5 Hurdles of Digital Customer CommunicationAug 02, 2018
Do you ever open your mail and have to check twice to see what company the invoice inside the envelope is from? A plain piece of paper with a look and feel that’s a far cry from what you are used to from that brand, say the beautiful promotional communications you receive via email, the ads you see on TV or the consumer app you have installed on your smartphone.
That’s because modern customer communications are very silo-driven. Different departments from the same enterprise approach consumers in their own way, they use their specific software and are often oblivious to how their colleagues on the floor below go about communications. Although every customer communication will surely reach its destination, it won’t meet individual customer expectations.
To avoid confusing and unsatisfactory customer experiences and boost digital adoption, companies need to make the shift from department or silo-centric to customer-centric thinking. This isn’t easy. As digital and technology are intertwined, going digital is not without challenges.
To ensure an ideal customer experience, companies must communicate in a consistent way, loyal to the brand identity. However, they often use multiple systems for customer communications, such as built-in communication capabilities of standard business software, in-house developed applications, legacy output generation tools and different cloud services.
Consequently, this leads to inconsistency. Customers are bombarded with brand inconsistent information via channels they don’t prefer, leading to brand devaluation and delayed digital adoption.
Being digital means being closely attuned to how customer decision journeys are evolving. Digital is not a destination but a journey. New digital channels pop up almost every day. Subsequently, digital adoption is a moving target. From a technical perspective this implies a difficult process of continuously supporting all channels and making them available on one hand and tunable to individual customer needs through preference management on the other.
Not so long ago, companies put together a batch of communications and reach out to customers when and how many times they wanted to, often using a limited number of channels including email and print. Sadly, I’m convinced that some companies are still in this communication mode but nowadays customers expect more. They expect relevant actionable content on the moment they need it via the channel that is most convenient at that specific moment.
Consequently, preference management causes friction. To make digital adoption as smooth as possible, you must sense with what frequency, when and via which channels specific communications must be distributed. Measure and analyze customer expectations explicitly through surveys and implicitly through behavior tracking and adjust your communications accordingly to strengthen your digital channels.
Limited Business Impact
In a lot of companies, business analysts define the content of the communications at the start of a project. Programmers use and adapt the provided content as well or as poorly as they can, pushing dry communications, often incomprehensible for the uninitiated. After the initial project, business teams have little to no impact on customer communications. And if want to impact, it cost a lot of resources (and money).
Up to this day business enabling remains a big challenge. Finding non-technical people to skilfully manage, produce and push content is not the challenge. Giving them the right tools, adapted to their skills, is. As a result, it is hard to quickly make content for all channels more customer-centric. This too causes digital adoption to lose momentum.
How to jump the hurdles?
The first thing you need to do is to assess your existing software landscape and see whether it provides you the capabilities to address the challenges above. You need a centralized customer communication platform that allows your enterprise to turn customer data into relevant, individualized and actionable communications via the channel of choice of the customer and in line with your enterprise brand guidelines. Scriptura Engage is such a customer communication platform.