- Zoho, a SaaS provider, has launched many new tools for Zoho Desk.
- The primary application in the company’s customer service platform includes so-called blended conversation, a combined human-driven and bot-powered conversational service, and several refinements to its user interface to support customers with accessibility needs in a better way.
Prashanth Krishnaswami, head of the market strategy at Zoho, said that in the customer service industry, there had been a drastic shift toward making self-service the baseline over the last few years. He added that although the industry anticipated seeing some changes, the pace at which they took place caught some off guard.
He said that many aspects of a customer being able to manage their relationship with a brand had been made available on self-service in the last two or three years, way more than before the pandemic.
Hence, Zoho has made self-service a priority. It has added many new capabilities to its Zoho Desk offering to help organizations better serve the customer service experience consumers want.
Details on New Tool
The first new tool is blended conversations, combining Zoho’s Instant Messaging (IM) Framework and its guided conversations tool to balance human intervention with bot-powered automation to help customer service agents deliver the best consumer experience.
In 2021, the guided conversations feature was launched by Zoho and functions as a low-code, self-service platform that allows organizations to create virtual agents to guide customers through the initial stages of inquiries.
Krishnaswami said that the bots are good at addressing many challenges. Still, customers hate the impersonal experience they get when a bot is left in charge of the overall experience. Bots are also commonly designed to run through the entire flow independently and not work in tandem with human agents in a conversation with the customer.
The new blended conversations tool will allow agents to delegate most manual and transactional tasks to bots while remaining in control of the overall service experience. Meanwhile, the IM Framework can integrate any messaging service with Zoho Desk and comes pre-integrated with services such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Line, WeChat, Messenger, and Instagram, with more to be announced in the future.
Krishnaswami said that over the last few years, the customer service industry has seen experience become a key differentiator for brands across the board, with customer expectations rising.
He said much of the focus was on customer satisfaction or customer happiness previously, which is just the last mile of measuring the experience itself.
Currently, brands understand that the experience has to be end-to-end, meaning the customer service component is more important than ever.