6 trends for customer communication in 2019
The digital transformation is in full swing at many companies. IT systems are rapidly being modernised or even ignored and replaced by completely new systems and processes. In 2019, Digital transformation is still high on the management agenda. The big question: will we really get closer to the customer by this digital transformation in 2019? The answer is not with a simple yes or no answer. That depends on it. If the digital transformation is ‘ only ‘ an IT project, where the focus is on the further digitisation of the internal organisation, then I fear that customers will not be really hot. But companies that take the digital transformation of customer approach into their innovation program will soon come out of the battle as winners.
Together with my colleagues I work innovations to make our clients even better in contact with their customers. At every stage of the customer journey, from a central control. Based on our experiences in 2018 and the international successes of our partners, I expect 2019 the following innovations in customer communication in the Netherlands:
1. Mobile First
Most customer communications are not yet suitable for mobile use. For many organizations, in 2019 the outgoing correspondence is better aligned with the expectations of the customer and therefore also more suitable for use on mobile devices. A PDF or ‘ flat ‘ email no longer meets. Re-Design of messages results in better layouts of communication. For example, using tabs and dynamic tables.
2. Focus on context instead of content
Personal and relevant communication is still a big challenge for many companies. In some cases, this even results in fines because, for example, accounts are not clear enough. In 2019, I expect a shift from the focus of content to context (viewed from the recipient). Messages that are matched to the recipient and in which they recognize themselves. Integration of customer communication systems with channels such as video, social media and Chatbots offer plenty of opportunities for 2019.
3. Real-time use of data
In the time of Hurricane Irma, an insurer in the US sent her customers a very personal message announcing that their dwelling was on the route of the hurricane. It also included the time when the hurricane would arrive and tips for protection and reachability during the hurricane. A nice combination of clever use of customer data, location data and the message. Links from data sources to customer communication systems make this possible.
4. Chatbot Integration
According to experts, 2019 is the year of Chatbots in the Netherlands. The first experiences that have been gained in the results hopefully result in better quality. Not the level of Artificial Intelligence should be central, but the way in which you are enabled as an organisation to set up structured conversations based on data, business logic and the human being. Only then will customers appreciate this positively.
5. Interactive Personalized Video
Video is fun and works many times better to reach people. So, in 2018, a huge amount of (campaign) videos were produced. Often informative or enticacious, with a strong focus on the quality of the video and here and there some personal data or interactive buttons. Nice to stand out but less managed to actually turn people into action. Structural video wagering in your customer communication is a trend that will undoubtedly also break through in the Netherlands. No linear videos that are equal for everyone, but videos that are unique to each recipient. And which can be used at every stage of the customer journey. For activation or on-boarding for example. Or to explain an annual account. But also for the renewal of a contract. With opportunities for integration into chatbots and social media, there are plenty of opportunities to get closer to the customer in 2019.
6. Centralization: Road with silo communication
Customers expect a consistent experience in all contact moments with an organization. Many organisations underestimate their importance. An innovation program can best result in a nice digital process, for example, to conclude your mortgage online. If the Web environment in which this process is provisioned is not connected to the customer communication environment, from which all correspondence about the current mortgages is sent, then there is a great chance that a huge difference in experience arises. By managing customer communications from a central location in the organization and connecting them to all primary processes, it can be better managed to achieve a consistent experience.
Early Adoption Program
The year 2019 is going to be an exciting year in the field of customer communication. Visions about improvements to make customers really central and better to achieve are sufficient. The technology also makes it possible, so improvement opportunities are available. It is now especially important to choose where to start. Customers are not waiting.
I am also looking for participants for an early adoption program with Chatbot in the Netherlands. If the integration of chatbot into a customer communication system within your organization is a topic of discussion and you are interested to discuss this, please contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, you can see another example of the integration of Chatbot and personalized interactive video.
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