Welcome to the 8th iteration of Conversocial’s Definitive Guide - our annual eBook that helps brands navigate the world of customer engagement.
If you’ve followed our progress over any or all of the previous seven guides, you’ll understand how Conversocial has evolved with the changes in the world of customer engagement since 2013. Last year’s guide was purely focused on customer service, which already feels quite outdated. This is down not just to the changing expectations of consumers, but also the progress in digital CX enforced by a certain pandemic that’s swept the world in 2020.
The evolution of the capabilities of messaging channels have almost mirrored the change in consumer habits, which were already happening pre-Covid, but have become vital for both brands and consumers this year. Modern CX needs to happen across the whole buyer journey, not just because it can, but because consumers demand it.
Conversocial’s research found:
- During the pandemic 68% of consumers engaged with a brand via messaging apps
- If Covid ended tomorrow 81% would still shop online, 41% would use home delivery and 31% would keep doing curbside pickups
- Messaging channels are for more than customer service queries - 36% bought a product, 23% booked appointments and 29% asked about a product or service.
Now I keep saying that the whole buyer journey can happen in messaging channels, but as a fairly new concept, it’s not immediately obvious how, why and where it can happen. This year’s guide is designed to help marketers, customer experience execs and customer service managers understand the how, the why and the where of messaging channels. Facebook, Google and Apple all have messaging apps with the ability to reach consumers at the acquisition, care and engagement stages of their lifecycle.
Messaging For Acquisition
If a marketer was offered a medium for acquisition that provides higher engagement rates, brings down the CPL and CAC for campaigns, whilst delivering better ROA, you wouldn’t see them for dust as they set off to find this amazing tool.
This is the power of messaging channels. Consumers use them to chat to their friends and family, so it offers a more familiar and convenient ‘way in’ to begin or maintain a relationship with brands. Buying items, booking appointments, or opening a conversation with consumers as soon as they’ve Googled something are viable options for hooking in new or repeat customers at the top of the funnel.
This isn’t Conversocial suggesting every marketing department should ditch email or other forms of advertising, but it’s worth considering adding this incredibly effective string to their bows.
"This is something where the business can reach out to the user. You're not just sitting, waiting to respond to user questions, you can use it as a channel to reach back out and engage the user as well."
Rob Lawson, Partnerships @ Google
Messaging For Care
Customer service agents see a lot of the same issues every day. They’re very real questions that need to be answered, but it doesn’t always have to be by a human. At the start of the pandemic, our airline partners were swamped with inbound traffic - one saw a 2600% spike across just 10 days in March. We found that the most common intents (unsurprisingly) were around cancelations, refunds and rebooking. They're every day tasks, but there’s no way a contact center could handle them without the help of bots and automation.
These queries are relatively straightforward processes, complicated by sheer volume. It’s a unique set of circumstances that led to the spike, but it shows that the most frequent reasons customers get in touch can be automated. It’s beneficial for both sides; providing a more efficient process for consumers and freeing up customer service agents to deal with less common, more complicated issues.
Messaging For Engagement
The goal of any customer engagement exec is to create positive relationships with customers. A happy customer is a loyal one and much easier to retain as the lifecycle goes full circle and their marketing team is looking for repeat business.
Messaging channels are asynchronous, device agnostic and convenient - everything a modern consumer wants in its relationship with a brand, especially at a time when face-to-face engagement is a bit of a pipe dream.
Our research shows 71% of customers expect brands to offer customer support over messaging, with 66% wanting personalized experiences. This requires joined-up thinking, departments can no longer be siloed, passing customers between teams as they move through their lifecycle. A broader approach is required, with every customer-facing agent needing access to a customer’s history with the business - it leads to a satisfied customer that feels valued by the brand.
"Being proactive, suggestive, and preventive is the future of customer engagement — making it simple for the user to self-serve, be assisted through a bot conversation, and ultimately connect with an agent, all in a seamless streamlined way."
Ido Bornstein-Hacohen, Conversocial CEO
This is just a taste of our Definitive Guide to Customer Experience in 2021. There’s so much more to the world of messaging and intelligent automation, and frankly, we don’t want to give it all away in this blog!
Read our industry-renowned Definitive Guide to get an overview of the state of modern customer experience, understand the wide-ranging capabilities of messaging channels for CX and access real-world examples of how to employ them across your customer’s entire lifecycle.