Advances in virtual technology have enormously changed the way that companies interact with clients over the last ten years. There has been a clear shift to hybrid communications for businesses, with most organizations now using video calls and conferencing more frequently, alongside other electronic and personal communication channels. And as we navigate the coronavirus pandemic, just about all client-company interactions are taking place entirely online.
In an increasingly mobile world, and certainly in light of the current COVID-19 crisis, connecting with customers digitally has become a key, if not sole, means of communication for businesses. With so many virtual avenues for connection now available, finding the right way to talk to your audience via digital technologies is crucial.
Video is increasingly important in all facets of business communication
Video is undoubtedly the best tool at your disposal for an online encounter that closely emulates an in-person discussion. The obvious drawback to virtual communication is the loss of engagement that is naturally developed when speaking in the flesh. However, this can be somewhat mitigated with the use of high-quality virtual meeting platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams. You can engage very effectively by using these tools because the picture quality is so clear and you are able to look at the other person face-to-face and speak in real-time.
As a marketing tool too, video is very valuable. Studies have shown that large numbers of people are viewing videos on their mobile and that most share videos they enjoy, or find useful, with others. Additionally, 64% of consumers have actually made a purchase based on seeing a branded video. This tells us that video content is an extremely effective method of connecting with your customers.
The role of mobile in business-to-customer communication is crucial
Today, mobile communication is absolutely central to business. Nearly three-quarters of the global population own a smartphone, presenting new opportunities for companies to reach both their employees and their customers.
Enterprises are now using messaging tools for critical incident management during a crisis to lessen the impact of disasters and emergencies and look after the wellbeing of their employees. And from a customer point of view, clients can now be contacted directly through mobile messaging services, which creates a far more engaging relationship. Furthermore, as discussed above, large numbers of people are viewing and sharing videos on their mobile phones, so mobile-friendly video content is an integral component of reaching customers.
Certain businesses benefit particularly well from mobile messaging capabilities. For financial institutions, security has been vastly improved with fast notifications to customers that help detect fraud in real-time and two-factor authentication to secure accounts. They’re also able to reach customers more effectively with marketing and promotions. These developments have resulted in huge cost savings for all parties, given customers greater peace of mind, and led to increasing customer attraction and loyalty. Healthcare institutions as well are benefiting from mobile messaging technology. SMS reminders sent out to patients has significantly lowered the frequency of people missing their appointments.
Make sure you understand the challenges of mobile messaging
Though it is a ubiquitous and accessible tool for communication, there are specific challenges with mobile messaging and understanding its limitations is essential. For instance, SMS has a word limit of 160 characters. If your message is longer than this, it will break up into separate messages and when this happens, you risk the texts delivering in the incorrect order. This confuses the message you are sending and/or reduces its impact.
You also need to be careful that your tone comes across as intended. Text can be a notoriously difficult means through which to convey tone accurately, so you should take advantage of things like MMS, which allows you to add images and video that warm up your content or make it more interesting.
Employing an effective multi-channel communication strategy that accesses your market through various platforms is the best way to ensure that you are reaching customers effectively. If you talk to customers using the mobile and digital channels available to you strategically, you will not only offer a smooth consumer experience that leads to customer retention but gain the attention of more customers in the first place.
Our Soprano Connect platform is an omnichannel CPaaS platform that offers a multi-channel approach to communicating, in a way that creates an integrated and solid customer experience. It is being used across industry sectors to engage with clients, prospects, patients and constituents. The platform helps organizations orchestrate their communications across channels using SMS, voice, email, and rich media and create a coordinated messaging experience.
If you’d like to learn more about how Soprano can help your business transform its customer communications, check out our blog here.