Enterprises are facing a new reality. Customer experience is now the primary way to compete for consumers who are typically fickle and increasingly less responsive to loyalty and marketing campaigns. Consumers want conversation and rich engagement with enterprises and seek out those willing to provide it. They find the instruction ‘donotreply’ on a customer service email or SMS somewhat disappointing. What if I want to change a delivery time or ask when a similar garment will next be in stock? A customer contact message shouldn’t be the end of the engagement. Rather it should be viewed as an opportunity to kick-start an amazing customer experience.
The power of personalization
A recent enterprise study from Gartner indicated that 80% of companies now expect to compete mainly based on customer experience, whilst a further 50% say they can track positive financial benefits from customer experience projects. Taking customer experience a step further, personalizing communication (right down to the individual segment of one) is upping the engagement potential of messaging and is in line with consumer expectations. Advances in A2P messaging and CPaaS, when integrated with CRM systems, enable communication across multiple platforms (SMS, RCS and OTT chat apps) against an array of known data - name, birthday, contract length, purchases, etc. Moreover, by scrutinizing the entire customer journey, critical moments can be singled out as opportunities to engage with a personal message. The communication might be to send some kind of loyalty offer (happy birthday, have a free coffee on us), on-boarding a customer once they have signed up to a service with an orientation message (thanks for signing up, here’s how you activate your service) right through to making contact at churn points (your contract with us will end in a month, why not upgrade to the latest device now for free?). Importantly all of these moments connect the customer journey, because they understand it as a lifecycle that must be supported by customer service interactions. By demonstrating foreknowledge of who that customer is, and addressing their needs temporally, they have the maximum impact.
Personalization video turns engagement up to 11
Messaging via multiple platforms, whilst fragmented, is the most established way to communicate with consumers. And now it’s entirely possible to add personalized video messaging to the customer experience mix. Why is that a good thing? The reasons are many but in essence, video brings together two things that capture attention like nothing else: movement and sound - both play a significant role in conveying and simplifying complex messages. Compared to SMS or email, which rely on a specific choice of words, punctuation and possibly visual cues like emojis to set a desired tone, video messages execute just like a well-crafted spot ad. They are immersive, instantly understood and trigger emotional responses that help deliver on business, marketing and customer service aims like brand loyalty, retention and sales. Going back to the example of on-boarding a customer once they have signed up to a service. The enterprise may want to explain how to activate an account, how to get the most out of the service and options for upgrading. That’s a lot of text and a potentially complex communication. A short, personalized video massively simplifies the process. Another example might be making contact with a customer that has abandoned a cart half way through a transaction. By plugging that information into a video, a message can be sent that faithfully displays the product again in video form, or that offers more information about sizes, color and availability. While other forms of messaging have good cut through, personalized video messaging wins. Analysis of Sinch’s own data tells us that they are read by 98% of the consumers that receive them (equal to SMS). However, consumers retain 95% of a message when it's a video, compared to 10% retention on other channels. Sinch is all about delivering personalization and video messaging to create amazing customer experiences. Take a look at our recent webchat with mobile trade body, MEF, which explains why it’s so awesome here. For further reading, check out our latest eBook: Messaging and Personalization – Transitioning from loyalty to relevance, or head over to the Personalization product pages on the Sinch website.