So I began to question what could I do that could help Cogneto harness that power for our products. So I asked myself 
  1. What could we do that would get our customers and prospects so excited that they want to share?
  2. What would we need to do to foster those interactions? 
Local user groups and meet-ups would be a great way to bring our best customers together with prospects. Our advocates would become our best sales people, because nothing sells like hearing from peers that have the same challenges.  However as our customer community is primarily online, I have begun to take a look at how we can create a virtual experience that would simulate that face-to-face interaction?

Give your loyal customers a reason to be proud of their relationship with your company, product, or service, and they will become your most effective marketing channel.

Pokémon Go lesson #4:  Good content is like a mythical rare Pokémon – those elusive very rare buyers will actually seek you out.

Back in 2010 I starting my career learning SEO before I had even graduated from college. Since then I have learned the value of good content and the many different forms it can come in.

Yet it took an app that can drain my battery by 90% in 45 minutes to teach me that no matter what age you are everyone likes fun content, even if you are at work/college. We are all busy. Sometimes, we are so busy that we forget to stop and have fun, so distractions, especially when they help you do your job better, can be a very welcome thing.

Take a look at you inbox. Go ahead I'll wait. Now many of the emails you received were B2B emails. Did you click on any of these mails.

Emails of any kind that get attention are either a) super, super relevant and timely, or b) humorous and offer a chance for some levity. That bottom-funnel, highly targeted communications email that you send every week probably works pretty well, because it is relevant.

But how are your top-funnel, “attract” communications doing? If you’re not already using humorous or provocative content, maybe it’s time to test something new. And it’s important to remember – catching a Pidgee is great, but sometimes you have to go out and actually find the Pokémon (or buyers) you really want where they are.


 


Pokémon Go lesson #4: Games are fun. EVERYONE LOVES TO WIN.

Since I first took up the control pad of my Sega Mega Drive many many years ago I learned that games could make learning a new skill or piece of software both fun and rewarding. Adding achievements to the process also gave me a reason to keep playing the game.

Take a look at your content does it offer customers/prospects a chance to feel rewarded for having taken the time to engage with your company. If not can you create this experience for them.

Content that educates prospects about your service, while being fun and sharable, is a great way to juice up your “attract” content.

Is your product reliant on continual usage for your customers to get the most out of it. Perhaps you can find a way to reward your customer for ongoing engagement. They’ll have fun, possibly become more loyal, it will give them a reason to share and it will give you a reason to speak with your customers outside of them having issue with your product.


Wrap up

The lessons I have learned from Pokémon Go over the last week have been very valuable to me as a Customer Service Agent, even if you would prefer that Pokémon  would just Go away. At least we have all learned that nostalgia can be a very powerful tool.

Your Friday Inspiration


Please hold your call is important to us. A member of our support team will be with you shortly.
We hate to be told to wait, its human nature. As guy with a limp who becomes easily frustrated with people who walk slow. Today's technology has allowed to have instant gratification in almost every area of life, thanks to e-tolls, fast passes for theme parks and moving walkways. We can get have fast food delivered right to our door for when we are feeling extra lazy.

When we have a problem that need solving we really hate waiting. That is why those automated phone messages can be so annoying. Customer service teams have been able to use live chat, social media, knowledge bases and community forums to help reduce the time a customer has to wait for solution. 

But unless there is always someone available on the live chat and social media channels to answer questions we may have,  we can become more frustrated about having to wait till someone comes online to speak with us, or worse still having to submit a support request with no idea of when we will receive a solution. We face a similar issue with knowledge bases and community forums if they are not consistently kept up to date.

So how can we ensure our customers don't feel frustrated every time they try to contact our customer support teams. the obvious answer would be to either ensure we have someone available to answer questions or that our KB's and community forums are always up to date. But at times this is not always possible, so the next thing we should look at is ensuring our "First Response Time" is kept as low as possible.

First response time (also called first reply time) is the number of minutes (or hours) elapsed between the time a customer submits a case and the time a customer service rep responds to the customer. It’s best measured in business hours, so you’re not penalized for time off the clock. Common sense tells us that the less time a customer has to spent waiting to hear from us the more satisfied they will be with our service.

So how can we reduce this time to help improve our customer satisfaction. 

Collin Burke a Marketing Associate at InsightSquared highlights 3 ways that we can achieve this in his article 3 Ways To Reduce Your First Response Time for the company's blog. His article takes a look at why response times are so important an what we can do to improve them.

An article for PagerDuty shows how they were able to cut response time in half while increasing their support ticket volume. Keeping customers happy is a source of pride at PagerDuty. While having a reliable product that is loved by their customers makes their lives easier, people still run into the occasional issue. This article shows how they implemented some unique tools and processes to ensure their customers receive the support they deserve.

