63% of businesses are prioritizing mobile in order to create a relevant customer dialogue that attracts the ever-online customer, but is it enough?
Companies have always looked to differentiate themselves from their competition, but in the digital age, they now realize that there are serious opportunities that enable them to seek new and unique ways to acquire, maintain and grow relationships with consumers.
While a lot of companies have taken new channels on board, a lot have not taken customer preference into consideration and continue to treat each channel separately. It is important to look across the entire customer journey to understand which channels customers prefer for which types of communication.
Jay Reilly, Managing Director and VP of International at Genesys, explains.
A recent Yankee Group survey found that in the period 2010-2014, preferences for traditional channels such as home telephone, email and desktop web have declined significantly compared to newer mobile channels such as text messaging, mobile self-service apps, mobile chat, mobile web sites or even using the mobile phone to speak to a customer service agent directly.
Here are the stats: the use of the home telephone is down 34% and email’s down 25%, whereas mobile web browsing up 10%, as is mobile text, and mobile self service, with the highest growth, is up 12%.
Ignore mobile at your peril!
The Yankee Group identified four top forces driving further investment in improving customer engagement:
Yankee Group found 64% of consumers said they needed to be connected to the Internet at all times, a number that is rapidly increasing as more devices are appearing. Customers are now in the driver’s seat and their use of web and social media tools creates lots of information for businesses to use to increase engagement.
Yankee Group estimated 60% of interactions across the customer journey are interrelated. That means personalized cross-channel interactions are key to a quality customer experience. Interactions must be relevant to customers in order to gain their trust and encourage them to opt-in to conversations.
63% of businesses are prioritizing mobile in order to create a relevant customer dialogue to nurture loyalty and increase sales.
New technologies are enabling businesses to deliver a hugely personalized service throughout the customer journey, by using mobile for everything from reminders and surveys to notifications of discounts and service delivery problems all helping a business develop customer engagement and loyalty.
It is crucial to the customer experience to move beyond reactive customer response to more proactive customer engagement, by identifying preferences, behaviors and delivering a better, more intelligent communications strategy.
By using data held in customer service departments, businesses can start to build relevant cross-channel personal relationships with customers and prospects based on individual behaviors and preferences.
The Yankee Group identifies four key ways in which business can create opportunities to acquire, serve, nurture and grow customers.
Mobile marketing is a great way to acquire customers a massive 91% of respondents to Yankee Group’s survey showed an interest in mobile coupons.
Once customers have been acquired, businesses can engage them by communicating via preferred channels to strengthen relationships and increase loyalty.
Today’s consumer belongs to a number of loyalty programs, so businesses need to differentiate theirs. It is no use sending standard offers via text that customers can just opt-out from. Make sure you are sending personalized, context-relevant offers that your customers will want.
In order to grow, you need to stand out. Personalized, timely offers can increase purchase frequency, grow basket size and help to differentiate your company from your competitors.
As mobile communications grow, the dilemma for businesses is how to deliver effective mobile marketing initiatives that provide proactive and personalized communications. New advancements in cloud delivery models have made incorporating mobile customer engagement strategies a whole lot easier because they are now much less expensive and easier to use.
Businesses can now design more intelligent, relevant and targeted proactive customer communications strategies using advancements in analytics that can be delivered simply and quickly through the cloud to ensure future initiatives are relevant and personalized.
Here are some of the new advancements in cloud, preference management and analytics that are enabling more personalized marketing.
Cloud solutions are now cheaper, faster to deploy and easier to use
Using cloud means that businesses have more powerful resources and flexible capacity, allowing them to focus on strategic innovation rather than infrastructure and application maintenance. Cloud solutions are also constantly upgraded to the latest technology, to ensure your platform is up-to-date.
Dynamic preference management platforms include stated and observed preferences. Businesses can now design more intelligent, relevant and targeted proactive customer communications strategies that optimize business results by centralizing customer tracking. Observing customer behavior can provide great insight into the best communication strategy, and by combining stated and implied preferences, businesses gain valuable insight that will lead to deeper customer engagement and improved response rates.
Insight is essential to ensure communication intelligence and measure results. Relevant analytics provide a more accurate measurement of a customer engagement strategy and ensure future initiatives are relevant and personalized. Businesses should use a combination of insight and technology to interact with every customer on a personal level, and monitoring and storing customer interaction outcomes enhances communications intelligence over time. This can only be done by eliminating manual processes and using intelligent automation.
Make it seamless
Proactive customer engagement is quickly gaining power and becoming a necessity for delivering a good customer experience. But it is important to remember that the customer experience consists of multiple channels and multiple voices, and any one channel or voice that is out of sync will negatively impact all others in the customer journey. It’s essential that all channels work together effectively.
Make sure you build a cohesive communications strategy across the entire customer journey from first contact to the end and don’t shy away from different and new forms of communication, after all, if you don’t do it, your competitors will.
About the Author
Jay Reilly is Managing Director and VP of International at Genesys.