As more brands than ever are incorporating AI and communication technology into their customer service strategy, there are still some brands holding back. For those who are, the biggest fear is losing the intimacy and personalisation of face-to-face interaction between customers and companies. This is especially true for financial companies, where customer-business interaction directly impacts a customer’s well-being. But according to omnichannel communication companies like Mitto, increasing customer satisfaction via interaction is at the forefront of implementation.
Shifting customer dynamic
Data continues to show that people of all ages are using technology more in their day-to-day tasks. But what is very important to note is that the core consumer set is now people born in 1981 or after. The 80s brought about the birth of the digital revolution, which means that consumers born during or after the start of the digital revolution have never known a world without some sort of assistive technology. Understandably, financial companies (many of which are close to or more than a century old) may feel worried about alienating a subset of their customers. But the good news is that for many of their customers, a shift to heavily digitised customer assistance is nothing new — and it may even be welcomed.
Consumers are used to technology, and they are in an era of unprecedented technological evolution. Only a decade or two in the past, email was the preferred method of communication for Gen X and their younger Millennial counterparts. Today, as the new consumer block shifts to accommodate Gen Z, communication channels are going to change. Studies show that younger consumers search for and purchase items over social media, and over 60% of consumers polled would rather deal with a text-based tech platform than with a live person.
But it’s not just the method of communication that has shifted for younger consumers. Their interests have, as well, and that has also changed the way brands interact. Ilja Gorelik, COO of Mitto, delved deeper into some of the insights their company has been able to take away from their work.
“Americans want brands to take action on social justice matters. Just after the Black Lives Matter movement took hold…73% of Americans said it is important that BLM-related statements they receive from brands, nonprofits, and other organisations, are not only empathetic but are followed by measurable action.” Gorelik commented on this in an interview with Martechcube.
But insights shouldn’t start and end with Americans. Brands are also concerned with how different world regions prefer to communicate. And data suggests that there is no one method of communication that is perfect for all people in all parts of the world — a concern that has grown with the rise of communication platforms. Gorelik also mentioned this in the interview with Martechcube, “American consumers use chat apps to engage with brands much less than in other countries: over 80% of consumers in China, Brazil, India, and Nigeria use chat apps for brand engagement, significantly higher than in the U.S. (51%)”.
So, while methods like SMS might work for American consumers — they don’t work for all. And in today’s global economy, that’s an issue. As is finding a way to provide good customer service in a way that makes sense based on the platform. That’s where many eager companies are stepping in and thriving.
How digital communication is revolutionising customer service
Most modern brands are well aware of the issues that come along with digitising their consumer communication. Ilja Gorelik, co-founder and COO of omnichannel messaging service provider Mitto, said in a recent interview, “With digitisation, the pressure is on for brands to communicate effectively with their customers on the channels they want, when they want, and with messages, they resonate with.”
Tackling the changing consumer dynamic is the basis for inspiring communication entrepreneurs. Omnichannel communication options allow companies to satisfy a range of consumers, from all backgrounds and age groups, but they are not something companies can implement overnight. So, as companies work to implement communication channels that work for a range of customers, companies and their clients alike can step up to the plate by providing excellent customer service in a friendly manner. And that looks different based on what type of communication channel a company uses to interact with a customer.
Consumers talk about poor customer support — and that can make the difference between good press and bad press. A recent survey showed that Americans, in particular, are more likely to write in support of a company if they received good support from that company. From the same report, it’s clear this extends beyond customer support helping with issues and extends to recommendations. Over 90% of surveyed consumers said brands that offered personalised recommendations and promotions were more appealing to them than those brands that didn’t. Good omnichannel communication considers the entire customer shopping experience.
How Omnichannel messaging is personalising the customer experience
Digital communication has its own set of grammatical and tone rules which are separate from an established language and take age, region, and other contexts into play. Mitto’s “Psychology of Messaging” research, which polled 2,000 adult American consumers, examined the best platforms and contexts for engaging with customers.
Perhaps one of the biggest differences between face-to-face communication and digital communication is the use of slang and emojis. In the workplace, a person is less likely to incorporate these two things into regular speech. However, depending on the context, using slang, humor, and even emojis can be a very effective way to connect to a consumer. 43% of polled participants mentioned humor as an appropriate engagement tool for entertainment businesses. For slang, Millennials are much more comfortable with the use of slang in communication with a company (48% are ok with it) compared to Gen X and Baby Boomers, for whom less than 30% of the surveyed population are ok with it.
Incorporating these tactics is part of the text language culture. However, it may also have to do with the preferred method of communication from consumers. The Psychology of Messaging study showed that 55% of surveyed Americans looked for low-pressure messaging from brands, and that number was higher among older Americans.
This also means taking some of the responsibility off consumers. For instance, in the event of a delayed shipment, 60% of consumers would prefer brands to reach out to them if there is a slight delay in their order. This differs from many mainstream sales providers who require you to check the shipping status online and do not offer an option for shipping updates. According to the survey, the preferred method of communication for shipping delays includes sending regular follow-up texts promptly and receiving personalised messages from a chatbot.
Issues yet to tackle
While many of the above campaigns and services will be seamless to incorporate into omnichannel messaging, they don’t come without their issues. One of the biggest is data sharing. To fix many of the issues modern brands aim to fix with omnichannel messaging, consumers must share data — whether that be their phone number or their consumer interests. It can be scary for consumers to share this data. For omnichannel messaging companies like Mitto, it comes down to transparency. The Psychology of Messaging study found that as much as 90% of consumers opened up to data sharing when promised an easier shopping experience.
The trade-off for companies, however, will be reinforcing great customer care — especially of a customer’s vital data and privacy. This is only one of many ways in which switching over to digital communication doesn’t mean skimping on customer care.
Mitto is an omnichannel communication solution company aimed at providing comprehensive, engaging messaging and engagement technology to companies around the globe. Founded in 2013 by Andrea Giacomini and Ilja Gorelik, Mitto offers easy-to-integrate communication options like voice, Chat App APIs, end-to-end phone number management, SMS, and more. Gorelik started in the communications game long before starting Mitto, contributing to the field of telecommunications and communication tech and bringing that experience with him to Mitto. This platform of combined knowledge is what propelled the founders of Mitto into starting the omnichannel communications company to take capable companies into the future of customer support communication.