Customer communication 2019: Visions, strategies, trends
New topics and technologies will continue to have an impact on customers in 2019, changing their behaviour and thus their attitude to demand. Existing and, above all, potential new customers are communicating more and more in digital channels. The special: The customer decides which channel he chooses to enter into dialogue with companies!
Besides this fact, social media and the increasing use of mobile devices make a diversified communication offer essential. In order to survive in the market, companies have to find new ways to acquire new customers and to build long-term customer loyalty.
For companies this is both an opportunity and a challenge. Opportunity, because new smart technologies create more and more possibilities to address the customer individually and increase customer loyalty and satisfaction. Challenge, because all these possibilities, channels and information must be linked together efficiently in order to remain successful. The right communication channels must be identified, made available to the customer in the best possible form, administered and used optimally.
Focus on the customer journey
For a good customer relationship, it is important that the customer does not have to explain his concerns again and again. That is why technologies and channels are linked in order to have a better and above all seamless dialogue with the customer. This is known as single-thread communication, where the employee has the entire dialogue with the customer at his disposal in order to be able to react and respond appropriately.
The customer journey thus continues to be the linchpin, while companies use new technologies and channels for customer communication. This requires intelligent interfaces and operating systems that link new with established channels and provide employees with an efficient user interface for handling customer concerns.
Expansion of multi-channel communication
Messengers such as WhatsApp are being used more and more frequently to make contact with young target groups in particular. Since 2018, Apple has also offered companies the opportunity to reach customers even better with the Apple Business Chat.
Customers now do not always use the same channel to reach a company. Online and offline channels are chosen according to the situation and the needs of the customer. On the road, the preferred messenger can be used quickly, with a little peace and quiet, an e-mail can be sent or a call made to the hotline for more complex issues, and if things have to move quickly, live chat is usually the first choice – often a channel change is made even within a single issue. To ensure a seamless customer journey, customer satisfaction and efficiency, these channels should be considered and managed jointly on the company side within the framework of a multi-channel strategy.
In order to further increase KPIs in an ever more complex and competitive environment and, for example, to spend media budgets more intelligently, we have developed the STRÖER Digital Group, the Conversational Ad. Here, the booked online banner space is used to start the dialogue with the user in the advertising material and to actively design the customer journey. The conversation can be led out of the advertising material and continued in other channels.
Artificial intelligence and automation
In 2019, developments in the field of AI and automation will continue to be driven forward.In 2018, in the hype around Chatbots, exaggerated expectations were replaced by realistic requirements. This is achieved primarily through clearly defined application scenarios and use cases, as well as through partial automation, e.g. through Microbots. Likewise, the intelligence behind chat bots can be used to provide a human agent with automated response suggestions to increase his efficiency. At the same time the AI is trained and paves the way for a later, more extensive use of chat bots.
Actively guiding the customer into the higher performance channel
Within the framework of the multi-channel strategy and through the detailed analysis of KPIs, it turns out for some companies that for certain topics some channels perform better than others. Since the customer is still looking for the dialogue in his desired channel, it is important for companies to actively transfer the dialogue into the desired channel if necessary. Here, technology is needed that creates a seamless transition for the customer and prevents loss of information.
For example, sales conversations on the phone convert with a higher probability than in other channels. However, most customers choose live chat on a website much more often, as it is a very low-threshold dialogue offering. If companies succeed in seamlessly accompanying the customer into the high-performance channel, efficiency, conversion rate and customer satisfaction will be increased. We meet this requirement with our Click2Voice technology. This makes it possible to convert a chat into a telephone call if the customer so wishes.
Exploiting the full potential of new technology
But if a company really wants to use the full potential of these innovations, it will continue to be important to collect and evaluate relevant data GDPR and data protection compliant. Which measures have brought which benefits? What is more worthwhile? Which path do customers take in their customer journey? What problems do they encounter and how satisfied are they? With intelligent reporting time and money can be saved in the evaluation.
We are partners for your future!
For more than 17 years, we have been gaining experience in the field of digital communication and customer engagement and have thus always kept an eye on current trends in customer communication and designed these with our customers. Equipped with innovative and field-tested technology, the Realperson® Chat Suite is a real business tool that allows brands to enter into dialogue with customers through a variety of channels while keeping their goals in mind.
What topics will you be dealing with in 2019?
Join us in contact, we look forward to hearing your opinion!