Automated chat is debuting on one huge platform after another. It's quickly becoming the expected standard in online customer service.
Chat automation is being embraced by businesses big and small. All kinds of players are using automated chat and enjoying all the benefits it brings.
But not everyone can take advantage of automation yet. Often, it's for a very simple reason—many companies still lack any live chat function. Usually, these companies feel they don't have the extra staff needed to handle incoming questions. And these are exactly the kinds of questions that tools like Zowie can answer automatically.
While it may seem unlikely, a solution does exist. You can still introduce the benefits of chat automation when you don't have a chat function. And your existing customer service team will still be able to handle everything.
How is it possible? Giesswein serves as a remarkable model of a company that automated chat without having any chat. And it achieved this automation with the help of Zowie.
Giesswein is an Austrian footwear and apparel company known for its premium wool fabrics and products. These products are available in more than 3,000 retail locations and in their online store.
Giesswein started out using email to receive and answer all customer service issues. They routed everything through Zendesk. They consolidated all messages on a single platform mostly out of necessity. Giesswein operates in 17 markets across many time zones with customers that speak 13 languages. Providing dedicated channels for each market is tricky, to say the least.
Using Zendesk to centralize everything made it easier for Giesswein’s customer service team to respond to inquiries. But this came at a cost. The company couldn't offer other customer-friendly communication channels like live chat.
It wasn’t that Giesswein were unaware of chat or that they didn’t want to provide every convenience to their customers. Instead, they were concerned that utilizing chat could cause as many customer service problems as it solved.
How? There were two potential issues. First, a customer could ask the live chat to connect them with a representative of the customer service team. This is always an option, even when automated answers are enabled. Second, a customer could have an issue that existing automation wouldn't be able to solve. The chat would then direct them to a human assistant for help.
Either way, Giesswein couldn’t guarantee that their team would be able to answer all those requests in a timely manner. Why? Their agents were busy handling thousands of emails a day through Zendesk. And Giesswein didn’t have the extra staff needed to respond to incoming chat requests.
This was the core of Giesswein's dilemma. Offering chat was meant to be a major convenience for customers. But if customers had to wait for help that was never going to come, they would face an added inconvenience.
Everything changed when Giesswein started working with Zowie to build a sustainable solution.
Zowie provided a chat functionality that Giesswein placed on their online shop. A little bubble in the bottom corner greeted customers with the message, “Hello! How can I help you?” The chat then guided customers through one of many possible automated scenarios.
If no scenario could resolve a customer's issue, the issue would be sent to... Giesswein's Zendesk. Here, Giesswein handled all unresolved matters that they received from the chat. These issues were treated exactly like the regular emails that Giesswein was already receiving daily.
A simple integration with Zendesk was enough to direct all chat messages there. The chat conversation turned into an email conversation, and customers got the information they needed.
This solution allowed Giesswein to open a new customer support channel without having to expand their customer service team. They also didn't need to assign anyone to exclusively handle chat messages.
That’s because Zowie handles 90% of all incoming messages sent via chat automatically. A significant share of these incoming chats would have been received as emails under Giesswein's previous setup. This means that their customer service team currently has fewer messages to manually answer than before.
The team no longer feels the stress of always having a long queue of messages waiting for them. Now, they can devote all the time they need to resolving complex issues without worrying about that queue backing up.
The entire project has been so successful that Giesswein is presently looking at ways to enable chat for their customers. They feel the chatbot has finally given them the time needed to dedicate staff specifically to live chat.
Giesswein's customers enjoy more choices. The company enjoys a higher level of customer service—without the need for any extra staff.
Giesswein’s experience demonstrates an important advantage of chat automation solutions. They can easily adapt to you and your way of working. Integrations with many common tools (like Zendesk) create lots of opportunities when it comes to finding the right fit.
You don’t have to reorganize your operation. Automated chat doesn't require any major changes. There isn't a single “right” way to use it. It adapts to your needs, not the other way around.
Giesswein’s case shows there’s no need to alter your internal processes to accommodate chat automation. You don’t even need to conduct any special training. Just plug everything into your existing processes, flip the switch, and let automation handle most of the messages!
The customer-facing part of chat automation is easy. Set up the chat window and wait for customers to contact you. How you arrange it on your end and how you answer the inquiries received via chat are up to you!
Anyone can take advantage of chat automation. It doesn't matter whether you answer incoming chat messages directly or via some platform that manages customer service.