Director of Strategic Accounts & Partnerships at Infobip
The customer experience today is nothing like it was even just a few years ago. Instant communications and constant connectivity have changed the nature of how we create personal relationships, as well as how businesses and organizations must think about communicating with their customers. For brands, building personalized and hyper-connected relationships is no longer a “nice to have” – it’s the cost of doing business today.
Today’s business leaders are delivering an exceptional customer experience across all channels instantaneously. This requires them to consider their ongoing value and think about the memorable and personalized experiences they are creating for customers.
The buyer’s journey today is no longer straight-forward. While it was previously based on word-of-mouth, online research, and an in-person brick and mortar shopping excursions, we now find ourselves interacting with brands on social media, instant messenger platforms, or even directly within apps. It’s a never-ending journey that involves meeting customers where they are along the way. It requires mapping the customer’s journey in new ways to nail down who they are, how they like to be reached, and figuring out not only what channels they use, but the frequency and tone they prefer as well.
This month, Infobip had the honor of hosting a panel in Vancouver with our local technology network to discuss the state of mobile engagement today. Joining me were Emir Aydin from Hootsuite, Selena McLachlan from Modo and Ray Silva from Apply Digital. Our discussion covered this shift in mobile communications and how marketers and brand builders need to consider how instant communications is now the new standard for customer experience in 2018.
One thing rang true throughout: getting the right message across to the right customer at the right time has never been more critical. In addition, as we evolve mobile communications strategies, we must ask ‘why’? Why select a certain channel or time frame to communicate? In order to understand the “why”, leveraging an omnichannel communications approach and strategy has never been more necessary.
Here are a few key learnings that came across from the panel discussion:
Every industry must find and shift their strategy
While customer interactions historically looked at the product and services, and gradually moved into the customer experience in the early 2000s, the way people and businesses communicate today has changed forever. Every industry is shifting their strategy towards a more customer-focused mobile engagement model.
For a company like Hootsuite, this means empowering businesses to achieve their own business goals through social media. In some industries, social media management today requires managing a high volume of messages and interactions among customers. Having an effective platform for assigning these messages, creating a structure and being able to engage quickly is crucial. Or, for visual brands, Instagram may be the favored platform and managing the right branding and communication within that platform must be considered.
Find your moments of truth throughout the entire customer journey
As Ray from Apply Digital mentioned, we have to find our moments of truth throughout the entire journey. We also need to find the channel that’s most effective. The type of communication for one company is going to be different from another.
For Selena at Modo, a car sharing co-operative, this means understanding their own audience as a co-op and understanding that they must balance the need for inclusivity. While email works well for their community of customers, it may not for everyone. For a larger enterprise, the experience and communication channels will be different and may need incentive programs or more personalized and geo location-based targeting.
Proactivity leads the way
Brands must identify customer pain points before the customer even realizes they have one. Our data shows that for every customer pain point, there are nine other customers with the same issue. Knowing this, we have an opportunity to get ahead and change the experience.
Today, this means evolving communications into platforms that are being embraced regionally all over the world. Chat apps such as WhatsApp, Viber and WeChat are embraced by consumers word-wide. Understanding the theme of regional adoption and implementing customer service mechanisms for a local market changes the nature of the interaction between a brand and a consumer, and positively impacts the overall customer experience.
As consumers find themselves living in a 24/7 connected world, the right omnichannel communications strategy will ensure that brands are reaching the right customers at the right time, regardless of location. The most successful companies have reinvented themselves, and industry leaders have emerged as those that instantly deliver exceptional customer experiences across all channels.