By Laura Beaumont, PR manager, at tech firm Infobip
Brands want to develop closer connections with their customers, especially during biggest shopping event of the year.
One way they can do this is to have real-time conversations with customers they want to sell to. This has become known as “conversational commerce”, and it is easy for a business to misjudge it.
Getting this technique right can boost customer loyalty and sales. Brands should respond quickly, choose a familiar channel and project a relatable voice.
The consumer is different
The pandemic has had an impact on consumer expectations. More than a third of Brits say they have higher customer service expectations than before the first lockdown, according to Infobip research.
Many consumers will have turned to brands that they love during this time. But the growth of online shopping also means brand loyalty is being tested to its limits. Research from McKinsey shows that most customers that have tried new shopping behaviours since COVID-19 intend to continue.
The rise of conversational commerce
To meet increasing consumer expectations and develop stronger relationships with customers, brands are making more of conversational commerce.
Using SMS, chat apps and mobile to have of real-time conversations with their customers can help them build loyalty and ultimately increase sales.
There are three things brands need to consider to get conversational commerce right.
- Respond quickly: customers are no longer happy waiting a day for an email reply, or willing to be left on hold for an hour. They expect brands to get back to them immediately with a smart response. Using a combination of live agents and automated solution, such as chatbots, helps brands balance customer service and commerce.
- Choose a familiar channel: customers want to connect with businesses on a familiar platform. Since the start of the pandemic WhatsApp usage has risen dramatically, mostly to talk with family and friends. So businesses are adapting to it too, for real-time alerts and always-on support. We’ll see more of this next year, especially for customer service.
- Have a relatable voice: the need for a relatable and approachable ‘brand voice’ has been on the agenda for years. This year, the context of the global pandemic has put a real focus on it. Consumers are craving human responses from brands. Brand messaging that reflects this can deliver moments that matter and leave an authentic and lasting impression.
It’s not too late
While this strange festive season is in full swing, it not too late for brands to embrace conversational commerce ahead of Christmas.
Real and authentic conversations will help build customer loyalty at a critical time.
Infobip is an IT and telecoms firm that enables brands to engage with customers over SMS, chat apps, mobile and email.