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Blog · 16 Nov 2017

Five opportunities to optimise your digital customer strategy

Consumers' digital expectations have transformed over the past ten years. But what does it mean for your organisation?

Vice president, unified communications and contact centres

Since 2010, we’ve been tracking consumer behaviour in an increasingly digital world through an extensive global research programme.

This year’s study, conducted in partnership with Cisco, identifies eight key trends that are actively shaping the digital customer experience.

Chat, tap, talk: Eight key trends to transform your digital customer experience shows the rapid rise of type-based messaging (such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Google Talk) that people are using to contact companies they deal with. What’s more, they want to use these ‘type’ services alongside more traditional ‘talk’ channels – the phone isn’t going away any time soon.

Our research highlights opportunities for organisations and also offers some questions to consider when looking at leveraging the trends identified.

Here’s a summary of what we’ve found:

1. Consumers want to use messaging to communicate with organisations.

We found that 65 per cent want to use web-chat,up from 45 per cent in 2015. The number using WhatsApp in their personal lives has risen, illustrating that typing for customer support is becomingly increasingly popular.

So, how ready are you to have customer conversations via messaging services?

2. Organisations need to integrate social media into their omni-channel strategies.

Reliance on social media among both young and Asian consumers is strengthening. 70 per cent would like to start a customer service conversation on social media and, if needed, transfer to a voice conversation.

Are you clear on the relationship between your organisation’s social media activity and customer service strategy?

3. Consumers want to use video for product and service search and support.

42 per cent of consumers are now more likely to use YouTube than a search engine to research new products. Consider this alongside the fact that the use of video chat/conferencing like Facetime has more than doubled and organisations are faced with two questions. Firstly, how can we support and influence consumers when they are using video to search for our products and services? And second, when is video chat a useful way to improve the customer experience?

4. Organisations need to revisit and invest in their phone services.

The phone remains the first choice channel for customer support. As over 80 per cent of consumers report problems with organisations’ websites and apps, it is not surprising that the research found four in five consumers said they would like a telephone number on every webpage and App. When questioned about frustrations and fears, 70 per cent would like voice biometrics for identification and 60 per cent want technology which keeps their money safe and ensures secure card payments over the phone.

Does your telephone-based customer service match customer expectations?

5. Consumers reward organisations that are simple to use across both talk and type channels.

The channel mix is increasingly complex as new media emerges. 81 per cent of consumers say they want organisations always to offer different channels to meet their demands and 62 per cent would like the ability to switch from a web-chat with an agent to a voice or video call.

So, how smooth are your customer journeys?