How to future-proof your customer communications strategy

s your organisation making the necessary changes to meet the needs of today’s digital-savvy consumers and in turn, delivering the exceptional experiences they expect? 

To remain relevant and competitive, organizations need to become more customer-centric and focus on delivering experiences equal to, if not better than, those offered by competitors, as well as players in other verticals. Investing in technology as part of a digital transformation strategy that emphasises customer communications is key to achieving this. 

Here are 6 technologies that will ensure your customer communications strategy is future-proofed: 

1.Artificial Intelligence 

All customer experiences need to be hyper-personalized, not just based on previous behaviour and preferences, but using technology to perform predictive analysis that incorporates what the customer needs NEXT.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to fundamentally enhance customer experiences. Organizations typically have enough data to apply far more advanced journey personalisation, but are only applying the basics to determine the right channel, time and tone for each customer. 

Artificial intelligence can be applied to big data to predict the future behavior of a customer and then orchestrate the journey accordingly in real-time. In other words, AI is used to identify the ideal step or offer that is most likely to result in action from the customer. It can also be used to provide content based on that prediction to prompt the user’s next action. 

2. Chatbots 

One can hardly go onto a website these days without encountering a chatbot (sometimes referred to as a virtual assistant). Used properly, this technology can be an innovative way of helping customers help themselves – chatbots are a great addition to self-service channels.  

But, there’s a big difference between simply having a chatbot versus making them a successful part of your customer communication strategy.

Organisations need to drive chatbot adoption and position the chatbot for maximum convenience. For example, properly integrating chatbots into key digital communications will ensure effective customer engagement and enhance customer experience.

3. Personalised video  

It’s hardly news that people like watching videos online. On YouTube alone, almost 5-billion videos are watched every single day. But video isn’t only great for entertainment. It’s also a powerful way of presenting information visually to make it easier to understand.  

We also know that people are more likely to engage better with personalized content. As such, personalising a video by including the viewer’s name, company, or photo, is the perfect way to engage and delight them. 

Personalisation is not enough, however. The video content should also be authentic, which means merging the quantitative data a company has access to, and qualitative information that it has obtained directly from customers and employees.   

4. Interactive content  

Interactive content could define the future of customer communications.  

Interactivity helps drive the evolution and relevance of customer communications. The use of elements such as animations like GIFS, sliders, collapsible menu bars, gamification and video allows you to personalise the customer experience and deliver highly targeted and relevant content.

5. Integrated progressive VOC  

A Voice of Customer (VoC) programme aims to gather and analyze customer insights, allowing you to identify trends and strategies to improve customer experience and deliver positive business outcomes.

Organizations can create a progressive VOC programme by integrating key questions into important communications (e.g. statements) that allow the customer to provide feedback with a single click. Then include another question in the next communication that is intelligently selected based on the answer to the previous one. 

Essentially, what organizations should do is build up a tailored VOC survey over a series of operational communications. 

6. eSignatures 

Despite being legal in South Africa since 2002 with the enactment of South Africa’s Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, eSignatures have been slow to take off. The events of the past year or so, however, have made them essential to continuing business.

There are very obvious benefits that come with adopting eSignatures. Not only are they more convenient, but they can also save the company time and money.  Done properly, eSignatures can also enhance the overall customer experience, allow people to sign documents no matter what device they’re using and enhance integration with existing document management processes.  

It’s not just about the technology

While implementing these technologies should be an integral part of any customer communication strategy, they should not be the only consideration. Organisations have to focus on the customers’ needs  and ensure they are delivering personalised experiences that foster loyalty and growth.