Live Help Lives On!Back to all Insights
While most brands recognize the importance of technology for delivering great experiences or are using it to free up people to focus on more productive tasks, some are beginning to find renewed value in the element of live help and are merging human and machine intelligence with fantastic results. By combining the best of what machines can offer with the emotional intelligence and sensitivity that people bring, they are able to transform the way they handle customer interactions and create services and products that delight.
Live help in an age of information overload
For years now, people have been able to find the answer to almost any question online. Digital shoppers have been able to browse through thousands of products and references, swiftly made available by e-commerce merchants who no longer have to worry about the lack of shelf space or square footage of their showroom floor.
But akin to their expectations of immediacy, millennials in particular no longer have time for “complicated” websites and do not have the time nor the will to search through tons of information. Could human intervention in the form of live support be the cure for information overload? For startup Lola Travel, the answer is clearly yes. Lola Travel is a next generation online travel agency that allows shoppers to start searching for a holiday by simply sending an SMS text message describing what they are looking for to an expert salesperson. The service is available no matter how advanced the project is and the text can be as vague as “I’m looking to book a trip to Europe next year”. The responding agent knows the client’s general travel preferences and naturally has access to many of the same tools they could use, but also has something extra — hands on experience and data to help the client make decisions about his trip.
For Paul English, former CTO of Kayak and founder of Lola Travel, human interaction is key. “A lot of companies pushed hard on the idea that technology will solve every problem, and that we shouldn’t use humans. We think humans add value, so we’re trying to design technology to facilitate human-to-human connection.” With it’s live text messaging service, Lola Travel is offering its clients’ an invaluable guide who can make their research, purchase and live support experience faster, easier and more enjoyable than ever. In other words, it is differentiating its business through the human factor: people offering live help.
Creativity and emotions make all the difference
Despite the progress being made in artificial intelligence and data processing, machines are still as uncreative and predictable as ever. Empathy, intuition and thinking out of the box are just some of the human qualities which as of yet cannot be replicated by technology. Just as computers cannot create emotionally-charged art or stories, they are for instance unable to appreciate the deepness of music, and no algorithm to date can replace human taste.
This is why Apple has hired hundreds of people to serve as DJs and playlist makers for its music streaming service, in addition to the algorithmic recommendations it still offers. Those used by competitors Spotify and Pandora have begun producing automated playlists and suggestions that feel a lot more custom-made and personal than they had been in the past, but the results cannot be described as mind-blowing. Only humans are able to truly capture emotions running through the songs and pair up rhythms and songs accordingly.
Similarly, after years of investing in the automated processes of digital technology, digital advertising agencies are now turning to human intelligence and creativity to cater to their audiences’ need for novelty and inspiration. Startup media companies Buzzfeed, Upworthy and Mashable are using people to create and gather content that stands out and only leverage technology for the distribution of this content.
Live help can add tremendous value in the digital age
Ultimately, some people simply prefer to deal with other people who can understand and relate to the way they are feeling. Others enjoy the convenience of digital tools, but will at times require the personalized, trust-building experience of live help, before making a complex decision or going through with a high-value purchase. This is why messaging solutions like Stryng can profoundly transform the way people buy, invest, travel or get health care online. It combines the convenience and scale of digital tools with the power of live help and radically transforms the way transactions are carried out.