In an article for CX Network (reprinted here with permission) Urban Airship’s Director of Customer Success for EMEA/APAC explores what it takes to deliver elevated customer experiences that lead to increased loyalty and company growth.
Thanks, in part, to the infiltration of technology across all aspects of our lives, consumers have a better understanding about the art of the possible. Or at least they have an expectation that anything should be possible, as long as it suits their needs and preferences.
Consumers are desperate for brands to deliver what they want, at the moment they want it, sharing only relevant information and services on whatever channel the consumer prefers. And for marketers that increasingly means being where consumers are, whether through a native app, on Facebook, or as bots in messaging app bots like WeChat. Building a perfectly orchestrated customer engagement strategy is increasingly a challenge.
Here are some tips to consider when building out your engagement plan:
1) Mobile Needs to Be a Priority
With mobile being used by all but 6% of the UK population, the need for brands to create seamless mobile experiences for consumers is now more important than ever. Apps and mobile websites are the traditional channels that businesses tend to think of first. It is a great start, but only a solid mobile messaging strategy will allow you to proactively engage with consumers.
For example, we recently found that 70% of an app’s users will stop using an app after 30 days if a brand does not engage them with push notifications. And within 90 days that percentage increases to 95%.
Beyond push, other tactics like implementing in-app messages, message centers, and rich push notifications will go a long way to providing value to customers in their moments of need and in turn will result in greater brand loyalty, interaction and conversion.
But mobile is so much more than just apps, which brings us to tip #2…
2) Recognise the Benefits of Mobile Wallets
In a recent survey, 45% of respondents said they have used mobile wallets in the past, and they want to use them more. Brands should be aware they can be used for a variety of use cases such as loyalty cards, coupons, gift vouchers, boarding passes, event tickets and more. Even better, mobile wallet passes offer app-like engagement without the time and expense of building, maintaining and promoting an app.
They also offer new efficiencies and direct engagement. Passes can update in real-time, at any time throughout the customer lifecycle, displaying updated loyalty points, or a new sale offer for example. Apple Wallet can also send expiration reminders or one-to-one messages as notifications, tapping into the most valuable smartphone real estate — the lock screen.
The non-payment capabilities of mobile wallets offer a prime opportunity to not only make customers’ lives easier, but also to engage with them on a personal level — all without the need of a dedicated mobile app.
3) Consider a Web Notification Strategy
Web notifications are an effective tool to interact with one of your largest audiences: website visitors. Notification style messaging sent through a browser makes your website or mobile website even more powerful.
>> Download our complimentary Web Notifications Inspiration Guide to get ideas for your brand
The notifications can be delivered based on individuals’ real-time behaviours and are a great way to accelerate conversions and bring people back to your site. They are also highly visible (unlike email), appearing on desktop screens when the consumer is not actively browsing your website or when they do not have their web browsers open.
4) Carefully Choose the Right Channel for the Right Moment
In addition to mobile and web, notifications sent through other devices such as Apple TV, Alexa and other IoT devices are possible also. This opens up opportunities to reach consumers when they are doing things like cooking, watching TV or listening to music — but choosing the wrong moment or device risks annoying them, so the stakes are high.
Acknowledging that sometimes different channels during certain times of the day work better than others will help to ensure your messages are well received. Recognising what platforms work best for your customers, brings us on to our next point…
5) Use Data to Your (and Your Customer’s) Advantage
Delivering unique messaging to any platform or device while using real-time customer data is the only way to make tip #3 a reality. The trouble is, for many businesses data silos are a challenge with important data points living in different systems that don’t connect. Technologies are available to overcome this and enable your most important systems to work together.
Analysing behaviour patterns will help you determine what your customers are responding best to, at which times and on what devices and platforms. This analytical approach will unleash the ability to learn and act on what your customers care about, helping you to issue more personalised notifications.
Implementing the tips detailed above will ensure you are taking a truly omnichannel approach to your engagement strategy and set your brand apart from the competition. Most importantly, a well-executed customer engagement strategy has the power to truly delight consumers encouraging brand loyalty as well as enabling you to expand your customer base.
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