In a recent interview with Finbold, the HelpCenter app Product Owner (PO) Raimundas Asauskas talked about the potential of TikTok in improving customer service based on the platform’s growing popularity. He also talked about the impact of the coronavirus on their product and businesses in general.
Furthermore, he delved into the inspiration for developing the HelpCenter app, a Help Desk ticketing, FAQ, and Live Chat app for Shopify (NYSE: SHOP), considering it mirrors features of other existing products. At the same time, Asauskas highlighted how blockchain technology could be leveraged to curb fake customer service reviews.
The coronavirus pandemic pushed many businesses online to platforms like Shopify, did this trend inspire your product?
“I believe that the pandemic has inspired many people to finally start something they’ve been thinking about up until now, be it their own online store, video blog, podcast, or anything else online. Yet it’s not the case for us – the HelpCenter app has first appeared in a public way before the coronavirus outbreak, and we’ve been consistently improving our product and growing our customer base for a while already.
However, what we’re actually sure about is that the pandemic did have a positive impact on our product. Since it all started, the number of our app installs grew by 45% as more and more users have been joining Shopify. So it’s probably safe to say that the pandemic has boosted HelpCenter’s growth.”
What is the main selling point for the HelpCenter app? Considering that some of its features mirror other products in the industry.
“Our main goal when developing HelpCenter is simplicity – we want our clients to be able to effortlessly and quickly get started with the app, easily navigate through the features, and start achieving their objectives right away.
To avoid making the app a bit too cluttered, we focus on the main, most popular functionalities only, which allows us to create a truly user-friendly solution. Besides, this allows us to offer an intuitive, quality product at affordable rates when it comes to price.
So I’d say that great value for money, simplicity, and exceptional attention to customer support are those things that give us a competitive advantage.”
Why did you go with Shopify to create the HelpCenter tool instead of other popular platforms like WordPress, Open Cart?
“Shopify is one of the leading e-commerce platforms with great future potential – that’s how we see it, and that’s why it’s our choice.
Also, I think that Shopify has more users who are willing to pay for provided services than WooCommerce or BigCommerce, which brings more revenue as a result. We simply see the highest potential to grow working in the Shopify environment.”
Do you think the fast-evolving AI-driven customer service can completely change a real person someday?
“It’s possible, but when it happens will highly depend on the further development of AI. Even some simple automation like chatbots are already taking over some of the tasks performed by people. Advanced AI-enabled chatbots may overtake most of the tasks performed by people and be even more efficient than a live person.
However, I don’t think that AI-driven customer service solutions can completely replace a real person in the nearest future, at least in the next 5 years. As far as I know, there’s still no such advanced AI technology capable of doing so. And even with the technology in place, it takes time for AI to gather info, learn from this data. Also, you should be guaranteed that it could not be corrupted. Finally, you should commercialize it.”
What role can the blockchain and distributed ledger technologies play in improving customer experience?
“I think that blockchain technology could serve to avoid fake reviewing. It could help create some kind of decentralized platform for customer reviews. What I have in mind is that it would be much more difficult to fake or somehow influence reviews, making them easier to trust.
Such blockchain-based solutions in the future could ensure that the reviews are real, unbiased, and so on. As a result, only the companies with exceptional customer experience would be boosted and discovered by the prospects. That may increase the importance and quality of customer experience in general.”
How many HelpCenter app installs are you looking forward to in the next 12 months?
“New installs aren’t actually our main focus at this moment. We have a pretty big customer base that, we think, we should work with, so that’s what we’re going to focus on mostly.”
Can you predict or project any trends in the customer service industry within the next few years?
“We can look at it from two perspectives – how do shop owners want to manage their customer support, and what does a customer expect when he or she visits the shop.
So it’s obvious that the shops want their clients to be served as fast as possible and do it efficiently without wasting resources. This is what stimulates the rapid growth of our already mentioned AI in the future.
It will be simply cheaper to implement a chatbot or various automation, especially when we reach that point when a chatbot will be able to offer quality services with little or without human intervention.
There’s a chance that various chatbots, self-service customer support channels, etc., will take on most of the human responsibilities in customer service, and we’re probably going to experience that more and more as time goes by.
As for the clients, they want fast, simple, and reliable answers to their questions, and this is why instant messaging is becoming so popular.
I guess email will keep its position as the top channel to reach out to businesses in the next 5 years because companies prioritize this way of communication. Yet, people reach out to platforms like Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp to connect with the companies much more often, which will positively impact their customer service role.
Also, the Shopify partnership with TikTok should not be overlooked. While there’s still a question of how this is going to be and if companies will find effective ways to engage with customers through this platform, its popularity and rapid growth gives it a chance to become an important customer service channel.”
End of the interview.
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