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EDITORIAL Racing to join the dots for better customer communications

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Digital self service is all the rage – but if you think that just means IVR then think again. Today’s customers want to connect via messaging channels such as text and WhatsApp, but also help themselves. This means bots. Lots of them. Sort of the modern way to do IVR.

Research out this week suggests that  61% of customers have become more comfortable interacting with companies digitally since the pandemic, on websites, apps and other online channels. And 60 per cent would now prefer not to call a live customer service person at all if they can solve their issues themselves using online resources.

Some 93% per cent said it was important that they are able to contact their supplier in whatever way they prefer – such as by phone, email, social media, text or messaging apps. And 93 per cent stressed the importance of getting a quick response whether they call or make contact digitally.

And businesses really need to start to embrace this sort of technology as, despite the rise in interest in CPaaS and messaging, only half of businesses are actually listening. Well, to be more precise, replying. While almost 90% of consumers say they want to initiate a two-way conversation with brands and businesses, only half can actually do that.

Separate research finds that 89% of people want to initiate and reply to two-way conversations with businesses, via multiple mobile and social channels. However, over half (53%) recalled a frustrating time when they discovered they could not reply to a mobile message sent from a business, for example to ask a question, receive an update or complete an action, such as scheduling an appointment.

That said, even brands that have deployed some two-way communication are struggling to meet consumers’ expectations. When asked how long it typically takes to get a response from a brand on social media, nearly one in four people claimed it takes a day or longer.

Most consumers say they’d be less likely to buy from a brand given these unreasonable wait times. Scaling two-way messaging across mobile channels to deliver the immediacy customers expect requires greater attention and tools that can efficiently come via a top CPaaS platform.

It doesn’t stop there. Brands that have been contacted via mobile on any channel can retarget those customers and see as much as a 10% up lift in sales, as well as cutting down spam.

The data shows that brands that are able to dynamically reengage with potential customers are seeing dramatic improvements in their mobile marketing campaigns. Mobile retargeting aims to capture customers that demonstrated an interest in a brand’s product or service, for example, by engaging with a website or going through a purchase process but abandoning the order before completing it.

All this is something that the telemedia industry can help businesses with – so long as it can get its thinking joined up between MNOs, messaging platforms and CPaaS providers. Which is why a visit to ROCCO’s Genesis event in Malaga on 16-18 May is a must.

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