Tech companies are raising the bar for customer expectations by personalizing almost every area of our lives. Netflix knows what movies and TV shows you like, Spotify knows when your favorite artists are touring near your hometown, and Amazon knows what you would most likely add to your one-click checkout. The speed of technological and transformational change continues to race forward, and one thing is clear: it’s time to get more personal.
Experiences are more important than any product or service when it comes to building brand loyalty. And keeping customers happy is much cheaper than acquiring new ones. One to one and personalized conversations allow brands to own a specific personality, display spontaneity, and informality during interactions, which in turn leaves customers feeling like unique individuals with positive feelings toward your business.
Enable real-time conversations
Almost every website that you visit today will have a Live Chat feature pop-up in the bottom right-hand corner. The simple chat window enables users to multitask while waiting for an agent or a response and still enjoy a real-time conversation at their convenience.
In-app chat also offers real-time order updates directly to the mobile screen where we spend most of our time. In our former analog world, retailers used to repeat the mantra “eye level is buy level,” to employees. In our increasingly digital world, it’s brands that follow attention rather than platforms that will enjoy greater success.
Stop talking, start listening
Twitter is widely regarded as the pulse of the internet. A platform where users can learn more about what interests the global community, breaking news stories, or what is the shape of Kim Kardashian’s latest perfume scent. However, when faced with brands who hide behind do-not-reply email addresses and long hold times, many consumers feel their only resort is to turn to Twitter and air their grievances.
However, it is relatively easy to turn such challenges into opportunities by embracing the fact that customers now control the conversation. Listening to those online conversations in the public arena and ensuring customer service teams work together and respond accordingly will help your brand shine. You can also convince customers to continue the conversation using private direct messages and quickly save you from further embarrassment.
It might surprise you to know that YouTube has 3 billion searches per month. Online users immediately turn to YouTube for everything from how to fix a kitchen appliance or learn how to use an application. We shouldn’t be too surprised that customers will use the same platform to reach out directly to the brand. But are you listening?
Make immediate connections
The biggest mistake businesses make is forgetting the golden rule that a conversation is a dialogue, not a monologue. When creating carefully timed personalized marketing messages as part of a new digital strategy, it’s easy to forget that listening to your audience is as important if not more so than flooding communication with unwanted and intrusive content.
Most people reading this will regularly use Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram to communicate with both friends and brands. The fact that Facebook owns these platforms is no accident. Zuckerberg knows the value in following attention and being a part of every conversation.
Take a look around. Your customers are not talking into their smartphones. They are communicating and sharing content across a myriad of digital messaging platforms. If you are not listening to the challenges, problems, and frustrations of your customers, your competitor will.
Customer service messaging in a digital age involves being there for your customers on the right device and app at a convenient time for them. The days of leaving customers on hold for 20 minutes are long gone.
Don’t over-complicate matters; just focus on serving your audience. In many cases, all customers want is an immediate connection with a brand. No algorithms, and no cumbersome downloads or logins to navigate around. Just a simple conversation on their platform of choice. Isn’t it time your business was a part of the conversation on messaging apps?
If you would like to learn more about how you can digitally transform your customer experience, visit ringcentral.com/engage
Originally published Feb 26, 2020, updated Dec 30, 2022