However, Gregory Ciotti who works in marketing for Help Scout recently published an article to LinkedIn. In it he shows us that the "Get em' in and Get em' out" may not always be be the best approach to improving customer satisfaction. While it is true people hate to wait, we can find it even more annoying if we are just being told what we want to hear in order to hang up and speak with the next person on the line. Gregory's article shows that taking time to solve a customer's problem could prove to be more beneficial to a company. 

After all the last thing we want to do is deliver a a high speed customer service that ends up leaving a bad taste in customers' mouths either.

Your Friday Inspiration



Once a upon a time, in a far off land
As  children we all became familiar with this phrase when it came to our bedtime stories. We would lie there and fall asleep and dream of far off lands filled with giants , unicorns and magic. Through the art of storytelling we learned valuable life lessons. E.G Belling the Cat: Execution Is More Important than Ideas, something our founder Ian Bergin spoke about in a recent blog.

Telling stories has been a timeless skill and an essential driver of change throughout human history for both good and bad. Great stories surprise. They draw us in. They have fascinating characters. They make think, make us feel. Great stories stick in our minds and help us remember ideas and concepts in a way that balance sheets or text on slides never will.

I truly believe that this is only reason that Kickstarter and Indiegogo have become so successful. The thousands of creators who use these platforms have been able to rally the support of millions by being able to get their stories in front of people. These platforms just don't allow creators to tell there stories but they actually demand it. Every project has to have a video where the creators explain what they are doing, why they are doing it and why they need your help.

Unfortunately in an era of status updates, tweets and snaps many of us have forgotten how to tell a good story. However, it is these same omnipresent sharing platforms that has transformed our lives. That have made the skill of storytelling to become uniquely essential again. As we spend  up to 3 hours a day consuming content across these platforms, storytelling is a skill not only every individual will need to master but every business too.
'78% of of CMO's think content is the future of marketing' Hanley Wood 2013
The same research also showed that two thirds of marketers believe that branded content is superior to traditional forms of marketing. That's massive.

Perhaps this largely due to how social media has allowed us to become comfortable with talking directly to the companies we buy from. Business's are genuinely excited about putting their content in your Facebook feeds next to pictures of our friends and family. But as more companies begin to spew their content into every orifice of the internet  truly successful marketers will be the ones who can craft compelling stories.

Image Source

The truth is in the end  no one gives a shit about your marketing goals or product roadmap. But everyone likes a good story and those that can tell one will have an increasing advantage. With stories what you say is often moot compared to how you say it. Taking this point lets look at how we can use stories to improve how we engage with our customers.

In a blog post for  Constant Contact Marisa Donelan tells us that there is one thing your business has that is unique, which will always set them apart from your competition.  Your competition can never take it from you and you will always be an expert on the subject. Your business story.  Throughout the rest of her post Marisa sets out a series of ideas for how you can create customer connections through storytelling.

Similarly Corey Pemberton states that storytelling is a weapon that every business has in their arsenal that can help them level the playing field and stand out from their competitors regardless of their size. In his post 5 ways to captivate customers with storytelling for duct tape marketing, Corey shows us that every time you start you tell your story you should start with the end in mind. Understanding where you’re going, hones your focus; it keeps you from rambling and losing valuable attention.

Helen Nesterenko founder and CEO of Writtent.com reminds in in her article that people have been telling stories since we could draw on cave walls. Bedtime stories, grand odysseys, tall tales, epic adventures, tragedies, romances, comedies - these are how we understand one another, how we bond with each other.
When told correctly stories build connections between you and your prospects - emotional connections that keep them coming back to you. Through the art of storytelling we can win our customers hearts. In order to do this we have to know what makes a good story. Then refine them and know when to use them in right place to build connections with our customers. In her article Helen shows how to do just that.

As technology increasingly intertwines us all, those who can tell a good story will rule the world. It will be our job as businesses to make sure the good guys are the ones telling the best stories.  Like every other skill we are going to need to practice it.

Your Friday Inspiration


Well opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one: Harry Callahan -The Dead Pool

This is one of my favourite movie quotes of all time. All you have to do is open up Twitter or Facebook to see how true this is. No matter the topic everyone has an opinion, and even if they know nothing about that topic, they will still have an opinion. Don't believe me, just look ahead to the Olympics in August, how many of your friends and family will suddenly become experts in Badmintion or Water Polo or Volleyball, despite having never watched these sports before.

We all know that "Customer Feedback" are your customer's opinion of your product or service. Yet it is these opinions that  can either make or break you as a business. So why is it that companies feel that when customer's offer feedback they can ignore it.

In 2011 research from Maritz and Evolve24 showed that from 1,298 Twitter complainants found that only 29% of those tweet gripes were replied to by the companies in question.

