For the travel industry, from airline to trainline, social is becoming one of the most important service pathways, as when successfully managed it allows a service agent to connect with the customer conveniently and in-the-moment. The marketing agency, Rational found that 67% of travelers have used social as a customer service channel and a further 53% expect a response within an hour. The travel industry is fast-moving therefore the need for speed, when it comes to providing customer service, should be priority for any travel company. After all, the entire travel industry is based upon customer experience, right?
For train operating companies (TOC’s) customer service is a particularly pertinent issue. Delays, track closures and strike action plague travel updates on a weekly basis. Passengers want to be able to get from A to B without any hassle, delays or cancellation. The same story rings true when it comes to seeking customer support—effortless and straightforward engagement is what the customer expects. Delivering great customer care is paramount to the success of any company and nothing is more rewarding than knowing that as a brand, you have provided your passengers with the optimum service experience.
To better serve the social passenger, who is now turning to private messaging for convenient resolution, many TOC’s including Conversocial’s partner, ScotRail, offer support through private tracks such as Twitter DM and Messenger. This enables a dedicated, 1-1 delivery of frictionless and discrete customer care. ScotRail are a #SocialFirst leader when it comes to digital care. They recognised that their highest, yet most repetitive service inquiry volumes were incoming through Twitter. In a bid to efficiently manage these volumes and drive more interactions towards private, ScotRail have become the first UK TOC to implement Visual IVR on Twitter, as part of their push to automate functionality to deliver more efficient social customer care.
"Visual IVR" prompts customers to provide information on their query as soon as they enter a direct messaging thread.
What does this mean?
Messaging automation enables ScotRail to provide a more effortless and real-time service to mobile customers seeking resolution through private messaging. In the age of mobile messaging and AI driven customer service, Visual IVR acts as the easiest way for bot functionality to add instant value by presenting users with multiple choice options in-line within the messaging thread. Since being implemented in September, ScotRail has seen a 60% increase in direct messages on Twitter - 10% of which are handled by Visual IVR. An automated welcome message prompts ScotRail customers to proactively provide details on their issue by either choosing from a list of options and in some circumstances, users are guided to enter specific text values. Based on the customer’s selection, an auto-reply from ScotRail is sent to the customer. By pre-emptively prompting the customer to provide relevant information means that only if necessary, is an issue seamlessly escalated to a human agent. A combination of automation and simple human interaction makes for a richer, authentic and more responsive customer experience.
“Passengers of today have higher expectations of service, necessitating that brands go above and beyond when it comes to catering to their customers - including in-the-moment care over social channels. By being the first train company to introduce Visual IVR on Twitter, Scotrail have recognised the need to meet ever-increasing customer demands with greater speed and efficiency. We’re proud to help support Scotrail meet these growing demands and deliver both improved customer care efficiency and an improved customer service experience.” Joshua March, Founder and CEO of Conversocial
ScotRail’s use of Visual IVR shows that travel brands are increasingly recognising the need to streamline digital customer service on private channels in order to provide a more efficient service to their passengers. This aligns with the shifting trend towards introducing automation within the contact center to scale and operationalize digital customer interactions.
To read more about the changing landscape of digital customer service, why not check out Conversocial's 2017 Definitive Guide to Social, Digital Customer Service