AI for Customer Success: Introducing Zoe
Back in the ‘90s, we were told that CRM software was the solution to customer centricity. Even just few years ago, Salesforce, undoubtedly the leader of CRM, changed their tagline to Customer Company (which they “borrowed” from IBM by the way), and today calls itself a customer success platform.
But CRM never delivered on its promise to solve the customer centricity conundrum. Frankly, it never will because the basic assumption of the way CRM can be the solution is false. Customer centricity can’t be achieved by filing all records of customer information into a centralized cabinet that only specific roles can access. If we tie the need of a CRM license to customer centricity, then we’re completely missing the point of customer centricity.
Totango has developed a product that finally enables companies to really organize around their customers. With safe, open access to customer data to any employee, teams are encouraged to self-organize and participate in activities to impact the customer. Zoe’s friendly, conversational interface gives access and enables swarming in the tools that companies already use, such as Slack and email with more coming soon, so customer-centricity is no longer tied to CRM access. Employees love asking Zoe for help, and Zoe is always happy to oblige.
Democratizing Customer Data
Every single employee in a company makes decisions that have a significant impact on customer success. With instant access to customer data, their decisions can be better informed and more successful. The democratization of customer data is the ability to make data available to the people who need it, at the time they need it, and in the tools they use. Zoe is the first ever product that truly democratizes customer data. Zoe is a conversational interface in tools such as Slack, so employees can ask Zoe questions about customers, and she is able to quickly find answers in the extensive customer data available from Totango. For example, marketing managers can identify best-selling products, how they’re being deployed, and their usage. Product managers have immediate access to see the impact of their products on revenue and customer satisfaction. Software engineers get visibility in real-time into how their latest lines of codes are impacting customers. Those teams, and most teams in an organization, have no business going into a CRM system, but their individual impact on customers is huge. Eliminating the friction of logging into a CRM, Zoe ensures they put the customer at the center of everything they do.
The majority of the workforce is transitioning to the millennial demographic. These are digitally native, fast-paced, and cause-driven folks who are primed for true alignment around the customer. They’re highly collaborative and want real work-life balance. They believe that AI can make their job easier, and they would rather a business have people as their purpose (not growth or profit).
All of these characteristics set up Millennials as prime proponents of a culture of customer centricity and power-users of Zoe. With customer information available in conversations across the company, it’s easy to predict that employees will start to organize themselves around customer missions. Zoe as a natural language direct access point to customer information and context will make it possible to bypass hierarchical decision-making processes and work directly with other experts on making impacts on customers.
Collaboration and Chatbots
Within Slack, there are a growing number of chatbots, a type of conversational AI software where the personality of the bot drives the conversation. We’re finally reaching a level of comfort interacting with AI because we are accustomed to interacting with each other via digital mediums. So interacting with a piece of software in the form of a chatbot via those same channels makes perfect sense. This is enormously important since it’s predicted that 85% of customer interactions with the enterprise will not be with a human by 2020.
With Zoe, Totango has developed a Slack bot access point to the deep customer data available in Totango. Zoe is the first ever customer success chatbot. The bot gives access to all of a customer’s information – who they are, which products and services they use and how, all support interactions, etc. The Zoe bot can share all of the data points about a customer that exist within the company with anyone in the company who needs to know, without requiring a CRM license. The bot also enables employees to organize around the customer, volunteer to participate their expertise, and congratulate each other on jobs well done.
The massive success of Slack, which has been rapidly adopted by so many companies of all sizes, has proven that a conversational, collaborative, and fun interface is the preferred method of collaboration for teams. And if teams are in Slack, or tools of the same ilk, why can’t the customer be there too? There’s an enormous opportunity here to take the customer “out of the CRM” and bring customers and collaborators together in the tools everyone uses.
The technology that has created and supported Millennials’ vastly different points of view about work has gotten us where we are today – but they’re ready for us to go that one step further and finally become the customer-centric companies we’ve been talking about for decades now. With Zoe, the customer is a cause, and everyone within the company is organized behind that cause. Customers can feel this shift in focus, which they acknowledge with their business. Better retention, expansion, and products result from motivated employees who are aligned around the customer mission. Zoe is a powerful tool for small and large companies, and can critically improve the growth of a company at any stage. You can see Zoe’s power in action, so I highly encourage you to request a demo today and get on the cutting edge of customer success.