Customer Experience is Paramount When Messaging in the Age of The Connected Individual

Customer Experience is Paramount When Messaging in the Age of The Connected Individual

Messaging used to be so easy. You pulled out a pen, wrote someone a note, put a stamp on it and dropped it in the mailbox.  Then, some days later, or perhaps a week or two later, you’d get a response.  Well, things are different now, I can’t remember the last time I wrote a letter, but just today alone I sent and received over 100 emails (including two customer service complaints), 45 SMS messages (including a Subway coupon and a security pin), pushed 10 tweets out of the nest, exchanged 18 Facebook messages with a sticker company (I’m getting ready for my daughter’s birthday), 10 What’s App messages, and an engaged the CNN Facebook Messenger chatbot to catch up on the latest news. Oh, and I had a lengthy interactive Skype session with my mom.  Yup, just another day in the office as they say, and I’m not alone. Messaging has become a core fixture in the lives of the average digital individual, which is most of us. 

We’re exchanging trillions of text messages, emails, apps messages, push notifications, and chatbot messages every single data, not just with other people but with artificial intelligence, like IBM Watson.  In fact, Garter has estimated that by 2020 nearly 84% of every interaction a person will have with your business may not include a human on your side of the conversation, and it is conversations that drive business not brochures. The inquires, price checks, transactions, and customer care engagements you have with people through text messages, emails, and chatbots, for instance, will both drive revenue and reduce your costs.  A recent Retail study noted that 64% of Millennials are likely to purchase products and services from a brand’s chatbot, and many brands are finding that they can save millions by using chatbots to triage customer care calls or SMS to secure communications.

There is little we can know for sure, but there is one this we can be certain of, messaging is here to stay, all messaging, including email, SMS, MMS, RCS, iMessage, app messages, alerts, screen-lock ads, chatbots, app and browser push, beacon alerts and more. Various messaging formats and mediums have their time and place, within the marketing mix. Some forms of message are better for sales and customer services for instance, while others are perfect for instant alerts and notifications.  The exact mix of messaging capabilities you eventually integrate and maintain within your organization will vary significantly based on a wide range of factors like your industry, your customers and shoppers preferences, your legacy corporate systems, and more, but you most certainly leverage more one.

When developing your messaging strategies and tactics going forward and evaluating which messaging solutions or vendors you’re going to partner with I like to encourage you to keep one key factor in mind. Messaging is a complicated, technical business. You should leave the technology to the experts. The strategic, tactical, technical and regulatory requirements to effectively and efficiently run large scale SMS, email, chatbot or beacon campaigns are extremely different. Therefore, be very wary if you come across a provider the suggest that they can do it all for you. Rather, that aligning than taking a single marketing cloud services approach, I would encourage you to develop a multi-party, best in the breed, messaging party approach, as customer experience has become a new battlefront. Gartner predicts that 89% of companies today are competing on experience, not just product and service.  With a best of breed messaging approach, you’ll be in the position to give your customers the best possible customer experience possible, through each and every one of the channels you enable for them while giving you the flexibility to replace or integrate new capabilities as the industry evolves.

Title Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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Michael Becker is an intentionally recognized identity & personal information management solutions strategic advisor, speaker, entrepreneur, and academic. He advises companies on personal information economy business strategy, product development, business development, and sales & marketing strategies. He also represents them at leading trade groups, including the Mobile Ecosystem Forum. Michael is an advisor to Assurant, Predii, Privowny, and Phoji. He is the co-author of Mobile Marketing for Dummies and a number of other books and articles related to mobile marketing, identity, and personal information management. He is on the faculty of marketing of the Association of National Advertisers and National University. A serial entrepreneur, Michael founded Identity Praxis, co-founded mCordis and The Connected Marketer Institute, was a founding member of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), and was on the MMA board of directors for ten years and was MMA’s North American Managing Director for three years. In 2004, Michael co-founded iLoop Mobile, a leading messaging solutions provider. In 2014, Michael was awarded the 2014 Marketing EDGE Edward Mayer Education Leadership Award for his commitment to marketing education.

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