Online shops, the fast developing business model, may be the cause and solution of many of our problems while surfing the net. They are a solution, in the sense that they allow us to buy products or services from all over the world. But the buying experience online may rapidly become negative for a customer that is not particularly fond of the Internet. Believe it or not, some people still think of the Internet as an obscure place, in which you could get scammed or get your identity stolen sooner or later. Other are just not confident about their knowledge of web navigation and prefer not to risk by trying.
Everybody knows a person who refuses to buy things through the internet, even if that means rejecting their only opportunity of getting what they want. In these situations all parts involved lose. I can recall a story a friend told me about his father, who wanted to book a cruise trip as a present for his wife. He couldn’t manage to pay through the company’s website, my friend wasn’t there to help him and he obviously couldn’t ask his wife for assistance, so they lost the opportunity of enjoying a wonderful trip through the Mediterranean. He never wanted to know anything more about that company and still takes advantage of any opportunity that he finds to criticize them. Such a pity.
Stories like these happen more frequently than we could think, which is dramatic, if we take into account how much companies invest in having state-of-the-art designs for their websites. Some of them decided to make use of the new technologies and use a Virtual Robot to help their customers. Not also in the billing step, but in other different aspects of their relation with clients. They use the Intelligent Virtual Assistant to let their customers know about interesting offers, improve their booking experience and get feedback from the services offered. Furthermore, something unexpected is that this addition to their website resulted in an increase in the number of visits received for some of them. Consider IKEA’s Virtual Robot, ‘Anna’. I know people that visited their webpage just to chat with her and try to get any unexpected or original answer from her. This shows how Virtual Robots may not only be interesting from the perspective of helping your clients, but also as a way of distinguishing your business’ brand from the competition and earning a reputation of caring about your customers!