We live in a digital world and how we interact with the brands we love has changed. Whether it is planning a vacation or buying a new car, you can tap or swipe and pretty much purchase anything you want in a matter of seconds. With this increased focus on digital, consumers are demanding more from companies. Check out these stats:
- More than 50 percent of customers engage with service providers through live chats or mobile apps.1
- 73 percent of customers visit a website before contacting customer service.1
- 76 percent of telco customers are satisfied with a fully digital customer service experience.2
- By the end of 2018, 2 billion consumers will use Artificial Intelligence (chat bots) to converse with their favorite brands.3
As Sprint’s chief digital officer, I have a responsibility to deliver a best-in-class digital experience for our customers. I work every day with my amazing team to build digital experiences that make it easier for customers to browse, shop and buy in whatever way is most convenient for them.
If you look around your network of family and friends, you’ll see many differences in how they shop and buy their favorite things. Some want a digital experience from start to finish. They buy online and get their device and accessories delivered free to their home. Others might need help activating their new phone, so they want to buy it online and ship it to a store where a trained Sprint employee can help them get everything set up. Whichever way our customers want to shop and experience Sprint, we want to make it easy and simple.
To solidify our position as the digital telco leader, Sprint is turbocharging its digital transformation to ignite sales, enhance the customer experience, and improve digital engagement. To truly transform, we must create a new way of working – which we’ve done with the Hive. The Hive brings together innovators from across the organization to help us operate better, faster and more collaboratively. At the Hive our data-first mindset includes a command center, AI-powered care, digital channel operations and important initiatives, such as same-day delivery and BOPUS (buy online, pick up in store).
Launching the Hive has allowed us to become more nimble and agile in how we get to market. For example, with the launch of the latest iPhone Xs and Xs Max, we were able to place product information on the website nearly in real time as the announcement was being made to ensure our customers had the latest information on these amazing phones.
The Hive is hyper-focused on a seamless customer experience of leveraging insights and building amazing end-to-end experiences. During the iPhone Xs launch, Sprint and the Hive capitalized on increased traffic to deliver a remarkable customer experience and give customers another way to engage with our brand.
We even enabled an artificial intelligence program so customers could easily and quickly complete a device upgrade via a “chat” function. We added visual carousels and product selections to create a simple and seamless experience. Priority Status, a recently launched exclusive program via the MySprint app, gives upgrade-eligible customers the flexibility to reserve their spot “in line” for a new device and confirm their order.
Consumer preferences are shifting, and more consumers are embracing quick and easy self-service and digital assistance over traditional voice customer service channels. AI chats are wonderful because the bots are constantly learning, which helps them deliver better and faster results and resolve customers’ concerns. Sprint.com has an intelligent virtual agent that provides instant availability to assist consumers with customer service and purchase questions.
We’ve seen a lot of success during the past six months – digital sales of new customers and upgrades are up and we’ve seen a significant increase of chats being handled by virtual agents – but we’ve only scratched the surface of possibilities.
Of course, increasing sales is extremely important to our business but what excites me most is knowing that our customers recognize the positive changes we’re making. I LOVE seeing tweets thanking Sprint for Priority Status because it made leasing their new phone “quicker and simpler” – or knowing a customer’s experience with Sprint “was the most stress-free and seamless iPhone pre-order ever.”
Hearing positive feedback and excitement from our customers motivates me and my team to work even harder on new ideas and programs to enhance the customer experience and make it even easier to shop with Sprint. I look forward to sharing more about this digital transformation.
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1 Source: Accenture
2 Source: McKinsey
3 Source: Gartner