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Helpshift, which provides in-app customer service for mobile-first brands, said it got a patent for innovation in cross-platform mobile app support.
With Helpshift’s patented technology, consumers can use their mobile phone as a bridge to secure customer service for console gaming, TV set-tops, and real-world environments.
This patent is based on Helpshift’s APIs that brands can use with their console game, TV set-top or a real-world object (such as a hotel kiosk, an item in a store, or a shipment that is received in the mail). The Helpshift APIs will capture any contextual information for the customer and will generate a secure QR code and a secure URL link for customer service. Keywords Studios acquired Helpshift last year.
This link is then used by the consumer with a mobile device to start a personalized support experience that preserves the initial context – saving time and improving efficiency at each step of the customer support journey.
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Customer support is shifting toward conversational AI and automation to streamline processes, reduce wait times, and improve the efficacy of customer support agents. Customer expectations for support are also changing fast, with the customer experience becoming a key driver of brand loyalty: 72% of shoppers expect virtual assistance to become more common, 65% of U.S. customers say that a positive experience with a brand is more influential than good advertising – and 32% of all customers would stop doing business with a brand they loved after just one bad experience.
Although conversational AI and automation has become more prominent in web chat tools and within mobile applications, the market has been missing these enhancements on gaming consoles and within physical environments. Helpshift’s patented QR Code support capability now brings self-service to these experiences. Users can scan the QR code and be directed to one of three experiences (based on how the brand wants it set up): instant self-help, an automated chatbot, or even messaging with an agent.
The company said this patent is a recognition that Helpshift’s technology is opening new possibilities for customers to receive new, immediate, personalized customer support experiences. By bridging the gap between the brand’s mobile app and the customer’s physical environment, game developers, retail, and hospitality brands can unlock creative ways to deliver support and engage with customers.
Gameloft, an international developer and publisher of games for all digital platforms, is one of the first Helpshift clients to implement this patented technology.
“This solution came at a perfect time for us, because we were planning several console focused releases. So far, we’ve tested it on a couple of our on-going projects and we are very pleased with the results,” said Anna Yangolenko, customer care R&D coordinator at Gameloft, said in a statement. “We saw significant improvement across all of our main KPIs, CSAT being one of the most important and biggest improvement areas. We are planning to implement this solution in all of our main games.”
“Helpshift is already powering mobile support on over 4B devices today, and this patent helps further our momentum to provide these same tools to console gaming, TVs and into the real world,” said Erik Ashby, head of product at Helpshift, in a statement.
Helpshift said it can provide context-aware support without burdening the customer: If someone is playing a game and they have a problem, Helpshift enables the user to use their mobile device to scan a QR code and jump directly from that part of the game to a support experience. Just by going to that QR code, the support team immediately knows the exact context of who the customer is, where they were within the game, and how the support team can help.
The company also said it can get instant support via QR code: Helpshift offers the first secure QR code generator for customer support. Brands can offer their customers instant, relevant support via a dedicated QR code without requiring the customer to search, type, or re-enter their verification credentials. This QR code is not just another website URL: it’s context-aware, keeping customers’ information secure and personal details visible to the support team, providing a frictionless support experience.
And Helpshift said it can get answers to questions in-store or at the mailbox: What happens if customers want to get more information about a product while shopping in the store aisle? What if you buy a new product and have a question as soon as the package arrives? Helpshift’s patented APIs can help brands deliver a higher-value customer support experience that meets customers with relevant answers wherever they are in the real world – while connecting to the customer via their mobile device.
The company can also relieve long lines with self-service: Retail brands can get rid of long wait times for customer service and shorten the long lines at checkouts and concierge desks by providing easy self-service for customers to access via mobile device.
And in a retail setting, if a customer receives a package with a broken or wrong-size item, they can use their phone and scan the packing sheet to start a secure support experience where the support team knows who they are, what was shipped to them, and any other information automatically and completely secure.
Customer support is becoming a make-or-break moment for building customer loyalty (or suffering customer attrition). With Helpshift’s patented technology, brands can provide customers with context-aware, secure support that bridges the gap between mobile apps and the real world.
“People are using mobile apps for more of their everyday shopping and as an extension of their real-world experiences, and they are demanding a higher level of customer support that bridges the gap between mobile and real-life,” said Eric Vermillion, CEO of Helpshift, in a statement. “Brands need to seize this opportunity and provide a seamless, player-focused, mixed-world experience that engages people wherever they are, with the right support, in a way that shows consumers that you are looking out for them.”
I asked them how long ago they did this work. In an email to GamesBeat, Helpshift said development started in 2020 with early testing and patent files in 2021.
Employee headcount at the beginning of 2022 was 145, and today the company has 152 people. Helpshift said it plans to expand its workforce in 2023.
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