Our communication and engagement preferences have rapidly changed over the past decade. The growth of WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media channels has fueled this change and is, simultaneously, evidence of the change.
As of early 2020, there were an estimated 3.8 billion active social media users around the world. They’re sending 90 billion messages — every day. No one is writing letters. They’re barely using email. The conversations are happening online, in real time.
Whether you like it or not, your brand is at the center of many of these conversations. People are commenting, praising, and critiquing your brand. They’re asking questions — and expecting answers. If you’re not listening and engaging, you’re missing out.
And that was before the recent coronavirus quarantines and business closures. Stay at home orders and shuttered brick and mortar touch points have accelerated the already rapid adoption of modern channels. Two thirds of Gen X, Y, and Z already preferred modern channels for business connections. The rest of your customers now find themselves in a situation where they’ll need to begin to move toward modern channels whether they’re ready or not — they simply don’t have a choice.
And, to be clear, these modern channels include more than social networking apps (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others). They’re the tip of the modern channel iceberg, but people are also reading blogs and sending SMS messages. They’re using messaging apps like WhatsApp. They’re posting on review sites.
If we’ve learned anything during the past few weeks, it’s that modern channels are now the most strategic communication methods on the planet.
Customer Care is the new Marketing
A central, and often overlooked, aspect of our move to modern channels is its impact on the overall customer experience, including customer care. Statistics bear this out – a majority of millennial Twitter users – 70.6% – say they’ve used social media to comment on the quality of a company’s customer service.
And consumers will walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience. That’s because modern customers are different. They’re connected and informed. Modern customers expect brands to provide a stellar customer care experience. They want to feel known and in control. They want brands to engage with them on their channel of choice. Increasingly, this does not include a voice-based telephone.
Unfortunately, in most organizations the marketing, care, and social teams operate separately, usually within different organizational structures. These silos create a disconnected, and often frustrating, customer experience. And when one of your customers has a question, problem, or complaint, a disjointed experience can further aggravate an already touchy situation.
Today, with the far-reaching power of social media, even a slightly below average experience has the potential to influence thousands — or millions — of other consumers. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WeChat and review sites are overflowing with negative brand comments. Customers and potential customers read them. Marketing, care, and social teams need to work together to address them. The challenge for the typical siloed organization is that their customer experience is frequently disjointed and slow.
Imagine a better scenario: a connected, integrated experience across all channels, with a single view of the customer. An issue might start with a Twitter rant, quickly move to a DM or chat, transition to a phone call, and end with an e-mail, seamlessly flowing across channels with smooth handoffs and the customer feeling known, respected, and appreciated every step of the process.
Fortunately, this is entirely possible. Sprinklr’s platform helps brands create a unified front office, bringing every customer-facing function together in one place with a unified customer ID. The result? You have one view of your customer and the ability to achieve instant social media engagement, personalized advertising and proactive care.
And a unified customer experience not only makes for happier customers, it makes business sense: 65 percent of a company’s business comes from existing customers. Marketing departments spend small fortunes trying to engage 1:1 with customers while customer service reps are encouraged to spend as little time engaging with customers as possible. It makes no sense at all.
Sprinklr has seen some recent progress in this area, with some of the brands it works with putting care and marketing in the same group. It’s the right move for a world where consumers expect brands to be on the channel of their choice – whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or WhatsApp – and they expect brands to quickly meet them where they are with a personalized experience.
Fortunately, there are tools available to help. If you want to learn more about the power of customer control, and how it can improve your customer experiences, visit sprinklr.com for use cases, webinars, and blog posts to help you get started.
For most businesses, life after coronavirus won’t be the same. The new normal will be more digitally connected and tech savvy. Once your customers have gotten a taste of a digital customer experience, they aren’t looking back.