Companies of every size are implementing on-demand support networks that are able to connect customers to human representatives instead of AI or bots

Connecting with brands today can be a minefield of sorts, and connecting with a real, live human being can seem almost impossible at times. But now, there are quite a few companies using human support to chat with consumers and deliver relevant information as needed, moving away from AI and automation. By creating a one-to-one experience, these brands are combining technology and classic customer service to great effect.

Icelandair
Travelers who visit Iceland for the first time might be a little lost, so the airline Icelandair launched a service for each of its customers called Buddy Hotline. Through Facebook Messenger, the service connects passengers with Icelandic locals for personalized recommendations.

Great Jones
Direct-to-consumer cookware startup Great Jones offers a free live text service called Potline, which is open Monday and Wednesday evenings. Anyone can ask for recipe ideas, seek advice when things are going wrong in the middle of the cooking process or receive tips on how to clean their products after they're done.

H&M
Swedish fast fashion retailer H&M created a community-driven multimedia fashion forum called Itsapark, allowing users to ask style questions that can be solved by other members or from a visual guide generated by the brand's enlisted stylists. The feed hasn't been officially been released yet, but it looks similar to Instagram.

Audible
Amazon-owned e-book company Audible offers live customer service via the Amazon Alexa device, activated by voice commands. Instead of dialing a number, customers can say “Alexa, call Audible” to reach the company's customer service department.

Walmart
Jetblack, an invite-only personal shopping service from Walmart, is designed to help busy NYC-based consumers purchase almost anything. Through a text-to-shop service enabled by a combination of human assistants and AI, customers can ask for recommendations or order a specific item, all fulfilled with next-day delivery.

Walmart


Lead image: ROOM/Unsplash

Connecting with brands today can be a minefield of sorts, and connecting with a real, live human being can seem almost impossible at times. But now, there are quite a few companies using human support to chat with consumers and deliver relevant information as needed, moving away from AI and automation. By creating a one-to-one experience, these brands are combining technology and classic customer service to great effect.

Icelandair Travelers who visit Iceland for the first time might be a little lost, so the airline Icelandair launched a service for each of its customers called Buddy Hotline. Through Facebook Messenger, the service connects passengers with Icelandic locals for personalized recommendations.