By Lee Whittington, customer engagement specialist at Pegasystems
Children born today will likely never experience a world without mobile technologies, google classroom, Netflix and will become used to innovations like 5G and IoT being incorporated seamlessly into their lives. Yet, these new channels are still a new frontier for marketers. Brands are in danger of missing out on an opportunity if they fail to take advantage of modern mobile experiences by enhancing customer interactions on-the-go and in-the-moment.
Connected apps, real-time data sharing and wearables can empower brands to enhance the customer experience with proactive customer service, “gamified” experiences and an overhaul of the traditional sales journey.
To successfully harness mobile technology for their advantage, brands need to know at the outset that these strategies will hold up in terms of quality customer engagement. Building proactive, customer-centric strategies into all processes can give brands the assurance they need to incorporate multiple touchpoints and still offer impactful one-to-one customer engagement to customers wherever they are.
Remember, these mobile devices are the gateway to friends, connections and the outside world – we are engaged completely and marketing needs to become ‘always on’ and be more empathetic to the real needs of the customer.
Mobilise data with AI
Mobile devices allow users to take information with them everywhere. Businesses need to be able to do the inverse; move the data they receive from their customers freely between channels, interfaces and internally among customer-facing teams – just like many customers’ attentions switch between devices while watching the latest series on Netflix. With an always-on, constantly connected approach to customer communications, the customer’s context moves with them as they switch channel, from app to web page to over-the-phone.
A central AI connects customer updates from every interaction they have with a brand, no matter which device it took place on. In 2021, consumers don’t just research a potential purchase on their home PC, they will scroll social media on a mobile phone when they are on a zoom call with friends or colleagues, between chapters on their e-reader or even ask Alexa when preparing dinner. So, their context needs to be agile in order for their brand experience to be the same across every touchpoint.
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) takes this frictionless omnichannel strategy of mobilising customer engagement a step further. Brands can automate alerts for customer updates, using AI to select the most appropriate channel. Whether it is a text message delivery alert or a smartwatch notification, customers will be connected and engaged via the nearest device at-hand.
Low maintenance customer-centricity
Another benefit of connecting with customers over mobile devices is the potential for more data sharing, more frequently. Real-time data gives brands a great deal of insight into a customer’s preferences, their needs and their lifestyle. That means that businesses can build their marketing communication strategy around the customer, but also adapt products and services to better suit them.
Encouraging customers to share data and grant permission to use it may be a familiar barrier for many brands. Now, 5G and real-time data sharing increase the opportunities brands have to demonstrate how data is being used to improve experiences. Via more frequent interaction with portable apps and the potential for more regular feedback, brands have a better understanding of what works for customers and what does not.
Putting this data to use, marketing teams can design low-code apps according to insights without having to describe the needs of their customers to IT. If Marketing teams know that connected devices will play a prominent part in the customer journey, they will be able to update customer-facing applications accordingly. With low-code and microjourneys, marketers can get the most out of all customer feedback by creating experiences that are tailored to the individual customer.
There is now a wide variety of mobile devices available and multiple ways to connect to the internet, including 5G, WiFi 6, public hotspots and personal hotspots. Businesses should be ready to maximise the potential for real-time data sharing in an always-connected world by reaching out to customers before the customer needs to themselves. With predictive AI that analyses customer data to anticipate customer needs, brands can provide solutions before a customer has even made the initial request. The ability to offer these products and services anytime, anywhere and within the context of insight-rich mobile data adds an extra layer of convenience.
Paired with IoT and personalised experiences brands can convert real-time data into new experiences, incorporating gamification and lifestyle improvements. Connected apps on mobile phones and smartwatches which share location-based information can be synced with a personal calendar to send helpful reminders to customers. These could include a shopping list, hairdresser’s appointment, or a reminder to pick up a prescription – all based on previous search and purchase history. Equally, fitness tracker or connected bike data might allow a relevant brand to offer rewards or discounts per kilometres cycled, creating a gamified experience that encourages product and brand interactions.
Decades of progress in mobile technology have radically changed how individuals live their daily lives. Now, it’s time for this to pay off for brands too. They need to show that their communications strategy is modernising and adapting with the ever-more-mobile world around them. But, taking advantage of opportunities for exciting new features means getting communications strategy ready from the bottom-up.
Customer data must be aligned across the whole organisation and consistent across each channel. Only then can businesses truly show they are ready to go the extra mile to serve – no matter how near or far away from home. Customers are always connected and competitors are only ever a click away, so brands cannot afford to miss an opportunity.
Using automated technologies like RPA, professionals within the whole marketing function can make sure that their finger is always on the pulse of their customers’ needs.