Customer service needs to be reimagined for a new era. More than two-thirds of consumers say they prefer serving themselves to relying on a conversation with a customer support representative, and a surprising 91 percent of people would use a self-support service if it met their needs.
Self-service is becoming more popular. Information is more readily available. Mobile devices are affording customers more demand for instant gratification. Together, all these factors are reshaping how we think about customer support, and are driving the innovation of new technologies to improve the average customer experience.
One of the most important new technologies to emerge from this drive is the “insight engine”, an advancement of typical forms of search that uses intelligent methods to provide more relevant results—and more data to fuel its potential.
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Elements of an Insight Engine
What makes an insight engine different than traditional search engines?
- Natural language interfaces: Insight engines don’t function based strictly on keywords and keyword mapping. Instead, they populate results based on takeaways they’ve gathered from natural language recognition. There are many advantages to this. First, customers can make queries in a way that seems more natural to them, posting conversational questions rather than manually entering specific keywords. Second, consumers get results that match what they intended to search for—so long as the insight engine is designed intelligently.
- Reliance on big data: Collectively, we’re producing more than 2.5 exabytes every day—enough to fill more than 10 million Blu-ray discs. The amount of data available to companies is staggering, and insight engines exist to take advantage of that data. Harnessing the behavioral patterns and new knowledge that big data can reveal, insight engines provide more relevant results to their users.
- Finally, insight engines don’t give users an identical list of results every time they enter a similar query. Instead, they’re capable of giving users a more personalized experience. Some insight engines are able to make small tweaks to results based on the wording of a given query, and others rely on users’ personal histories to generate more custom-made results.
Advantages for Customer Support
Typically, you’ll use an insight engine as the first line of customer service. For example, you may include your insight engine platform on the Help or FAQ page of your site or app. In an eCommerce platform, you may also include it to help customers find the products they’re looking for. In any case, with an insight engine, you’ll offer the following advantages:
- Custom experiences: Customers love having personalized experiences. When they feel like they’re on an assembly line of customer service, they’re less satisfied with the results. Instead, insight engines address specific customer wants and needs; so every experience is unique, relevant, and custom-fitted to the individual using it.
- Faster, more relevant results: Depending on the design and coding used, insight engines have the potential to give users faster and more relevant results than their traditional search counterparts. That means users find what they’re looking for in less time, and are more likely to walk away satisfied.
- Differentiation from the competition: Brands that stand out from the competition are more willing to succeed in the long term. Providing a high-tech insight engine helps you differentiate your brand from the competition, attracting and retaining more loyal customers in the process.
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When Will Insight Engines Become the Norm?
The concept of the “insight engine” has been around for several years now, but the technology is still in its infancy—and is loosely defined. Even natural language recognition search engines, like those in most modern smartphones, can qualify as insight engines. With that in mind, insight engines are already starting to become the norm. In fact, it’s estimated that about 50 percent of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.
So how soon do you need to adopt an insight engine? There are clear benefits to doing so immediately, but the competitive pressure is just starting to ramp up. Indeed, within the next decade, insight engines will become the norm; but the sooner you start optimizing your systems for more intelligent forms of search, the better.