Let me tell you a story about online customer service and why it needs a change 🎉

Photo by M. Zonderling on Unsplash

So, I guess you probably have some experience with online shopping or at least some nuances of it. Can you recall how many times you directly went to an online store and bought something, with having even one question or uncertainty about the product or service you wanted. So, now think about the times when the journey wasn’t that great. Maybe you wanted to know more about the product in general before purchasing it or you weren’t sure how a certain feature will work for your needs. 📱 💻

“A “service” sign in a room lit up at night” by Mike Wilson on Unsplash

🍀 If you were lucky, maybe some of your friends or family had the same product or used the same service so they could have helped you with it. However, if that wasn’t the case, you would maybe have reached out to the store itself by sending an email. We all know how that’s working out though and why this isn’t the perfect solution. A better option would be to contact the store via their online customer service chat, if they had one. And this is fine.

So, if you remember the last couple of times you reached out for help that way, how many times did you actually receive quality, relevant and prompt information?
Also, if you think of some of the more deep and concrete questions that you might have had — did the CSR (Customer Service Rep) provide you with anything even close to what you looked for?

For example, you bought the new iPhone X and you wanted to know if it’s worth buying a screen protector for it since it has a fingerprint-resistant screen? Maybe the additional layer of the protector would make this feature obsolete?

Imagine asking that question in an online chat with a store that sells screen protectors.

I guess you know what the answer would be.. Don’t get me wrong, help chats are great, they work most of the time, but they don’t work great. Also, there are some nuances in the process that are not yet solved and maybe will never be if it stays in its current form.

Compare the quality, promptness and honesty of the help you would receive from friends or people unrelated to the store itself to that of people working in it.

“Sidewalk sign displaying "Good Vibes Only" on Sunset Strip” by MARK ADRIANE on Unsplash

Firstly, online CSRs will probably have certain performance targets that they have to meet at the end of each month. So, yes, they will always try to help you, but they will also always have their company’s interests to keep in mind. So most probably, for the question above they would try pointing you in the direction of purchasing that screen protector.

Secondly, the person on the other side will most probably not have enough context about your inquiry. What I mean by that is that — yes they will maybe know who you are and what you are browsing at this very moment. They will also know how many times you’ve browsed for this product and which others you’ve shown interest in. But most probably they won’t have any contextual information about the thing you are asking for, right?
If we go back to our previous question, how do you think the CSR will answer to that? Will they have such specific information on their hands immediately available? Does the actual person behind the keyboard own the same iPhone? Also is this really a question that can be answered objectively?

And third — a lot of the times the store just won’t have the support availability to handle your request and you will maybe be placed in a queue or be promised to have someone reach out to you by an email later. This doesn’t sound great though, right?

If there’s something not working right, there’s always another that can fix it

Here’s where SwiftViews will change the current landscape for good.

We are a community based help service!

Our product solves the problem with the lack of fast, context-specific and most importantly — untampered help out there.

We solve that problem for our users by providing them an instant and specific help from people that may have already walked the same path and bought the same product.

This is not a review or FAQ site, don’t stop reading now, cool stuff is coming

Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash

In your minds, get back to the same iPhone situation from above and now imagine that the person you are connected to is not a CSR of the vendor website, but an ordinary and unbiased person that most probably has purchased the same product a while ago?
You can see where this goes and how this is better, right?

The information this helper provides you will be impartial and contextual. They could literally pull out the phone out of their pocket and check it out.

But how exactly are we going to do that?

🎉 🎉🎉 We are proud to say that we’ve built our platform and it is already working with real users

What we created is a platform where people can create their personal inventory where they can add items they own or services they have used by just pasting in a link to them.

SwiftViews Platform Dashboard

So, you can use the platform to build your own item inventory, just for the sake of keeping you track of your purchases, but also if you want to be of help to people who are looking for the same things you own.

You can do that right now by registering on www.swiftviews.com.

Where does the name come from? Well one of our goals is to provide fast and contextual opinions to people that need them, hence — swift views.

Your next obvious question will be

Why would anybody want to help people they don’t know?

Well, people leave reviews in sites for the same reason — because they want to help others and be part of something — a community that makes things better. We realise that won’t be enough for everybody so we are going to offer incentives to our best helpers in the form of store vouchers, exclusive promotions and discounts.

But why would an online store use our product?
Well, first of all — online customer support is expensive.. And I am not talking just about the cost of the service you are using, but also about the workforce and the training you need to provide. Also, using SwiftViews will build upon you company’s image, by announcing that you trust your users to speak for you. And lastly — our service will be way cheaper than what our competitors can offer. If you are interested in adding us to your store click here.

Okay, we went through two of the roles in our plan — helpers and vendors.

What about the actual users though? How are they going to use our platform?

Well the obvious option for them will be to seek help in our website by clicking on a product and using the “Live” Help button.

SwiftViews Product Details

This is nice, but not that straightforward. Most our users will come directly from the vendor’s website and it will be nice if we can help them right there in there while they can continue browsing through the site. 
That’s why we created our chat widget that any vendor can integrate rather easily. You can experience it in this example shopping site right here.

SwiftViews Widget GIF

Our widget will integrate seamlessly in every online store right there. As you can see, anonymous users are able to use the service for free and also rate the helper in the end. Also, we will offer help seekers to register and return to the community by becoming a helper.

The idea behind our project is to satisfy all three sides of the equation and to do that seamlessly.

When will this be available? 🕐

It is available right now! Go and register on www.swiftviews.com or if you are a vendor and want to try us out fill out this form and we will be in touch in less than a day (weekends included).

Also, if you just want to take part in the community as a helper, download one of our apps (Android, iOS) and register, then add some products in your inventory on the site and you are good to go!

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If you have any questions or just want to know more about us, please comment below! Also if you are interested in the technical side of the idea, be sure to subscribe to the blog and expect a tech post soon!