The usage of digital communication channels has risen tremendously over the years to become a deciding factor in stellar customer experience and business growth.
As per a SuperOffice survey, 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience.
Considering that the communication channels brands use to interact with customers are a big part of this experience, digital communication should be one of your top priorities going forward.
Below, we will discuss the trends and strategies around communication channels shaping modern business practices.
Communication channels and customer experience
The effectiveness of your customer experience depends on multiple factors. However, without an active presence on the most commonly used digital communication channels, all your other efforts may go in vain.
Customer behaviour is becoming increasingly digital. Your communication channels need to catch up to the trend, especially in order to stay relevant and reap the following benefits:
Communication channels help build loyalty
Failing to know your customers’ preferences can cost you opportunities to engage them when they want your help. 51% of consumers are loyal to brands that communicate with them through their preferred channels.
Image Source: CommBox
When a customer has the convenience of communicating with you without leaving their communication channel of choice, they’ll never want to deal with a brand that doesn’t provide them that option.
Communication channels foster trust
A HubSpot survey suggests that 82% of customers expect immediate answers to their questions.
Investing in digital communication channels like chat-bots, email, instant messaging and social media helps your business respond faster.
This creates trust in consumers that you are the top of their concerns. They come to realise that you can be relied upon when it matters.
Communication channels form lasting relationships
The ability to talk to your customers in a unified way, regardless of the communication channel they use, triggers a feeling of comfort and familiarity.
Eventually, they start seeing you as not a corporation, but as a trusted friend. This sets the foundation for a long-term relationship.
It’s a win for you because acquiring new customers costs 5x more than retaining existing customers.
How customer communication has evolved in the Covid-19 era
Covid-19 has drastically changed the ways and means of communication between businesses and customers. Let’s take a look at the magnitude of these changes.
The rise of digital communication technologies
79% of companies have increased the use of digital communication channels and adopted new channels due to Covid-19, as per data from ExpertMarket.
Among the most used channels to communicate with customers, emails and video calls shared the top spot at 74% each. And telephones were close, at 50%.
Organisations are using digital communication channels to announce new discounts, conduct surveys, and share customer care updates.
So it’s high time that you start planning the addition of new channels in your customer communication system. Otherwise you risk going out of tune from your buyers.
Digital communication for marketing
As more and more people are confined to their homes during Covid-19, internet usage has been on the rise. Companies are recognising this shift and adapting their marketing strategies to continue to capture and engage customers.
As per a survey by Mapp, 65% of marketing professionals have prioritised digital technologies more than what they planned, citing Covid-19 as the reason.
For example, the most common channels of choice include SMS and WhatsApp messaging, thanks to their 98% open rate.
If you don’t want to be left behind, it’s time to start using digital content and communication channels to create marketing advantages.
More personalised and empathetic marketing
Customers are already overwhelmed with the economic downturn. This gives you the opportunity to stand out as a company that cares and has an authentic voice.
When you consider that 68% of consumers stop dealing with a brand because of perceived apathy, how you manage your communication channels becomes even more important.
If you want to solidify your customer relationships during the pandemic, educating your customer care executives on empathetic communication is a natural first step.
Communicate with one voice
Now that we have seen how important digital communication is for a great customer experience, you’re ready to analyse your target audience and their most preferred digital channels.
Keeping these new channels in mind, create a strategy to zero in on how you will leverage these channels and make sure that no communication slips through the cracks.
In addition, think about how you will present a single unified voice as a brand, even if a customer is communicating with different service reps at different points in time.
Once your plan comes together, you’ll see a real difference in how buyers see you and communicate with you, leading to a positive change to your bottom line.
About the author:
Hitesh Sahni is a content strategy consultant, writer and founder of Smemark, an upscale content writing studio helping brands accelerate growth. He has delivered 2000+ pieces of content in over 15 industries, and has managed accounts ranging from $5k to $50k in monthly content spend.