The world of customer communications is constantly changing and, with the speed at which our technology is advancing, these changes are happening faster than ever. Today we are going to analyze the digital communication trends to watch out for in 2021. A CCM (Customer Communication Management) solution like iberDok, fits perfectly as a hinge for many of these trends thanks to features that guarantee personalization, omnichannel, security and transparency.
It is never too early to start preparing for the future, especially when it comes to creating the perfect customer experience.
The expectation 5 years ago is now normalcy. Today’s customers can be very critical of companies that do not conform to their communication expectations. This change in user perception doesn’t happen immediately, but it happens at a faster pace as time goes on and more innovative companies adopt new technologies. At some point, customers begin to perceive it as us falling behind in prioritizing their experience and this is dangerous in a time of rapidly changing “brand loyalty.”
Personalization has been a major focus of companies for the past five years, and for good reason. One study found that 80% of customers are more likely to buy products and services from brands that offer personalized experiences. Personalization is better for both customers and companies. Customers receive messages that are relevant to them. They won’t have to look at their screen or at their email thinking “why am I seeing an ad for this?” or “why does company X think I’d be interested in this product?” And because communications connect more with customers, they are more likely to buy products, or remain loyal to the brand.
Personalization goes beyond marketing and encompasses all the ways customers interact with the company. Here are some use cases. Companies are increasingly trying to capitalize on personalization to create more meaningful experiences for customers. For example, something as simple as asking a customer their communication preferences can make a big difference. That way we will know how they want us to communicate with them and avoid frustration by not doing so through a different channel or medium.
- The rise of chatbots
Chatbots are not new, but we expect them to become even more popular in 2021. Chatbots are proving to be extremely useful in improving customer experiences while delivering benefits to businesses. Solutions like the form generators of our iberDok solution integrated into a chatbot could be extremely efficient in these kinds of routine situations. Here is a quick overview of the benefits of chatbots:
They are excellent for collecting customer data that can be analyzed for valuable information about them and what motivates them. That way you can expedite a transaction or generate a document in real time with maximum assurance.
- They reduce pressure on customer service personnel by handling simple problems or recurring administrative procedures.
- They are excellent for lead generation, as they help the sales team to successfully convert more potential customers.
- They allow you to operate 24/7. This is ideal for customers who prefer to engage in a more flexible manner. It is also great for approaching global markets where customers live in different time zones.
- Long-term cost savings for the enterprise.
Chatbots will become even more prevalent in 2021 and beyond. About 50% of companies now plan to spend more on chatbots than on mobile apps. When you consider that chatbots can reduce operating costs by as much as 30%, it’s easy to see why so many companies are investing in integrating these types of solutions into their communication strategy
- Predictive analytics and data science
Data science is booming, and this will continue in 2021. With the rise of data collection tools that support omnichannel platforms, we can get even more out of our data each year. Nothing is unimportant when it comes to customer data. Everything has the power to inform how we create goals for the business in the future.
These are some of the types of data that companies are increasingly focusing on:
- Customer transactional data.
- Product usage data.
- Customer behavior on the website.
- Text data from live chat, emails, forms and other customer communications.
- Segmentation: patterns in customers based on experiences or situations combined.
- How customers react to changes in products or how they feel about particular promotions.
- Customer preferences.
Once we have enough customer data and can manage and analyze it, we can start using predictive analytics. This field of artificial intelligence and machine learning is advancing at a rapid pace right now.
Anticipation in communications will then be key. For example, we can generate the launch condition of a communication from a combination of incoming behavioral data that tells us the right time to offer a service renewal, an offer, a personal communication, etc.
- Omnichannel approach
Customers will expect companies to have a consistent voice across all platforms. Many companies have been working to achieve this in recent years, but it is now becoming an expectation rather than something that is “nice to have.” A customer will be frustrated if they have to continually repeat the personal data or issues they face every time they communicate with your company through a different channel.
Data must follow the customer wherever they go. Communication technologies are mature enough to integrate and move in this direction and away from a siloed approach.
- Increased focus on privacy and security
Data breaches have been multiplying at an alarming rate in 2020 and this looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. Similarly, cybersecurity professionals are working hard to combat this, but the cycle continues. Because these attacks are becoming more visible, customers are more aware than ever of their data and security.
One of iberDok’s biggest concerns is security and to ensure this we have made several product innovations such as integration with blockchain technology that ensures data integrity and privacy.
Users understand that their data is valuable to our business. They also understand that by sharing that data they get something valuable in return (a more personalized experience). However, this does not mean they are happy to give up their data freely. Many consumers no longer trust companies.
In 2021, we expect more companies to implement stricter privacy and security practices in the cloud and communicate them to their customers. We also expect companies to offer more ways for customers to have control over the data they share. Organizations that are serious about respecting data attract more customers, especially those who are concerned about privacy.
Customers appreciate honest companies. In the age of “fake news” and widespread misinformation, consumers just want to know the truth. They don’t want to read between the lines when browsing a product or service. We expect more companies to use digital media to communicate their commitment to transparency: This can be accomplished in several ways
- Creating personal relationships with customers to the extent each person desires. Being friendly and personable with consumers and engaging in real conversations with them.
- Communicating your privacy and data protection policies simply and clearly. Many times the legal texts that accompany these policies are unintelligible to the user. Let’s make an effort to simplify it.
- Quickly admitting mistakes and fulfilling promises to correct them.
- Being transparent with all elements of the customer journey.
As fields such as data science, Artificial Intelligence, and other disruptive technologies continue to advance, we expect to see more changes in customer communication. It will be key that solutions like iberDok with a clear customer centric orientation are able to integrate information and provide the best of experiences.