In a world of multiple digital communication channels, customers want to choose which channel to use and when, whereas companies need to minimise the complexity for their customer engagement agents….
So, how do we achieve this?
Opting for omni-digital
In order to find the right balance, it’s probably time to harness a relatively new approach: omni-digital.
This allows consistent customer experience across all digital channels, while simplifying the interface for providers by making interactions channel-agnostic. Implementing an integrated application that aggregates all digital channels into a single-view can have huge benefits for companies and their customers alike.
Providing a single-view of a customer and their history of interactions – both outbound and inbound – allows customer service agents to be more efficient and effective, which in turn provides the customer with a much better experience. This leads to cost savings for businesses and happier customers, whose retention in an ever more competitive world is increasingly essential. Retaining a customer is more cost-effective than cold acquisition, and retained, loyal, trusting customers are more open to larger and more frequent purchases.
What’s more, a single repository of customer data also allows improved insight into their behaviours, and improves outbound sales and marketing opportunities for your business.
Of course, customers don’t want or need to understand about the complexity of omni-digital engagement platforms and strategies, but what they will understand and appreciate is the simple concept of anytime, anyplace, anyhow!
What communication channels can be integrated into an omni-digital platform?
In the same way that customers want to choose which digital communications channels they use and when, businesses also need the flexibility to use the optimal channel within the context of any given interaction.
Here are some of the most popular channels and their most common uses…
SMS text messaging
Has the advantage of being almost ubiquitous and doesn’t rely on the customer signing up to a specific application. Its relatively limited capability makes it most suitable for simple, automated outbound communications such as appointment reminders or delivery updates.
Accessible through multiple devices and capable of handling more data-heavy messages such as photo, video and large volume documents, this channel remains popular despite the advent of more fashionable applications in recent years. Email applications also tend to be good at manipulating and storing large volumes of messages, so are ideal for customers to use as long-term repositories of useful information.
The explosion in the use of social media makes these platforms ideal B2C communication channels. The inbuilt capabilities within these platforms – combined with your own customer insight – allow effective, targeted marketing campaigns which can be visually engaging for potential customers and encourage them to explore opportunities through links to websites, messaging platforms and online retail. Facebook has for a long time been the leading social media platform, but others are expanding rapidly such as Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram, as well as influential platforms such as Google My Business with its powerful global reach.
Website Sales and Service
Your website has the potential to host huge amounts of useful information for customers to consume independently – and for you to engage with them through their own accounts too, enabling sales and supporting customer service through help functions such as live web chat. Intrusive web chat bots can be frustrating for customers, but if used appropriately, they can increase sales and provide great customer experiences. AI enabled web chat services can have the benefit of streamlining the initial engagement with an agent through a series of initial questions based on a customer’s requirements, but again this must be tempered the customers’ desire to feel that they’re receiving a personal, human experience throughout.
Mobile apps have all the benefits of websites, with the added advantages of having push capability. So encouraging customers to install your company’s app gives you opportunities to communicate with them directly, using unique, targeted offers and providing easy access to assistance through in-app messaging functionality.
A cohesive digital communications strategy
In the modern world, communication is key to nurturing and retaining customers, so it’s important to get it right.
Bringing together all your digital communications channels in one place, on one integrated platform and guided by a single strategy will make your agents more efficient, your marketeers more effective and your customers more engaged – so start organising your approach accordingly!