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Six trends in customer communications worth responding to (and how to respond)

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Six trends in customer communications worth responding to (and how to respond)

The customer communications landscape is evolving rapidly. Digital transformation has changed the game by opening up a variety of new channels and also dramatically raising consumer expectations.

With so much competition for your customers’ attention, it can be hard to know what to focus on to get ahead.

We’ve got you covered. Here we share six major trends in customer communications worth responding to and how to respond to them.

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TREND 1: The rise of two-way conversations over one-way notifications

57% of customers would rather contact companies via digital media such as email or social media rather than use voice-based customer support.

Customers are increasingly choosing bi-directional conversations and interactive experiences over static, one-way communications. Companies that aren’t nurturing customer relationships in this way risk losing customers to those that do.

  • Digital channels and customer communications management (CCM) lie at the heart of this technical capability.
  • Maximise value by extracting the data from inbound communications for data analytics and personalisation of future interactions.

TREND 2: Customer experience as a competitive differentiator

81% of organisations cite customer experience as a competitive differentiator

Companies that lead in customer experience outperform laggards by nearly 80%

86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience

As customer expectations continue to rise, the case for digital transformation has become stronger. While traditional CCM channels like email and print remain important, customers are demanding more convenient ways to interact with organisations.

When integrating new channels such as messaging platforms, mobile applications, and social media:

  • Use your CCM tools to establish the same look and feel across all touchpoints and channels.
  • Map customer journeys to understand where touchpoints fit into the overall customer experience strategy.
  • Think about how to adapt communications to different channels and devices to convey information in the most effective way.

TREND 3: Deeper connections through personalisation

Customers are 2.1x more likely to view personalised offers as important, versus unimportant.

59% of customers say tailored engagement based on past interactions is very important to winning their business.

80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that offers personalised experiences.

50% of Millennials/Gen Zers generally ignore communications from companies unless they’re personalised for them.

One-size-fits-all communications are no longer effective. Customers now expect tailored messaging delivered how they want it, when they want it. Availability of data and advances in technology now means that your CCM system can play a central role in providing a hyper-personalised experience for customers.

  • Use your CCM system to gather insights into customer behaviour, for example, tracking opens and clicks to inform the content of future offers.
  • Consider the level of integration between your CCM system and other business systems, such as a CRM solution to access detailed customer analytics.

TREND 4: Video gets the personal touch

Personalised videos have a 16x increase in click-to-opens and a 4.5x increase in total/unique click-throughs

Personalised videos allow organisations to create engaging, interactive experiences that improve customer satisfaction and increase conversion rates. Videos incorporating personalised text or speech can be used at all stages throughout the customer journey, from on-boarding to billing and statements.

  • Use personalised videos that can be manipulated by the viewer and are easy to understand.
  • Short and punchy videos are most effective and work well embedded or linked to from an email or SMS.

TREND 5: CCM moves to the cloud

Through 2022, Gartner projects the market size and growth of the cloud services industry at nearly three times the growth of overall IT services.

More than a third of organisations see cloud investments as a top three investing priority.

As the complexity of CCM grows, organisations struggling with legacy systems risk falling behind. Cloud-based solutions have overcome past security concerns and are offering organisations unprecedented levels of flexibility and scalability, cost reduction, plus faster time to market with updates.

Look for a platform that:

  • Allows you to deliver interactive communications across multiple channels.
  • Is easy to use, agile, supports and enables business efficiency via simple workflows.
  • Records every action so that rich data sets can be analysed.

TREND 6: AI and data analytics will change the game

78% of business leaders plan to spend at least 5% more on AI marketing technologies in the next 12 months.

54% of business leaders said they’re already using AI marketing to better personalise the customer experience across channels or touchpoints.

As customer communications become more interactive and personalised, forward-thinking organisations will turn to AI and data analytics for competitive advantage.

To prepare:

  • Seek out and assess opportunities where AI can add value.
  • As soon as possible start building the data ecosystem needed for AI and advanced analytics.
  • Identify the capabilities necessary to integrate AI-powered insights into workflows or find an outsourced partner.

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