More than half of all US consumers have a smartphone and two thirds of new phone buyers are purchasing smartphones, according to Nielsen. The smartphone is a converged device that can receive texts, e-mails, and voice calls as well as access websites and mobile apps. Businesses want a lasting relationship with their consumers and having a phone number or e-mail address used to be sufficient, but times have changed. Consumers feel empowered by their smartphones and expect businesses to meet them on their preferred channel of notification and engagement. Those preferences can vary widely based on message topic, time of day, location, and a variety of other account-related criteria. Consumers also expect a more personalized interaction with their business relationships.
These customer expectations translate into a set of communications challenges for businesses with their consumers.
Channel fragmentation is rampant.
What is the best communications channel to reach a customer—e-mail, voice, texting or their mobile app? Do you have their consent to engage them on that communications channel? Do you have accurate, up to date contact information for that consumer such as their mobile versus landline? Do you have a technical solution to reach the consumer on their preferred channel like SMS, Twitter, or a mobile app?
I’m special; actually we’re all special
Customers want to feel that businesses know and care enough about them to personalize their interactions with them. Knowing their name, preferred channel of notification (e-mail versus voice call), preferred channel of interaction (voice versus web app), and their preferred language creates brand loyalty and engagement. Personalized interactions require one or more systems of record that the interaction management solution must integrate with in order to display the appropriate information, such as connecting flight status change notifications for a travelling consumer.
How many siloed communications channel vendors do you need…really?
Every business has a set of communications channels that they provide or must provide to engage with their customers. How many vendors do you really need to use to address the channel fragmentation problem? Could you consolidate single channel vendor solutions with cross channel interaction solutions from a fewer number of vendors? How difficult is it for you to track, report, and analyze the trends for customer cross channel interactions? Are you able to correlate notifications sent on any number of channels (e-mails, text messages, push notifications or voice calls) with a consumer’s preferred channel of interaction (text message with escalation to a voice app or e-mail notification with activity on a web app).
- Reaches all your consumers on their preferred channel with personalized messaging
- Allows the consumer to choose the channel of interaction (voice or web app or live person) without losing context of why the person is receiving the communication.
- From initial notification to final interaction resolution, the solution should track your consumers’ activities as they switch channels so your business has insights into which channels of interaction drive the best possible outcomes.
- Unified reporting and analytics of these cross channel interactions simplify campaign management strategies and allow for rapid A/B testing to fine tune the engagement process.
Using one or more vendors who offer a breadth of communications channels with personalized messaging and interactions AND that can track and report the cross channel interactions will enable a business to differentiate their customer engagement experience and promote brand loyalty. The good news is that many businesses are still experimenting or in the early stages of their mobile interaction strategy, so it’s not too late to chart a course that embraces Intelligent Channel Management.