However, as bad as no response is to a customer complaint. Some companies can may the matter worse when they do respond. Those of that use Twitter on a regular basis know that companies have been trying to use bots to respond to questions from customers, since at least 2013. Yet it never seems to end well, just ask British Airways and Bank of America both of whom experienced gaffes when they tried this approach. Even Microsoft fell victim to this when they decided to make an "AI" Twitter bot. The creation was designed to learn from its users through conversation. Needless to say, trolls made the bot, named Tay, turn into a huge racist in less than a day.




As a result, Microsoft's research team quickly deleted the tweets and put the project on pause

Now we have established that it’s inevitable. You’re going to at some point receive a negative customer review. Even if you’ve done everything by the book, it only takes that one bad experience to ruin your flawless record of positive feedback. Of course, you may be thinking that just because one person has nothing better to do than nitpick, it won’t really affect business, right? Wrong.

Research has proven that “80% of people have changed a purchase decision due to a bad review they saw.” That’s a fairly significant stat, and that’s putting it lightly. So what can you do to ensure when a customer decides to offer you their opinion that they feel their voice has been heard.

The 7 Best Ways to Gather Customer Feedback: A recent blog post from Gregory Ciotti at Help Scout discusses 7 ways you can gather feedback from your customers; these include everything from the traditional survey to your On-Site Activity. In the article Gregory asks us to examine why we want to collect feedback
from our customers and shows which channels is works best to help us complete our goals.

How you ask customers for feedback is as important as why you are asking them for feedback. But how can you be sure that they will take the time out of their day to offer it to you. In a recent article for Customer Guru Sonal Jaiswal shares 11 Excellent Tips to get Customers to COMPLETE Your Feedback Form.

When you ask your customers for feedback it can be often be difficult to get everyone to respond. Sonal's tips will help ensure that both you and your customer's get most of this experience every time.

Now that you have collected you feedback, what are you going to do with it.  However, not all feedback is equal. Some is aspirational, hypothetical or third party statements. Even when you have managed to weed those types out the feedback what remains is unlikely to be all of equal value. In a recent blog post for Intercom Sian Townsend discusses what filters you should apply to your feedback to help you decide which feedback is most important. Sian goes on to discuss how you can analyse the open ended feedback you have gathered. Unfortunately there is no perfect tool that can automate this job for you. Analysing open ended feedback is just pretty hard and time intensive. Read Sian's article Making sense of customer feedback to see how you can take open ended customer feedback and turn it into an actionable list of issues your team can address.

As you gather your feedback and turn it into actionable tasks to improve your product or service, the key to realise is you don't really close the loop but rather start the cycle again. This way your customers can tell you if have actually made any improvements to your business that matters to them.


Further Reading
PRODUCT FEEDBACK YOU SHOULD IGNORE




StatusHub for Universities


As Universities embrace the power of mobility, and  make more student and faculty resources available as an online service, the quandary for them becomes one of not just maintaining availability for what are now critical applications and data repositories, but one of managing communications around that. Cogneto.io has been proud to have been working closely with Universities around the world on this problem.


StatusHub is one of our favourite services ever created. We don't just say that because we own it, but because we used it before we acquired it. We love the simplicity and power of the service, and the empowerment of communications management and control it puts into your hands when you operate online services.

We even use it for our own services such as PointDNS, StillAlive, Smasher, Twist and even for StatusHub itself (we won't bore you with how we use StatusHub for StatusHub - but safe to say, its pretty darn cool!). When we took notice of how many colleges around the world, or education institutes were using it in particular, we started talking with them about their experiences, and what we learned was incredible about how some were using it - even for things we never thought of like T.A. and lecturer availability. It was just so cool to see StatusHub used for this.

With some of our team having been involved in the mobility enablement space in education in previous businesses, we got the issues facing them. We understood the pressures that were now on top of them to deliver radically different I.T. needs on campus, and off campus for students and faculty alike.

Mobility Empowerment

With this demand for mobility and more online learning and campus management resources, came the issue of keeping people pro-actively informed about what was going on. Some educational institutes had on-campus status notifications systems, but many of these were unmaintained in-house built services that to bring them up to spec for what they needed was a big investment in time and resources for coding/testing not to mention maintenance. 

The great strength of things like StatusHub is that it removes the focus on building/maintaining these kind of systems, which often is not core to what the I.T. team in an educational institute does, to allow them to provide the service levels they need while benefitting from what StatusHub can do.

With these great conversations with some of our customers, it led us to create StatusHub for Universities. Recognising that the I.T. teams needs at larger educational institutes are very often more involved than what alot of our regular StatusHub users need, we've created something that reflects those needs.

