Companies that want to offer a positive customer experience can hardly ignore modern multi-channel technologies that considerably simplify the work and thus the achievable service quality of the employees in the contact center. Before a company defines a modern communication strategy and the implement additional channels it is important to understand what the respective target group expects and how they prefer to communicate with a company. These preferences differ across Germany, as a recent study of 1,000 German consumers carried out by Twilio showed.
Communication strategy: speed through a panoramic view
In fact, a quick solution has priority for the majority of customers with 79 percent in all federal states. That makes sense: nobody really likes to wait for an answer. So although Quick response plays a major role in response to a request, the customer only evaluates the interaction as positive if this reaction leads to the fulfillment of his request. In order to respond positively to an inquiry, the service employee needs a comprehensive picture of the customer’s current situation.
In addition to the speed with which a company answers inquiries, service mentality and pleasant communication play a particularly important role in certain parts of Germany. In Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, for example, 67 percent of those surveyed said that friendly communication with organizations is important to them. In Baden-Württemberg, however, it is only 47 percent. The research showed that friendliness is more important with increasing age, while younger people prioritize quick problem solving.
Diversity through innovative communication channels
SMS, web chat, video telephony or WhatsApp: there is no longer the one super channel with which all customers are satisfied. Telephony and email have long since had a few strong competitors. Although these two classic channels are still fundamental components of the interaction, the meaning of these traditional channels is very different. 93 percent in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and 92 percent in Thuringia have used the telephone to communicate with organizations in the past twelve months, compared to only 50 percent in Saarland. Saarlanders prefer chat functions via the website (25 percent) and messenger services (19 percent).
Younger generations in particular like to fall back on innovative channels: The study shows that, for example, 48 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds used online contact forms in the past year, while 28 percent used chat services on company websites. And that is significantly more than in the other age groups. It is therefore advisable for companies not only to contact their customers via different channels, but also to offer them in a combination of various real-time communication channels and traditional channels, so that every customer has the best possible experience at all times.
Cross-channel communication strategy for broad target groups
A cross-channel communication strategy is recommended for every organization, especially for those who want to address a broad target group of all ages and across different regions. Modern tools like Cloud-based communication platforms with programmable interfaces (APIs) support companies in integrating different communication channels into their customer communication and platforms.
The customer is satisfied when he can contact the company via his preferred channel and vice versa, and especially when, depending on the situation and time, he can switch between different channels such as voice, chat (SMS, WhatsApp, InApp chat etc.) and e-mail, or can combine them. This is possible, for example, by reacting or asking an SMS to an inquiry that has already been completed, and the other side can seamlessly connect to the previous communication without starting from scratch.
Overview through seamless transitions
In order to offer a particularly uniform brand experience, it is – as mentioned above – important not to lose track of the communication on different channels. Ideally, an inquiry that started via web chat, for example, should be able to continue seamlessly on the phone if there is a need for further clarification, for example in connection with a complaint. A cross-channel communication strategy enables a better overview and thus not only makes the work of service employees easier, but also saves customers from having to repeat their concerns over and over again and thus leads to quick and mutually satisfactory processing of inquiries
In order to improve customer engagement and thus long-term sales of a company, an approach in which quick responses on different channels and personal advice are the norm is crucial. In this way, companies can meet the various wishes of their customers across Germany at any time, especially before, during and after the turbulent Black Friday and Christmas season. (sg)
Also read: Digital communication strategy: Why Covid-19 accelerates its implementation significantly
About the author: Thomas Boele is Director Solutions Engineering at Twilio. The solution provider enables communication channels such as voice, SMS, chat, video and e-mail to be made available quickly and comprehensively. In addition, the company virtualizes the telecommunications infrastructure using APIs to support demanding applications.