Creating stronger human connections through technology
Ahmed Hamdan, Co-Founder & CEO of Unifonic talked to Gulf Business, Tech Talk about how the latest technologies are helping businesses build loyal ambassadors by being relevant and responsive to customer needs. Read the full interview below:
Excellent customer experience (CX) is crucial for brands to survive, especially in a world where consumers expect consistent communication across multiple channels. As product offerings have become increasingly similar, the only way to differentiate and create loyal ambassadors is to be more relevant and responsive to people’s needs. Digital technologies are at the heart of customer interaction, and rather than being a barrier to personal connection, they offer exciting opportunities to engage more deeply through the channels buyers prefer.
Here in the MENA region, the majority of companies are now in the process of developing organisation-wide CX strategies and enabling customer journeys by leveraging digital capabilities. When digital tools are used well, consumers are empowered as companies deliver frictionless, authentic experiences across every touchpoint, maximising both satisfaction and profits. Some of the main areas where technology can be leveraged to forge better connections in an experience economy include:
1. Opt-in mechanismsGetting people to opt-in to share their details and receive content is crucial to building a long-lasting personal relationship from day one. Opt-in places the consumer in control of the decision-making, allowing you to engage them in a smoother digital dialogue. The latest online engagement tools can create suitable opt-in components that provide something of value in exchange for the person’s time and interest, as well as to develop comprehensive strategies designed to increase opt-in ratios (and retain them) across different communication channels.
2. Meaningful dataAs digital adoption has increased, so too has the desire for personalisation. 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands who recognise, remember, and provide them with relevant offers and recommendations, while 44% of consumers are frustrated when retailers fail to deliver personalised shopping experiences. The only way to know your customer is to maximise the data gathered in an omnichannel environment. This means having digital systems in place to collect, maintain, and analyse information shared at every interaction, in order to create meaningful insights and address their pain points.
3. Customer supportBeing there for your buyers and solving problems fast are key to retention. Technology plays a huge part in enhancing customer service, which has expanded significantly now 24/7 online contact is the norm. Once you have meaningful data you can really start to understand customers’ preferred channels and adapt to their needs at different times. Customer care automation offers a wide range of opportunities to respond with relevant notifications and guidance, resulting in faster turnaround times and better outcomes overall. Agentless engagement reduces human involvement at critical points, but it also equips customer service reps with the ability to work smarter for the benefit of consumers. In the banking industry, for example, automation has played a major role in fraud prevention. Automated alerts can be issued immediately in the event of suspicious activity, the customer’s identity confirmed, and a new card issued in minutes.
4. Asking for feedbackCustomer needs continuously evolve, and while data can help you make predictions about behaviour, feedback is still necessary to validate these assumptions. Various satisfaction metrics are available depending on the industry and different tools allow you to create a picture that combines qualitative and quantitative findings. From surveys, review functions, social media comments, and customer service dialogue, honest feedback is your most valuable asset, enabling you to make informed customer-centric decisions.
5. End-to-end engagementMultiple contact points and communication channels present plenty of ways to create stand-out during the customer relationship. However, all of these elements need to work together to streamline the entire ‘phygital’ experience throughout. Customer engagement platforms allow you to create a comprehensive framework based on the specific needs of your business, that unifies the different channels and connects the dots for a simpler more fulfilling journey incorporating everything from initial discovery to after-sales.