As we reach the end of 2019 and approach 2020 start-ups seem to have no slow down in sight. And the sky is the limit. One area with plenty of room for growth is in the online customer support vertical. Can we say that 2020 is going to be the year of the customer? Online consumers are changing habits, with more and more of the conversion funnel featuring communications before purchase than ever. Did you know that a common issue for online companies is that people are searching for their customer service on Google – and not getting results. I love Google, but shouldn’t customer service be a bit more seamless for an online store?
Are start-ups who challenge market leaders going to be able to step up and truly compete? What about those in a market with an Israeli unicorn or a unicorn with Israeli founders already dominating the market. Or a publicly-traded company like LivePerson with a large presence in Israel? Can a newcomer challenge a company like WAZE (actually not a unicorn because it was sold in June 2013 for “only” $966 million) where the market has room for only a few players?
With the list of Israeli companies valuing over 1B growing every day, it’s a very interesting ecosystem to watch unfold with innovations happening. One vertical interesting to me as an online marketer is customer service. Over the past year, there has been a fight to the top in online customer service. Industry innovators and leaders include Zen Desk, LivePerson (both publicly traded) but also Israeli start-ups like CommBox, a customer support and messaging platform. Pre-sale communications are more important than ever.
As I’ve worked with customers on conversion optimization over the past year, the value proposition of customer support and messaging platforms in the online marketing area has been growing phenomenally. Omnichannel marketing is the norm and conversion funnels have become more complicated as individuals use more than several devices.
2020 will be a year with innovations and intense growth in the online customer support industry. Customer service content will influence Google rankings from the content perspective. In addition, I have a strong feeling that good customer support and messaging systems can also influence key Google ranking factors because using them effectively can increase conversion rate and time on page, which Google uses as a metric of user experience.
Don’t believe me? Check out the exciting financials on Zen Desk, currently trading on NYSE as ZEN.
Israel, in general, has a bad reputation for customer service, though this has been changing through the years. With Amazon coming to Israel, Israeli consumers experience a new level of understanding of customer loyalty and service. Israeli companies have been expanding to international audiences via Amazon and Israeli ETSY sellers are shipping their goods around the world, for example.
Bottom line(s): In 2020, due to the increased demands for customer service innovations, Israeli start-ups in the customer service field will bring continue to develop disruptive and exciting technologies that are attractive to investors as well as industry leaders looking for acquisitions. Investors will be more interested in products that solve customer service problems as they see the value of publicly-traded companies in the field grow early and all-stage investment in the industry will grow.