The digital landscape
Twenty years ago, if you wanted to source information on a product, you would pound the pavement, find the home of the brand, seek a sales assistant, and ask questions in person. How many of us do this today? Instead, we use web chat, scour product reviews, tweet brands and message Facebook pages, anything to stop us leaving the comfort of our desks or sofas. If information is power, technology has successfully tilted the scales to the consumer. Businesses must now be the ones to arrive at the homes of their customers, because customers are not likely to grace the presence of the physical store any more, at least not without reams of digital research already in their back pockets.
“Today’s customer journey is so complex that it looks more like the plot of a “whodunit” than a decision to buy a new jacket. Consumers have more choice than ever before. They research and shop across multiple devices, multiple touch points, around the clock — both online and off.”
– Think with Google, June 2018
Which channels should I prioritise?
If it’s a certainty that businesses should today be paying attention to their digital touch points as much they tend to their physical store fronts, then which channel should you prioritise? Here’s where the landscape begins to become a bit more complex. According to a recent study with Google, the average amount of touch points consumers have is close to three, and this increases for products which have a higher value or services which are more nuanced. However, for each consumer, these touch points are likely to vary, which essentially means there are no individual channels to prioritise. If we view each channel as a doorway for customers to walk into your virtual store, it’s essential that they are all open, and what’s more that there is someone there for your customers to talk to.
How to manage and keep up with every channel
With so many touch points in the form of different channels, it’s important you have a centralised view of your customers as they enter your digital space. Is this a new or existing customer? Do you have any data you can use to personalise the interaction? If you are managing different channels in separate silos, the customer and their history of interaction is likely to be unknown to you, especially if they are coming to you on one channel having previously interacted on another. But with the use of a Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) provider, all of your customer conversations are centralised, empowering your agents with context and enabling them to easily inform, engage and convert consumers. It won’t matter if a customer is using Twitter DM, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or SMS to contact you. A CPaaS system will allow your agents to respond to inbounds from one place, and have access to a central store of information to a seamless experience. And it’s not all inbound – a good CPaaS system will also allow your business to contact customers on a channel of their choosing, for marketing, alerts, reminders and notifications.
Other benefits of CPaaS
It’s not easy to keep up with consumers. The speed at which we adopt new technology is increasing, making it difficult and expensive to forecast customer needs for the future. But because a CPaaS system allows your business to simply plug in to as many channels as you require, with the right provider, you can become the omnichannel company you need to be to in order to succeed in today’s market. CPaaS eliminates the need to expend resource on keeping up with the latest channel, or the newest features on existing channels. You will have outsourced this research and development to your provider, allowing you to focus on what your business does best.
The One API
With Comapi’s One API, you only need to perform integration once, and you will be connected to new channels either when they are available, or when you require them. Comapi’s One API is loved by developers for its ease of use, and also powers the technology behind our off-the-shelf software, making it ideal for both low-code operations who may lack dev resource, but also as a powerful tool for companies with dev resource who wish to streamline the operations of their existing systems. Existing as a flexible and essential solution, CPaaS from Comapi makes it easy to have the 2-way conversations your customers want to have, now and in the future.