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    EDITORIAL When messaging and CPaaS became a boardroom issue

    It’s probably not a surprise that more than half of consumers open all their text messages: I am surprised it isn’t more. Meanwhile, the projected number of RCS users has jumped to 1.2 billion by the end of 2022. Mobile messaging really is how consumers want to interact with each other and with businesses.

    In fact, it is the bedrock of good customer service and good customer service is what drives repeat business. According to a study by imimobile, 75% of consumers see good customer service as a reason to be a repeat customer with a business—making it just as important a factor as price (76%).

    According to the study, consumers want simple, consistent, fast and convenient resolutions to their queries. 75% of consumers say they’d definitely return to a company in the future if it resolved their issues promptly.

    And that means using the channels that consumers themselves are using to interact with their social groups.

    While this includes text and RCS, it is a real smorgasbord of messaging channels: text, RCS, WhatsApp, social media feeds, DMs, voice and, if one company is to be believed, fax.

    This is now very much a boardroom issue, believes imimobile, in fact it’s a ‘trilemma’ for directors of customer-facing companies, as they need to be able to balance and deliver three customer experience elements across all customer touchpoints – resolution, customer rapport and relevance.

    Get it right and you keep and grow your customer base, increase sales and loyalty. Get it wrong and they will jump ship immediately – and probably never return.

    In fact, according to imimobile, finding the right communications mix for your customers requires a deep, nuanced understanding of them and your processes, and they are very different to those of just two years ago. To reach them in the right way, businesses need communications that work best for everyone, and this requires technical capabilities and expertise to orchestrate end-to-end customer journeys across multiple channels

    And this requires careful thought and planning, not to mention investment. This is a message that is now hitting home across the business world. Any enterprises across the spectrum now gets it. Research out this week from IDC for Sinch suggests that just shy of 80% of businesses are now set to invest in conversational engagement with their customers, with a full 100% of those surveyed saying they already are interacting with their customers across multiple channels.

    As enterprises emerge from dealing with the impact of COVID-19, re-architecting their IT infrastructure to leverage digital platforms will be a major priority, with customer experience a top driver of these investments. Multichannel communications have empowered companies to connect with their customers on the channel of their choice, such as SMS, voice, email, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Instagram. Conversational Customer Engagement allows them to keep the conversation going between channels, without losing context.

    And to do this they are going to be leveraging CPaaS. In fact, the study suggests that more than half (52%) now say that that will translate directly into an investment in CPaaS. Quite a leap from the number considering it back in 2019, before the pandemic changed everything.

    While many in the industry don’t consider this to be anything new, they are wrong. Yes, these are all technologies and services that have long been available – and many of which have been bundled. But what makes CPaaS new is that it is a totally different way of selling these services as, well, services from the public cloud. This opens them up to so many more business to use.

    Back in the day these were either built on premises for large clients or run as a service from a private cloud. CPaaS is public cloud, commoditised and now available to all.

    This makes it now a standard service that all enterprises can and will use – and it is what consumers expect. The CPaaS revolution is here and continues to grow.

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