Our communications preferences have changed. Our preferences have shifted more towards digital – social media, text, messaging and now video are part of our daily habits.
While this is obviously true for new generations who were born in the digital world, those from traditional generations tend to adopt the convenience of asynchronous digital channels. Messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or iMessage allow users to control their agenda along with the tempo of the conversation. While an synchronous conversation (phone, for example) requires both participants to be active in the same time and dedicate 100% of their focus to the conversation and therefore suffer specific business constraints when it comes to engaging with a brand (waiting time, working hours), asynchronous channels are free of these constraints, allowing people to choose when to send a message and when to respond to it.
"Phone isn’t dead – there are multiple situations when the complexity of the request or the need for human emotion requires the use of a phone call. But in our daily lives, even when using the phone, people tend to start with a message asking whether the time is right before calling" Julien says.
As 80% of adults now use messaging apps daily to communicate with others, companies recognize the need to make their brands available on similar channels in order to engage with their customers and build relationship and loyalty.
"But being available on multiple channels isn’t just about connecting with customers, it has a strong impact on the NPS as well" says Julien, quoting a study by Teleperformance. A brand with 8 or more channels shows on average an NPS that is 39 points higher than one with a single point of contact.
"That can easily be explained by the fact that silent customers – those people who’d rather live with a problem than use a channel they dislike – now get their voices back and can engage with the brand to get solutions to their problems or answers to their questions, mechanically increasing their satisfaction and therefore the NPS".
Beyond the necessity of being available on multiple channels, there are two other major obstacles to a proper omni-digital strategy that Julien highlights in his presentation: customers have multiple digital identities and contact centres are traditionally organized in technological silos.
"While in the physical world we have a single identity, in the digital world, things are different: I may be firstname.lastname@example.org through email, maybe @JohnDoe on Twitter and, who knows, I might be @pinkUnicorn on Instagram!"
The impact of these multiple identities is a major challenge for companies: if you cannot identify your customers multiple faces, you will end up asking them to identify themselves over and over again and you won’t get the full picture of their various digital conversations with your brand. 89% of consumers claim to be frustrated by having to repeat their issues multiple times and 72% of them consider the customer service representative should already know their contact information.
Similarly, the way contact centres are organised can be challenging. Typically, there would be a team handling phone, another one handling social media, a third one managing email, a fourth one focusing on live-chat, maybe a fifth one taking care of messaging channels, etc…
"While this makes complete sense from a historical perspective as we needed to add new channels that emerged over time, it makes no sense from a productivity and customer satisfaction perspective" says Julien Rio. "58% of customers claim to be frustrated by inconsistent customer experiences across channels as a result of these silos".
From a productivity perspective, having silos means having more challenges spreading resources efficiently across channels to handle spikes in traffic or absorbing channel-specific backlog.
"With RingCentral Engage Digital, brands can engage with their customers on any digital channel easily – the platform unifies communications in a single interface and uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to automatically analyze messages and allocate them to the agent with the right competences to respond quickly and efficiently based on the company’s SLAs".
About RingCentral, Inc.:
RingCentral is a publicly traded provider of cloud-based phone systems for businesses. It is headquartered in Belmont, California and has offices in Denver, Colorado; Manila, Philippines; Xiamen, China; St. Petersburg, Russia and Odessa Ukraine.
Published: Friday, April 26, 2019
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