Amazon Alexa introduces real-time customer feedback service

23rd Mar 2017

Amazon has teamed up with customer engagement specialists Rant & Rave to offer a new, instant customer feedback service via Amazon Alexa – the online retailer’s cloud-based voice service.

Customers of brands that use Amazon Alexa will be able to tell those companies what they think of their products or services in real time, from any location, via their Amazon Alexa-enabled device. They will be asked to score their experience too.

Rant & Rave’s technology, which it calls the “Sentiment Engine”, analyses the feedback in real time and sends the brand findings that it can act upon. The feedback and findings are sent via an online dashboard or can even be sent directly to the company’s CRM system so that feedback can be viewed alongside the customer’s history of interaction with the organisation.

“Speed and convenience is everything for today’s discerning consumer,” says Rant & Rave CEO Kenny Bains. “As a result, brands are looking for ways in which they can interact with their customers to find out how they feel in real time, both positively and negatively, with a minimum amount of effort from the customer.”

Bains adds that the new service, through Amazon Alexa, is designed to give companies the chance to show that they care about what customers think, are listening, and want to act upon customer feedback.

More and more companies are exploring automated customer service solutions. Earlier this month, mobile network O2 announced plans to launch AURA – a real-time artificial intelligence system capable of performing the same job as customer service staff.

Shifts in the way customers interact with businesses have already been noted. In the 2017 UK Customer Satisfaction Index, The Institute of Customer Service revealed that while customers use a diversity of ways to interact with organisations, “in person” (46.9%), “website” (22.6%) and “over the phone” (20.2%) are the most popular channels. Social media, text and webchat usage is most marked by 18 – 24 year olds, comprising 2.1% of primary interactions with organisations for this age group.

Jo Causon, chief executive of The Institute, says such services are good for allowing customers to feed back to companies in an easy and convenient way, while also enhancing business productivity and efficiency. 

However, she advises companies opting for this route to ensure the service is up to scratch to avoid further frustrating customers who might already have a complaint. “Organisations need to raise their game in offering customers straightforward, seamless experiences as well as empathetic, proactive help and advice,” she says.

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