Learn the critical importance for businesses to adapt to evolving customer communication preferences in the digital age.
Customer Communications Can Build Loyalty And Retention, Even In Challenging Economic Times
Enhance your organisation’s customer communications to effectively boost customer retention and loyalty
Inflationary pressures on consumers continue to mount. The Consumer Prices Index has now risen to 9.4% with little sign of relenting. Even more alarming is that heating bills are now forecast to hit nearly four times what some consumers paid just two years ago, and that 37% of Britons cannot afford to heat their home to a level where they are comfortably warm.
This “cost of living squeeze” is unlikely to disappear anytime soon either.
Research from the British Chambers of Commerce shows that 65% of companies expect to raise prices – a 23% increase from last year! 67% cited utility bills, 66% labour costs, 56% fuel and 53% raw materials as driving prices rises.
Everything will, in other words, continue to get more expensive.
In the face of these pressures, many customers have little choice but to cut back where they can. Chances are they won’t cut back on day-to-day luxuries. Instead, they’ll cut out the kinds of services that are essentially grudge purchases. Insurance is one example, as are saving and investment vehicles offered by financial services companies.
Organisations in those, and other, sectors will therefore have to work even harder to retain customers. Customer communications can build loyalty; so, investing in an effective Customer Communications Platform is critical for any organisation wanting to improve customer retention. Like any relationship, the one between a customer and a business requires consistent communication.
Equally critical, however, will be the recognition that it cannot be business as usual. Customers face unprecedented volumes of information across every device they use. Now, more than ever, organisations looking to stand out from the noise need to understand their customers’ communication preferences and be able to meet them where they are.
Discover how an effective Customer Communications platform can help your organisation engage customers in ways that are frequent, targeted and interactive, with communications available on demand – in the customers’ channel of choice.
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Consumers expect hyper-personal, omnichannel experiences 24/7
Over the past couple of years, those preferences have changed drastically too. A McKinsey study, for example, found that COVID-19 has accelerated the digitalisation of customer interactions by three to four years. Today’s customer doesn’t just expect to be able to communicate with an organisation through a single digital channel either. They expect to be able to carry an interaction across whichever channel is most convenient to them at the time.
Moreover, they expect those interactions to be hyper-personalised and want the ability to get the assistance they need instantly. There has been almost a 60% increase in U.K. customers who express frustration when a brand’s personalisation initiatives don’t recognise their unique needs and desires.
Customers are also less willing than ever to go through traditional intermediaries – including brokers and third-party advisers – to get that assistance. That means that organisations must ensure they’re in a position to communicate directly with their customers and be able to assist them with their queries as soon as they come in.
Refining and utilising data
Data is, of course, key to any organisation’s ability to cater to customer preferences. But data alone can only take an organisation so far. In order to provide the kind of hyper-personalised experiences that customers desire, organisations need to be able to combine disparate data sets and refine them.
Organisations should particularly be on the lookout for data that includes information about the individual customer (such as contact information, geographic location, basic demographics, communication preferences, and data processing consent), information about what the individual customer does (typically found in internal data sources such sales and communication histories), and big external sources of data which are useful in refining the shape of the customer.
By combining and refining these data sources, organisations can go a long way to getting a single view of the customer, which makes providing tailored experiences a great deal simpler.
The right technology
When it comes to translating that refined data into actionable customer communication, technology can be a powerful enabler. A communications management (CCM) platform, for example, can help ensure that organisations send messages to customers that are no longer generic, but instead, tailored according to customers’ needs and sent via specific platforms (web, email, text, print) and devices (mobile, laptop, tablet, PC).
They also ensure that any message received by a customer takes their entire history into account, as well as the entire context of the interaction. This contextual information includes lifestyle and life-stage needs, history of online activity, and personal preferences.
Critically, it also helps organisations provide consistency across all the channels that customers interact through. That’s vital to providing the kind of great experiences that are crucial to keeping customers loyal.
Keeping up with shifting customer expectations is essential
While technology and data can go a long way to ensuring that organisations meet changing customer preferences, utilising them effectively does not mean that organisations can afford to become complacent. Keeping up with changes in customer behaviour and preferences should be an ongoing effort.
And at a time when customers are under immense pressure, it’s critical that organisations redouble those efforts. If they fail to do so, customers will quickly view cutting off that particular service as an expedient way to lighten the load on their wallets.
Retain Loyal Customers Through effective CCM
As a single, trusted partner offering a holistic CCM solution, Doxim can help you operationalise your customer experience strategy and make every interaction count.
Doxim’s omnichannel CCM platform can empower your business users to generate the frequent, ongoing, and personal interactions your customers crave, and distribute these communications through multiple channels (via print, PDF, HTML, email, text, and online interactive experiences).
The omnichannel capabilities of the platform are such that when a customer calls in to speak to a service representative or engages with a chatbot, both human and machine can provide immediate assistance by calling up the communication or document that the customer received. This keeps every customer communication connected, making hyper-personal, omnichannel customer interactions a reality.
James Hall is RVP for EMEA & APAC at Doxim. James focuses on building partnerships with clients to help them meet their business goals through communication. James has more than 20 years’ experience in a wide range of technology-based roles. His expertise extends across the fields of consultancy, product management, project management, account management and sales. James has an MSc in climate change management.
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