Conversational support, marketing and commerce; Efficiency for a better relationship with the new consumer

The business is experiencing a shift in customer behavior. The traditional communication channels for marketing, sales, and customer service via phone and email are no longer preferred. Supporting conversation, marketing and direct sales through a wide range of consumer-favorite channels is essential to future success. Veerle Knechten, Director of Partnerships and Alliances at MessageBird and Thijs Wolbers, Head of Digital Commerce at Adwise, take a look at the new consumer, developments, and implications.

Research shows that 72% of consumers prefer not to contact customer service by phone. They want to take matters into their own hands and find an answer to their question themselves (81%) and now prefer to chat. The latter applies to 61% of consumers, with 75% believing that this creates a closer relationship with the company. This means that the business community is looking for new applications to reach the consumer and strengthen the relationship.

“The advent of Generation Z makes conversational marketing even more important for survival as a business in the future. They have grown up in a digital society and have their smartphones in their hands 24/7. Do you want to reach them and connect them with your brand? Then as a business, you will have to switch from your own channels to their preferred channel.says Walbers.

Responding to customers’ wishes

Since eight of the ten most downloaded apps are social messaging apps or include messaging functionality, such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, it’s clear where the consumer is. This makes multi-channel communication strategy and the use of conversational marketing indispensable to businesses. This also requires the integration of often separate silos for marketing, sales, and customer service for personal communication. In this way, the activities of consumers on different channels can be recognized, providing new opportunities for customer base allocation and segmentation. This may include linking your purchase history and previous contact with the customer service team.

In addition, the integration of silos and communication channels ensures more low-level points of contact with the consumer. Rather than just an email to confirm the due date, the consumer can be constantly informed via reminders and, for example, delivery updates in e-commerce. This reduces no-shows or closed doors. The same applies to following up when the consumer has not ordered anything for a long time, sharing personal promotions and discounts. An added advantage of creating additional focal points with communication mediums, such as WhatsApp, is that the open rate is at least 78% higher than 20% with email campaigns.

Another step is conversational commerce, where social media channels are transformed into a real sales channel, including insight into lineups and the ability to complete payment directly within the app. This maintains the same benefits of conversational marketing and adds an extra dimension of convenience to both the consumer and the company. For example, the number of touch points can be increased to boost sales – whether it is 7 times out of 10 when the (virtual) shopping cart is left without a purchase.

“If you want to remain relevant to the consumer – also in the future – now is the time to get into the business of conversation. In five years this will be the norm for the entire Dutch business community. I am convinced of that”Kinstein said.

Up to 30% lower costs

To satisfy the consumer’s desire to find answers to any questions themselves, the use of advanced chatbots with automated flows on each communication channel is an important part of the omnichannel strategy. 10% of support tickets handled by a phone call now set 90% of customer service costs. Chatbots with automated flows have the ability to reduce call traffic to customer service by 19%. In addition, agents can resolve 2.7 tickets at the time of a single call. In general, this reduces the cost by 30%.

Using social media channels to connect with customers also allows for asynchronous communication. The consumer can call and respond whenever they want and the conversation is always transparent. They no longer rely on queues or accidentally closed browsers, allowing the conversation to start again from scratch. This not only provides a better consumer experience but also has advantages for customer service agents who, due to the asynchronous nature, can handle multiple questions at the same time. In short, conversational marketing and commerce offer opportunities to improve the relationship with the consumer, increase personalization and increase ease of use, as well as save time and cost for businesses.

Europe vs Asia

While the vast majority of Dutch companies have now incorporated several social media channels into their strategy and WhatsApp chatting has been possible for some time now, Europe is lagging behind in developing conversational marketing into the conversational business. In Asia, it is already being used en masse via WeChat, with America and Brazil in their wake. While the conversation business in the Netherlands is currently only about early adopters and social media apps are still busy developing appropriate functionality, this will change in the short term with the aim of facilitating and bonding with the new consumer. “So the question is not whether the talks trade will become big in the Netherlands, but when,” Knechten says.

About MessageBird

MessageBird’s mission is to create a world where connecting with a business is as easy as connecting with friends and family. To achieve this, MessageBird provides businesses with a multi-channel platform to connect with their customers through any preferred channel, from any corner of the world. For example, the flow of communications from WhatsApp, email, SMS, speech, WeChat, Messenger, Instagram and email ends up in one secure integrated platform. For customers, this means more convenience and speed, and for customer service and marketing teams, it means more efficiency – also through the use of chatbots. Headquartered in Amsterdam, MessageBird handles more than 6.5 trillion messages, calls and emails for more than 25,000 customers including Google, Airbnb and Facebook. Since 2011, the company has grown into a strong team of more than 800 employees representing more than 55 nationalities in the Work Anywhere company.

About Adwise

Since its founding in 2005, Adwise has grown into a leading full-service digital agency with over 120 subject matter professionals. With smart innovations and creative solutions, Adwise gives companies the decisive leadership in their markets. This is how Adwise formulates it digital mind from its clients. With hundreds of clients from home and abroad, over 100 (international) awards and nominations and as a certified partner for Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, among others, Adwise is the digital business accelerator.


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