We are glad to announce Gesprek, Oursky’s own chat app and social commerce platform. Gesprek is designed to improve the customer engagement of businesses by adding conversational commerce capabilities to their digital channels. Gesprek, which means “conversation” in Dutch, uses chat, messaging, and language interfaces to enrich customer experience, especially with today’s competitive market of savvy users wanting meaningful interactions and convenient transactions.
Gesprek itself was borne from the needs of Oursky’s clients to integrate a conversational marketing tool in their digital channels. We were able to create Gesprek by exploring new technologies, and incorporating it with our own Skygear, Oursky’s secure, microservices-based deployment framework.
As a conversational marketing platform, Gesprek addresses these challenges that businesses may be overcome with when engaging with their customers:
Delay in responses. Understaffed companies may not be able to handle multiple inquiries or orders. This can be exacerbated by a lack of an organized system to assign a staff to manage communicating with customers, which can make companies lose out on business opportunities.
Lack of payment features. While chatbots can help entice customers, most do not have a way to seal the deal because they don’t have the capability to conduct transactions (i.e., online payment) while directly interacting with customers.
Decentralized interfaces. Customers can come from different channels — from email, website, WeChat, and Messenger to WhatsApp — and many businesses may be overcome with having to juggle different messaging platforms to respond to their customers.
For many customers, the speed of response often clinches business deals. Gesprek empowers sales and customer support teams to drive meaningful interactions with customers in real time. Here are some of Gesprek’s advantages:
Mobility. Gesprek helps manage teams on the go through its reminder and customer dispatch functions. These enable the business to conveniently assign staff and distribute manpower resources.
Omnichannel support. Gesprek has an easy-to-use interface that can be uniformly integrated to various messaging platforms such as email, Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, Instagram, Skype, Telegram, and LINE among others.
Conversations with context. Gesprek comes with a template message function that allows its users to send frequently asked information to customers (e.g., pricing info, product availability, payment methods, promotional messages, advisories). Gesprek, however, is different from artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots where their automated messages and mechanical responses, which often do not have context, often put off buyers instead of turning them into loyal customers. Preset messages in Gesprek (and AI chatbots, if they are used in the business) are for enhancing customer service; they cannot replace human interaction.Gesprek can be easily integrated with customer relationship management (CRM), knowledge base, and e-commerce platforms so users have all the relevant and useful information they need to respond to their customers.
Search engine capability. Gesprek has search and preview functions that enable its users to easily find and better manage conversations. Users can sort and add notes, tags, and categories so they can easily pick up conversations and transactions (even upselling) where they left off.
Real-time payment processing. Gesprek supports online payment within the platform through Stripe and Gesprek’s own upload record function (for bank and credit cards, PayMe, Alipay, etc.). Customers can check in real time if the payment has been cleared.
Data encryption. Gesprek uses advanced encryption techniques and role-based access controls to safeguard personal and financial data from third parties. At each stage of Gesprek’s development process, security is baked in to ensure that breaches and hacking attempts are prevented and mitigated in advance.
Small to medium businesses (SMBs) based in Hong Kong can avail of the Technology Voucher Funding Program to incorporate Gesprek into their digital innovation strategies. Learn more about it through Hong Kong’s Innovation and Technology Fund or contact us on how we can help you elevate your social commerce to the next level.