#SimplicityRevolution

It is hugely satisfying for our team to work within the education space, as this is where the next wave of founders, dreamers and 'crazy ones' will come from who will bring their visions and ideas to the world, and helping their University of choice to deliver services to make that happen is just exciting. 

We love to see not just evolution in technology use, but real revolution to allow more people to make better use of their time to do amazing things, creating engaging customer/user experiences and to reshape the perception of technology from it being a mysterious 'art' to it being a functional, attainable, usable tool to be put into the hands of as many people as possible to use to achieve their goals.

Working with Universities for us is a massive pleasure, and honour. Some of us were in University doing I.T., and we remember the early pushes to online resources within campus Intranets. Their availability was crucial to us. With Universities almost 20 years later being better equipped, with some kick-ass learning toolsets and resources, these services are even more crucial for today's students. These are the tools that also help shape future business leaders, entrepreneurs and those who will be vital employees to companies they go into when they embark on their professional careers.

It's a great and exciting time to be a part of the education digital revolution. This revolution is about helping people work smarter not harder in pursuit of their goals, which is a foundation ethos of our 'simplicity revolution'.

Check out our website - StatusHub for Universities. Try it out for yourself and bring the revolution to your college campus.

Your Friday Inspiration

Bots: Do they really have place in customer service.


Until the rise of social media companies could very easily get away with offering poor customer service. CEO's could devise ways of ensuring when customers complained that they got as little as possible. For a long time this poor approach to customer service worked.

But then social media platform's like Facebook and Twitter gave everyone a soapbox from which they could tell the world whenever they experienced an issue with a company. Within a matter of minutes of minutes they can have shared their story with hundreds if not thousands of potential customers. However, if a company is not using these platforms, their concerns and issues often go unheard. Worse still when companies do use these channels but refuse to listen to customer's issues and discuss them on that channel, it can often call us to question why they are even using the platform at all.



Imagine this query could have been solved in the same thread and future customers with the same question would also have a solution. Yet, now the customer faces the dreaded contact form from which he may not receive a response.  But nothing is worse than the dreaded call centre even Amy Schumer agrees.




Another tool that has also gained in popularity has been chat windows. Often this can be a better medium than the phone because answers to problems can often be communicated with minutes even seconds. However, this channel is not without its problems either. As it relies on communication via text, meanings can easily be misunderstood which can leave the customer fustrated. It also assumes that a rep will always be online at the same time as the customer and that they both speak the same language with the same level of fluency.

Yet in spite of these challenges, this truly is one of the most exciting times to be involved with customer service. One of the most new and exciting advancements has been chatbots. In a recent article, The Guardian described chatbots as:

“Chat bots are computer programs that mimic conversation with people using artificial intelligence. They can transform the way you interact with the internet from a series of self-initiated tasks to a quasi-conversation.”
In recent months we’ve seen Facebook, Kik, and  Apple all discuss bot platforms  that will sit on top of their messengers, since then everyone and anyone has been declaring our bot filled future.

Gigi Peccolo of Customer Thinks has compiled 5 Reasons Why Your Customer Service Should Include Chatbots. In his article he sets out 5 reasons why company's should include bot's as part of their customer service and how bot's can benefit both the company and their customers. He concludes by saying while we all may be open to the idea of bots in our B2C communications. That it is still early days in the chatbot wave the future does look promising.

 of Venture Beat also complied a similar list of benefits of how bots could benefits customers. They list is based around information Lisa gather after speaking with a dozen executives to learn what bot implementations hold the most promise. The executives are at the front lines of bot adoption and, across the board, they pointed to customer service as the starting point. The article discusses 10 ways bots can surprise and delight your customers. Concluding Lisa states that these chatbot's are only the beginning and that in  future bots may soon address a wider range of consumer needs — by anticipating them through service integration and personalization. For example a retailer bot may suggest birthday gifts for your loved ones weeks in advance.

However, it would seem that not everyone is as enthused about bots. Paul Adams VP of Product @Intercom states that while everyone may be talking about the rise of chatbots; we should not forget that humans are pretty good too.  His article BOTS VERSUS HUMANS he takes a serious look at what bots are, their limitations where and when they should be used. He concludes by saying;

When you walk into a store you can have your pick of people to talk to for help. When you open your favorite apps there isn’t a human to be found anywhere. Pretending that bots are humans is impersonal. If customers are in conversation with an entity who they think is a person, but then realise through inevitable technical limitations that it is in fact a bot, how do you imagine they will feel? And how could that feeling ever be good for business?
Bots will augment conversations between humans. They will help answer simple questions in win-win scenarios. But thankfully for everyone, they won’t replace humans any time soon.
Whatever your view on chatbots. Only time will tell how they can truly benefit customer service.  I for one look forward to seeing how we at Cogneto, may be able to use such bots to benefit our customers.