In the era of increasingly digital and highly personalized shopping, there are numerous reasons why once loyal consumers might abandon a brand.
But for many, a disjointed and dissatisfying customer service experience is the final straw.
Ticket-based service systems tend to silo communications with customers, which can lead to an impersonal, case-by-case approach to interactions. Gladly offers a more holistic alternative: its all-in-one service platform revolves around people, not tickets or cases—pulling customer information from all systems and channels to form a single, lifelong conversation with the brand.
Through these centralized conversations, agents have a full view of each customer and their shopping history, enabling them to respond faster and more effectively to customer needs. The team at Gladly realized modern customer service experiences require context and flexibility for shoppers and agents alike—and they rely on Twilio to power the bedrock of those experiences: communications.
It’s no secret we live in an on-demand society—and when it comes to shopping, we expect things to be delivered anytime, anywhere. Receiving resolutions to customer service issues is no different; consumers want to be able to access support 24/7, on the channel most convenient to them.
Retailers have responded by adding multiple channels to their customer service infrastructure, creating “the appearance of an omnichannel service solution,” explained Mike McCarron, Vice President of Sales and Strategic Partnerships at Gladly. “But it doesn't actually deliver a great agent or a great user experience from the consumer side, because it is so fragmented across the board.”
At the root of this fragmentation is the variety of teams and technology stacks businesses employ to power customer service interactions via voice, email, SMS, and other forms of messaging. This ultimately puts agents at a disadvantage when seeking to understand and respond to customer concerns, and limits flexibility for the customer to switch between channels when they see fit.
Gladly set out to solve both problems, using Twilio’s programmable voice and messaging APIs to build a platform that revolves around the customer—providing true multichannel flexibility and visibility in customer interactions, without the need for a ticket system.
“When we deploy Gladly, we're often times displacing at least two or three, if not even four technology systems on the backend, because we're able to bring everything together into one place,” McCarron said. “Technology complications from an integration standpoint go away and Gladly becomes the single platform for all channels, for all customer service issues and for all the agents to live in and operate in, creating far more efficiency and far more of a seamless experience for agents and consumers.”
In addition to channel flexibility, Gladly’s Twilio-powered voice and messaging platform gives consumers the ability to use multiple channels simultaneously. In a voice call with an agent, for example, if a customer needs to send a photo of a damaged item, they can use the same line to exchange texts while the call is active.
McCarron called this use case “a fundamental game changer” that’s driven agent efficiency and customer satisfaction.
“Neither of the two parties has to even think about it,” he added. “They just go on their natural way to do that. That, to me, is one of those scenarios where the power of what Gladly and Twilio have been able to build together has made the customer experience easier.”
Gladly's service platform enables brands to deliver personalized, multi-channel customer experiences
And convenience isn’t the only benefit to Gladly’s omnichannel platform. Maintaining a single, channel-agnostic view of interactions saves agents from having to chase down information like photos and order numbers, which could be stored in different channels.
“The seamless nature of the switching of channels is something that I don't think anybody truly appreciated how important and how valuable it was until they saw it,” McCarron said. “And once they saw it, now they're like ‘Okay, this is a very, very different experience’ in a positive way that I think is going to be hard for others to replicate moving forward.”
The advancement of e-commerce—accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic—isn’t slowing down anytime soon. With its existing omnichannel customer service platform, Gladly is uniquely positioned to help brands adapt and scale the way they interact with their customers. But the Gladly team is developing even more dynamic, immersive features, such as two-way live video, to bring next-level personalization to online and in-store shopping experiences.
“E-commerce took off last year and I don't think we're going to put that genie back in the bottle,” McCarron said. “The consumers' shopping behaviors are now such that they're going to walk into stores less because they've realized that they don't have to be in the stores to do the same kind of shopping that they would have otherwise done.”
Gladly is exploring the use of Twilio Video to connect customer service teams and sales associates with consumers based on Gladly’s comprehensive view of the shopper’s history with a brand.
“Whether it be for VIP customers, giving them a higher level of service and selling to them, or be it just for the higher value products, it’s a more immersive way to sell,” product manager Kyle Kacius said. “Rather than having to go into the store, I can have a video conversation and especially for larger purchases, be more comfortable with it.”
Extending the virtual sales experience to become part of customer care operations is a natural direction for Gladly to go in, McCarron added, “because our customers are already going there and they're asking us to go with them.”