With start-ups like Magic,the “living service” is becoming a reality
In an ever more digital world, customers are adapting their level of requirements. Immediacy is now the norm, whereas their expectations are increasingly ephemeral. On the strength of this, start-ups are emerging and launching into the adventure, hoping for a future like Uber’s (without the legal worries!).
So for each need there is now an application that delivers a swift and custom service. You don’t want to cook? Deliveroo, GrubHub, Maishoku… cover all big cities with their home delivery restaurant service. You’ve forgotten to buy some wine? Kol, launched in Paris in October 2015, delivers a bottle in thirty minutes flat. Whatever customers’ desires, digital concierge services like Tok Tok Tok or Postmates are available. The acronym WunWun, a start-recently taken over by Alfred, quite simply stands for “What You Need, When You Need!”
This positioning has also been taken up by the young American start-up Magic… albeit on a different scale. Everything is done by text messaging. To access the service, the customer only needs to text “Magic” to 83489. The conversation begins. Its success is meteoric and initiatives are on the increase. The Lufthansa airline for instance has just launched its own service dubbed “Mission Control”.
With past examples like Uber, Airbnb or BlaBlaCar and on the basis of the saying “the winner takes it all”, no doubt that the battle between 2.0 concierge services will intensify.
However and beyond their respective qualities, the exponential increase in their number may risk “losing” consumers by complicating rather than simplifying their everyday lives. Customers will have one application for their meals, another for flower deliveries, etc. The answer is self-evident: no!
In effect, Magic’s positioning is coherent: offer a solution for any customer requirement, and do so through the simplest of interfaces. However, the start-up will come up against competition. Because that is precisely what companies like Facebook or WeChat have planned. Currently the GAFAs and BATs represent 55% of our digital life. Is it reasonably possible to squeeze them out 100%? Not easy.
Uber has opted to encapsulate its solution in Facebook Messenger, Microsoft Outlook, Google Map or even Slack. Airbnb in now integrated into Google Now.
The consequence of such interweaving is that the service will benefit from the recommendation strengths of the related artificial intelligence systems. Facebook’s M lay during a conversation book a table in a restaurant, recommend you leaving your home 15 minutes earlier and order a Uber. Naturally, relationships have yet to be forged. Who does the customer belong to? To the AI system or the service? And then who is responsible for providing the service?
As relevant as they are in the BtoB relationship, these questions are irrelevant for the Consumer. Through AI and related applications, consumers will be able to have a seamless experience and have their requirements met in an instant. Enough to dispel any doubts as to the intrusion of new technologies in the customer experience. The “living service” is on the march… and nothing can stop it.