Our expectations as consumers have rapidly changed. We want to be able to shop when we want, where we want, and receive it at a time that suits us. However, if something is out of stock, delayed, or we have a question – we want to be able to engage with a business. “Now it’s not about instant gratification. It’s about the way to have a conversation with somebody that you are buying something from. The online engagement has changed,” says Savinay Berry, EVP/ Product Engineering, at Vonage. Berry spoke recently at a GDS Group CX Summit sharing his observations turning transactions and notifications into meaningful discussions with customers.
We are getting flooded with notifications from a variety of companies whether it’s an email about a clothing sale, a notification about a delivery, or an update regarding travel plans.
Vonage reports that on average we receive more than 75 notifications per day a user. Add them all up and that’s over 285 billion notifications a day. However, these notifications are not conversations. Most brands are not embracing this opportunity. “You have all of the brands trying to figure out these moments of engagement with these end-users but in the process, what is happening is it becomes a moment of notification not a moment of engagement. If you don’t connect with that person in that moment, you lose them,” Berry says.
Turning Notifications into Conversations
How can you keep your customers and change your notifications into meaningful engagement? It’s not an easy task. Many organizations are challenged with:
- Disparate and siloed systems: Customer may share personal information on the phone, but that data doesn’t always get reflected on other systems and channels.
- Not enough data: Customers can be routed to a chatbot over an agent and give limited context.
- Lack the technology to support customers: When a customer is inconvenienced, they are notified but not always given another option or proactive solution. Sentiment is not gauged.
- Limited options: Customer is sent an ad but can’t ask questions or connect with an agent before a purchase.
So how can we solve these challenges and get ready and create the next generation of conversations? “We do have a lot of the technology. With 5G networks, with programmable communications, with the cloud. We can enable this.” Berry states that the opportunity is now. It is ready to get to the intelligent layer of engagement and it can be anywhere. “It can be in the meta world, in the real world, in the digital world,” says Berry.
Volume & Opportunity
- In 2022, there are more than 6.6 billion smartphone users in the word, according to Bankmycell.
- Close to 2.3 trillion texts sent annually
- An expected 4.4 billion 5G subscribers by 2027 according to Ericsson.
With so much opportunity – how are you going to create meaningful conversations to remain competitive? The time is now.
“Conversations are the new digital storefront.”
Savinay Berry, EVP/ Product Engineering, Vonage
Whether a consumer has a question about a purchase or wants to know more – this will be a more interactive, real-time, personalized experience. But how do you enable these conversations? Berry states it’s a journey. Today we are still in the transactional notification stage. “It’s all transactions, no conversations.” What comes next? More seamless, personalized conversations on multiple channels. “To do that you need the different system records to all combine into a single place like a customer data platform that enables a single user and their behavior to be identified.” The last step: More immersive experiences no matter where you are located. “If I get a notification I can have a conversation with a person, make a purchase and share with my social network right there,” Berry explains.
Sometimes consumers just want a little TLC. We have all been customers ourselves and understand mistakes happen. Maybe you had an issue with an order? With increased engagement from the brand, you can turn that disappointed moment into a proactive resolution. Turn that customer into a brand advocate by engaging with that person via chat. Identify that user, gauge the sentiment, answer their questions in real-time, and offer them a resolution and a potential discount for their next purchase to turn them into a brand advocate. “To close that loop, it requires a lot of systems in the backend to be connected to each other. But it can turn that customer that was disappointed and had a question about something they bought – into a brand advocate and that’s the power of engagement,” Berry advises.
How are you planning on increasing engagement with your customers? Join the conversation at one of our GDS Summits!
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