Call center alternative

Customer support for tourists that destroys the language barrier

Travelling to a country where you don’t speak the local language can be overwhelming. For the more than 1.5 million tourists visiting Australia annually whose native language is not English, the language barrier can dramatically impact the quality of their holidays. The responsibility to ensure foreign visitors get the best experience in our country lies not just with government tourism bodies, but with businesses delivering goods and services throughout a tourist’s visit to a destination. This includes hotels, telecommunications companies, restaurants, and tour operators.

You don’t need to hire multilingual staff to be multilingual

Being able to communicate to non-English speaking customers don’t have to be a burden, and doesn’t need to involve a huge investment in foreign speaking staff. Multilingual customer chat services enable any English speaking customer support agent to talk to tourists in virtually any language. SMS-based Jeeves.Plus does this in 104 languages, and saves conversation histories on its online platform for easy reference and handovers to other agents.

The benefits of being able to communicate easily with foreign visitors range from increased sales, attracting repeat business, and word-of-mouth referrals to from tourists who’ve had an exceptional, seamless encounter with local businesses and destinations.

Beyond Instagrammable moments

Tourists have access to technology that basically eliminates the need for human interactions – think Google Maps, translation apps, and Instagram to get all the help and advice they need to enjoy their holiday. But what’s lacking from this are the human interactions. Being able to actually chat with other people ultimate makes a holiday truly memorable, beyond a series of photos for social media.

Being able to help tourists in their native language can be cheap, productive, and most importantly, help create a lasting impression on a visitor that can make or break a destination’s reputation.

David Hayes is the founder of Jeeves.Plus, a simple multilingual customer chat tool that lets tourism businesses talk to their customers through SMS on any device at any time.

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Jeeves.Plus is a text-based customer support platform that enables customers to contact businesses on their device, in any language, in their own time, and is a low-cost, easy-to-implement solution for service providers like contractors, food delivery services, and taxi services.

Customer service in a gig economy

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Jeeves.Plus is a text-based customer support platform that enables customers to contact businesses on their device, in any language, in their own time, and is a low-cost, easy-to-implement solution for service providers like contractors, food delivery services, and taxi services.


Customer support doesn’t need cutting edge tech!

From the early days of call-centres to the latest, cutting-edge AI-powered chatbots (https://promo.bankofamerica.com/erica/), customer support has been an ever-evolving focus in the banking industry. With retail banking making over 50% of a typical bank’s total revenue and the ease at which customers can leave a bank and join a new one, it doesn’t take rocket science to figure out why exceptional customer support matters.

But as high tech as customer support innovation has become and continues to evolve, does it solve the problem of providing exceptional customer support for mobile and time poor consumers? And does it do it in a way that is accessible to those that might not have the latest smartphones to install apps, the tech-savviness of young millenials to talk to a chat bot, or even hearing or vision impaired customers? With the understandable hatred people have for going through a dozen questions to be answered by “pressing 1 or 2 or 3” and 20 minute holds before speaking to an actual person, what choices do customers have to get the support they need?

Enter SMS

An under-appreciated, under-utilised option that’s been right under our noses for over a decade is SMS. Texting a dedicated number managed by a team of customer service agents all managing multiple conversations at the same time, a customer seeking help can work, commute, Netflix and chill while getting his banking needs sorted. They’d receive an instant message back from an agent, requesting specific details, and resolving most issues within a handful of messages. And after resolving the matter, whether it be a transaction dispute or enabling overseas credit card spending for their next holiday, they’d receive an emailed message with the entire conversation history. The bank even sends a quick “How did we do?” survey by text.

Why use 20 year old tech?

Customer service research indicates that consumers need mobility, they don’t want to be hijacked by a 20 minute call or sit in front of their computer or iPad chatting to a bot. They want to be able to get on with their day. They want simplicity – whether they’re an 18 year old or 80 year old, they want customer support they can access on their device and in their language. And they want to be able to get support wherever they are in the world. SMS enables all of the above.

From a business perspective, the benefits of embracing SMS are vast, from the ability to manage multiple conversation and increase productivity, to the $0.60 engagement cost of SMS versus the $4.80 average engagement cost of a voice call. And from a customer psychology point-of-view, SMS removes the tension and strong feelings one can often face in a difficult customer support call, allowing customers to get right to the point in resolving their issues.

Give customers the gift of convenience

Statistics clearly indicate that more than 6 out of 10 customers prefer to deal with customer support through SMS, primarily because it allows them to respond when convenient. With CRM platforms like Jeeves.Plus, this enables customer convenience while allowing support teams to respond quickly with chat histories, customer notes, and language translation tools.

While new technology, AI, and machine learning has great potential to change the landscape of retail banking, it sometimes makes sense to use “old” tech in new ways. And it always benefits a business to keep the customer front of mind in developing customer support strategies.

David Hayes is the founder of Jeeves.Plus, which allows businesses and government organisations to talk to their customers on their own devices, in their language, anytime, anywhere.