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Five of The Most Popular Customer Communication Trends in 2022

2022 is underway and a lot of customer communication trends have already emerged. Every aspect of our lives has been impacted since the emergence of Covid-19, especially in the way humans communicate. We rely on many channels to connect in different ways with peers and businesses. Oftentimes using multiple channels to engage with one person or business.

Most businesses’ first priority in 2022 will be to create or emphasize the importance of seamless and enjoyable customer experiences.

The methods that businesses choose to engage their customers will define the effectiveness of customer experiences. Read on to find five of The most popular customer communication trends in 2022 that we have seen in the market.

  1. Mobile will continue to be the most popular communication channel
  2. Automated chatbots eliminate frequently asked questions
  3. Customers still want to chat live with businesses
  4. Hyper-personalised customer support and marketing
  5. Omnichannel chat is a must

Customer communication and experiences will take place on mobile

It is no secret that mobile is the most engaged customer channel for most businesses. Statista reports that global smartphone user numbers have risen to over 6.4 billion in 2022. This means that 83.96% of the world’s population owns a smartphone. This is staggering proof that mobile channels provide the best opportunity to reach customers, patients, and all types of end-users.

It is estimated that smartphone owners spent an average of 5 hours per day looking at their mobile devices in 2021. These incredibly powerful devices empower users to manage their entire lives by scrolling social media, checking notifications, and communicating with communities. Emphasising customer communication through this channel is quite an obvious choice.

Mobile channels include SMS, USSD, WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Mobile apps, and even the mobile version of a website. All of these channels can be woven together in some way or another to create a seamless digital customer experience. 

Mobile is also becoming an increasingly popular channel for eCommerce sales. Most major online retailers have a mobile app or at least a dedicated mobile version of their website. Businesses have realised the potential during the Covid-19 pandemic and it is estimated that global advertising spending will surpass $240 billion in 2022.

Automated chatbots improve customer communication and service by resolving repetitive customer queries

In 2019, Deloitte estimated that chatbots would power 85% of service interactions by 2020. Frequently asked questions are the bane of any customer service agent’s existence. Although FAQ pages are commonplace on most websites, customers often don’t have the time to filter through a text-heavy page to find the answer to their question.

This behaviour shouldn’t hold up customer service centres. Chatbots can answer common customer queries with speed and accuracy. 

Chatbots can be deployed in the form of short replies triggered by select keywords and phrases, while more robust chatbots with machine learning and AI are capable of diagnosing and answering complex customer questions without the intervention of a human service agent.

South African technology university, Richfield, uses automated chatbots to answer the most frequently asked questions by potential and existing students, parents, and anyone interested. Read more about their WhatsApp chatbot here.

Customers still want to chat live with businesses

Customer support should be as quick and accurate as possible. According to Forbes, today’s digital consumers have an attention span of 8 seconds. This time goes by in a flash when a customer has asked a question through a website contact form or social media page. Ensuring that customer support is quick can be challenging without the use of automated chatbots or a dedicated live chat platform.

Chatbots can easily handle the majority of common customer questions but oftentimes a bot with a set of pre-programmed responses is just simply not good enough. Providing an option for customers to talk directly to a human greatly improves trust and business transparency.

Live chat goes a step further than automated chatbots by instantly connecting customers to agents, saving precious time. This allows customer support agents to handle multiple customers at once, removing service bottlenecks and improving customer resolution speed.

Live chat communication has also been proven to increases sales, with 77% of online customers saying that need to talk to a real person before making a purchase online.

It is clear that consumers seek human connections in our digital world. Live chat enables this connection in a personal and seamless manner.

Personalisation is key

No longer is it enough to simply include a customer’s name in an email. In today’s data-driven world, there are swaths of customer information that businesses can use to market their products and services, offer better support to patients, and improve the lives of all types of end-users

91% of consumers are more likely to shop with a brand that recognizes, remembers, and provides relevant offers and recommendations, according to a report by Accenture.

Personalisation isn’t just about driving the bottom line. Personalisation is about inclusivity. It’s about making customers and users feel like they belong. Personalisation means listening to users to provide as much value as possible.

”Personalisation should connect online to real life, leveraging digital to make the day-to-day easier” –

Google

A Nike customer might display an affinity for football and in particular, Liverpool Football Club. Said customer also follows Mohammed Salah on Instagram, and Nike knows this because they are utilising an omnichannel engagement strategy. In this case, Nike can leverage the customer’s interest by suggesting the latest Mohamed Salah jersey, or by offering a discount on the previous year’s jersey. This offer could be sent around the time of the customer’s birthday as a gift or at the start of the new premier league season when football excitement is at its highest.

Customer data should be leveraged in smart ways that delight users and drive calls to action.

Omnichannel Chat

Nowadays it is incredibly difficult for businesses to acquire and retain customers through one channel. Social media users access an average of 6.6 different social media platforms each month. That’s not even including channels like your company website or weekly email newsletter. Businesses need to talk to customers on the channel that they prefer when they’re using the said channel.

Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to compete on the basis of price, quality, or even brand affinity. Customers now prefer to shop with brands that provide a seamless and personalised digital experience.

Nearly 80% of American consumers say that speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, and friendly service are the most important elements of a positive customer experience.

An omnichannel communication strategy involves unifying all customer communication across all available channels used by the end-user. Getting this strategy right requires the use of first-party data collected with each customer engagement. Start with identifying your customers’ most used channels. The next step is to create a strategy that connects all the channels together with the goal of creating a seamless flow. How does a customer know that there are other channels available? How does it work when transferring from one channel to another? And what are the technical capabilities needed to achieve this smooth experience?

Apex allows its customers to start a conversation on one channel and to then carry that conversion into whichever channel is most convenient to the customer with the use of intelligent APIs. Oftentimes, users will look for customer support via a company website, only to find that they can continue the chat on a more comfortable channel such as WhatsApp.

In conclusion, customer communication in 2022 will centre around creating transparent, safe, enjoyable, convenient, and inter-connected engagements.

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