Kustomer Expands Opportunities for Channel Partners in Enterprise Call and Contact Centers

For years, customer service software and CRM vendors have taken a direct sales approach. This has effectively locked out resellers, systems integrators, VARs, consultants and other traditional channel partners from offering their clients a one-stop shop for comprehensive call and contact center solutions.

That ends today.

A New Approach to Partnerships

Just as Kustomer is “Reimagining Customer Service” for leading brands around the world, we’re also reimagining the relationship between vendor and channel to the benefit of our partners and the businesses they serve. Kustomer’s approach is to ensure that our reseller and referral partners grow their client relationships by continuing to build trust through their expertise, making the business stickier, all while providing new revenue streams.

For resellers and service providers this means owning the entire relationship from software sale, associated services, and even first line support, to billing and renewals. In other words, a comprehensive and consolidated call and contact center solution. For referral partners it means continuing to demonstrate the value of your experience by bringing innovative, best-of-breed solutions that meet the evolving needs of your clients and helps them seamlessly continue their various digital initiatives.

A Platform that Meets the Needs of Today’s Customer Service Teams

The digitization of business and the rise of the on-demand economy has increased consumers’ expectations of customer service organizations. Whether a business is a year old or fifty years old, companies across industries and around the world are trying to provide the rich customer experiences necessary to compete. The issue for them is that the existing legacy customer service solutions, built before the iPhone, fall short.

Kustomer has made it our mission to reimagine how a software platform could make personalized, efficient, and effortless customer service a reality.

The Kustomer platform uses intelligence to automate repetitive, manual tasks and provide service agents unprecedented insight into a customer’s history. By unifying customer purchase and activity history from all of a company’s systems on the Kustomer timeline, agents have data-driven, actionable conversations without changing screens. As a true omnichannel platform, customers and agents can switch between different channels as needed during a conversation, while maintaining the context to progress conversations forward without customers repeating information and eliminating agent collision.

Partnering with Kustomer

Founded in 2015 and growing at triple digit rates annually, Kustomer has received $113.5M from leading venture capital firms, such as Tiger Global Management, Battery Ventures, and Redpoint Ventures. And Kustomer is the core platform for noted customer service brands, such as Ring, Glossier, UNTUCKit, Away, and Glovo.

We are actively expanding our channel network to include partners that share our vision to: deliver new solutions to enterprise call and contact centers that improve the customer service experience. We are excited to partner with companies looking to add a growing technology platform that will drive increased revenue streams and strengthen client relationships for your business.

The Kustomer partner program ensures our partners to no longer miss out on software revenue. With low lift and no cost of entry, we provide each partner with a dedicated channel manager, technical training and enablement, and will pair our account teams with yours in every opportunity.

Whether you’re a reseller or referral partner, you can begin taking advantage of the expanded opportunities Kustomer provides by contacting us at partners@kustomer.com.
 

Mike Schulman is Director, Global Channels & Alliances at Kustomer.

The Truth About Bots and Intelligent Automation

84% of the attendees of our recent webinar, The Truth About Bots and Intelligent Automation, consider Customer Experience Automation a priority for their strategy going forward. What options are available for the automation-minded company, and will a bot deliver amazing service AND make you breakfast? Well, not quite. We got to the bottom of these questions on air, and you can too from the recap below.

Watch the recording here.

Peter Johnson, Kustomer’s VP of Product, and Kaan Ersun, Solvvy’s SVP of Marketing, are both authorities on bots, automation, and using intelligent technologies for better service and support. They discussed the pros and cons of the solutions out there, and made some suggestions for picking and enabling more intelligent service.

Is Automation a Priority?

To kick things off, we started with a poll to take the temperature of the audience. We asked, “Is adopting a customer experience automation solution, such as bots, a priority for you / your organization?” The results were surprising—the majority of respondents were actively pursuing an automation strategy. Here’s the breakdown:

Yes, this year: 40%

Yes, next year: 32%

Yes, within 2 years: 12%

Not a priority: 16%

Terms You Need to Know

To level-set, PJ and Kaan laid out an overview of the terminology they’ll be using when discussing this complicated technology.

