Preparing your customer communications for the age of CX

How to speak the language of modern customers

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Prepare your customer comms for the age of CX

Engage new-age customers with smart communication

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The rise of consumer expectation

Speaking the language of modern customers is essential to success in a consumer environment where every touchpoint is a potential opportunity and – done badly, a potential lost customer. Failing to evolve customer communications to today’s behaviours and standards can have a serious impact on success. According to the Office of National Statistics 18% of every Euro spent in 2018 is done so online, up from only 4% in 20081. Smartphones in particular have transformed the sector, introducing the ability to buy on the go, as well as driving greater social connections and emotional ties between brand and consumer via online platforms.

This has led to a consumer expectation for companies to provide them with the information they want, when they want it, and delivered to the device of their choice as part of a seamless experience. What’s more, they want it to be personal. Not just with a name but in a way which delivers genuine value to their experience whether that’s based on their preferences or previous behaviours. But for businesses, implementing processes and systems that meet these expectations can be a challenge.

The online / offline challenge

The challenge of delivering these seamless expectations to a customer who lives online and offline across multiple devices is keeping track of their movements, engagements and preferences.

The use of in-store beacons is on the rise in retail stores in a bid to help brands keep up with physical and digital activities while location data usage is also helping to bridge the omnichannel gap. With the beacons’ ability in particular able to trigger both messages to consumers and collect crucial touchpoints, this technology is helping businesses to learn more about their customers that will enable the delivery of truly personalised communications. All of these touchpoints between businesses and their customers, however, will only be optimised if they can be successfully married together.

In an environment where consumers can be lost on the strength – or lack thereof – of a business’ customer service, every touchpoint available must provide and contribute towards a positive brand experience. Customers don’t think of brands in terms of separate channels and so the business cannot afford to think in these terms. Individually satisfactory but disjointed touchpoints can still appear too much like a customer is having to work to join up the dots themselves in order to access the product or service they require.

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Embracing omnichannel

The key to a better customer experience is continuity and consistency; a single, impressive experience, rather than multiple distinct and often disconnected ones depending on the channel, with total personalisation. Providing an omnichannel customer experience is crucial to winning customers and their loyalty – so much so that by 2020, according to PwC2, consumers will expect a near-perfect execution of this streamlined, connected and personalised communication with every brand.

By embracing CX as a strategy and adopting a systematic process of iterative communication improvements, satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy will all increase. In the coming months and years, the disparity in customer retention between those who do and don’t offer a strong omichannel experience will only increase.

The automation opportunity

Automation technologies are already helping to deliver the joined-up communication strategies needed to meet ever increasing customer expectations.

The reality however is that many businesses (particularly those outside of the retail industry) still manage customer communications in siloes: for example, services are responsible for call centres, but marketing take care of promotion communications and direct mail, and the social team is responsible for advertising the brand online. Aligning these departments is crucial for building consistent communications and experiences across the business. Making Customer Communications Management (CCM) a priority will ensure that its multi-channel technique allows customer communications to be responsive, optimised and accessible via any device. With clients empowered to select their preferred method of communication, both with regards to channel and device, consequently internal processes are sped-up and improved. End-to-end CCM helps businesses craft, distribute and successfully monitor the personalised communications that consumers expect today.

Ultimately, if a business can’t speak the language of its customer, that customer will quickly find another option who understands what it’s saying.

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