Is your business still connected to your customers in a digital world?
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By Sarthak Rohal
The way we communicate socially has changed, thanks to social media and mobile technology.
For many, this has also translated to changes in the way we communicate professionally. Digital has removed the typical boundaries associated with geography and time zones, and people expect to be able to use new communication channels not only with their friends, but with the businesses they interact with too. Businesses need to embrace these new digital channels, including instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp, so that they can continue to be connected to their customers in a digital world.
Digital transformation drives connectedness
The increasing usage of, and reliance on, digital technologies brings a variety of changes in both business and society. As enterprises have become increasingly digital, especially in the wake of the pandemic, things that used to happen in person have become virtualised. We are meeting each other virtually, doing business virtually and growing virtually. We have become a digitally connected society, and as our telecommunications technologies are upgraded, the digital revolution will only accelerate. This means we need to change our approach to customer service, as well as how we communicate.
Meeting your customers where they are
Customer satisfaction is crucial to the success of any business. No matter how innovative the product is or how competitive the pricing remains, if the customers are ultimately unhappy, they’re not going to stick around for long. Today’s on-demand consumer is, without a doubt, changing the way business is conducted. Customers expect instant gratification, quick results and constant access. Ultimately, the needs of today’s consumer are forcing change upon businesses’ outdated customer services policies and procedures, and it has become essential to establish an omnichannel strategy for effective communication.
New strategy for a new world
To meet the changing demands of customers today, businesses need to improve the customer experience and drive better relationships, across all possible channels and touchpoints. This requires a cross-channel content strategy – in other words, omnichannel communication – which includes traditional and digital channels, point-of-sale, and physical and online experiences. Investment in omnichannel is essential to creating a positive experience for customers at every stage of their life cycle, reduce churn, and drive and build a positive reputation of your brand.
Part of a successful omnichannel strategy requires the adoption of new, digital technology solutions for customer communication. WhatsApp has fast become an essential channel in such a strategy, because of its reach and rich media support. It is the most popular messaging service in more than 100 countries and has more than 2.5 billion active users, and many people in South Africa – across all ages and income brackets – use it as their primary communication method. The WhatsApp Business API helps businesses to create a more significant impact on customer satisfaction by improving brand reach and message deliverability rate, enabling secure conversations with customers, increasing conversions, and assisting with achieving critical business goals.
Chat applications such as WhatsApp can be used in various scenarios, such as appointment reminders, shipping alerts, order notifications, product demonstration videos, verification codes, boarding passes, and two-way customer surveys and support messages. If employed correctly, chat applications can elevate business communications and customer engagement with private, real-time business-to-consumer conversations, delivered on demand and on a real-time basis.
Personalised chatbots are another technology solution that can be used to improve customer satisfaction. Using the power of AI, businesses are better able to understand customer needs and predict the questions or problems they want to solve. This can potentially revolutionise marketing and support scenarios, and successfully meet today’s consumers’ expectations.
The right partner to support the journey
An omnichannel strategy is not just about adding new channels. It needs to involve understanding the data and also which channel would yield the best results. A reputable technology provider understands the nuances of the data, which is essential in driving meaningful insights to enhance business capabilities and competitive advantage. In addition, your partner can help you identify the most appropriate use cases, departments and business lines, for maximum value from your omnichannel implementation.
Omnichannel experiences are redefining the customer journey, and offering businesses and consumers better, more intuitive ways of engaging. However, the implementation of AI in data analytics, to feed omnichannel, is extremely important to make the most of such implementations. The right technology partner is thus an essential step.
Sarthak Rohal is vice president of IT services at AlphaCodes.
*The views expressed here are not necessarily those of IOL or of title sites.