While “intelligent” technologies have existed since Roman times, the term “Artificial Intelligence” came into use in the 1950s—though truly intelligent products just started becoming widely available over the last handful of years. Machine Learning is a more specific application, referring to the ability of machines to advance their program and “learn” from their mistakes without additional programming. A good example is the recent Google AI that beat a world champion at Go. Deep Learning is an even more advanced subset, describing computers that use algorithms that mimic the neural networks of the human brain—meaning they can learn on multiple levels without human supervision.

Bots—Are They All They’re Cracked Up to Be?

But how are these advancements being used on a practical level today? Bots are already taking on a variety of service and service-adjacent tasks within the enterprise, from Digital Marketing and DIY Service, to use cases involving virtual assistants. However, these experiments are still in their early stages. While they may help scale your service, they require a lot of effort to build, and lack customer understanding and the ability to deliver a quality, memorable experience. When you look at the cost and effort to build one versus the level of experience they provide, the math is a bit off.

As PJ put it:

“You’ve probably contacted or been contacted by a support system that tried to act like a human being, but clearly is not. One of our best practices is not to try to seem human, because it can really hurt your brand image and experience.”

On top of that, they aren’t exactly plug-and-play. Service teams have to create replies for every possible input, and they need to be customized for the relevant terminology and details of your business. Actually integrating them with your existing data systems can be a headache, plus they need ongoing maintenance every time you add a new feature or product.

Who’s Using Bots?

Bots may not be the tech overlords they’ve been billed as (yet), but other applications of automation and intelligent systems can supe up your support. And, it’s probably not too late. In our second poll, we learned that most attendees haven’t started using bots yet:

We asked, “What has been your experience with traditional bot technology in your CX operations?” and these were the results:

We use a bot today and love it: 9%

We use a bot today and have encountered some issues: 12%

We use a bot today and have encountered many issues: 12%

I don’t use any bot technology today: 67%

From Bots to Conversational Experience

Before you start experimenting with bots, it’s good to know your options. As Kaan recommended:

“It’s key to have an overarching, holistic automation strategy first—then you can deploy bots as point solutions.”

Bots are a part of this strategy, but not the only focus. Instead, you can also use automation in conjunction with other integrations and platforms to create a stronger experience. Conversational forms look like a chat, but can be used to gather customer info and issues before handing off to a more capable agent to handle the issue. A system that automatically suggests responses to agents works the same as a bot, but uses the added layer of human oversight to learn the right way to respond by tracking your agents’ decisions. And automation is useful for suggesting tags, categorization, macros, helpbase articles, and assisting workflow and reporting—all things that can speed up your experience and make it more efficient, without directly interacting with customers.

As PJ summarized: “Automation is not just about helping the customer, it’s about helping your support organization scale, and identifying areas the product team can improve.”

Kutomer and Solvvy work together to make conversational experience a reality. If you submit a question to Solvvy and can’t find the answer, you can choose to instantly open up a chat in Kustomer and get the answer. Kustomer’s conversational form then collects your personal information, then connects you with an agent who knows your whole customer history.

Where to Begin?

Where do you start the process of using automation or bots strategy if you haven’t already? Kaan had some advice: “Number one, define a strategy, and figure out where the bot can be useful to you, where it won’t work, then pursue new opportunities. Start with the big picture, then move towards implementation.”

Adding to Kaan’s advice, PJ suggested going straight to the data: “First thing: Look at your reporting, and see where you have the highest level of support volume. Look for patterns, see which questions your customers are asking, and what the most repetitive tasks are for your agents?”

If you’re taking a wide-angle approach and carefully planning your strategy, instead of leaping head first into messing around with a bot, your initiatives are much more likely to be a success.

You can always watch the recording HERE, and for more great insights into service, experience, and technology, follow Solvvy and Kustomer.

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