Yes, email is a mode of communication widely used across the globe. In fact, 293.6 billion emails are sent and received every day.
Though emails might be the best way to effectively pass on information, it might not be your ideal solution to communicate with the customers. When they are not unsubscribing, it is likely that your promotional and subscription emails are buried in the inbox pile, never even getting a second glance.
In other words, the tremendous effort you put into email marketing might not always get you the results you need. Fortunately, we live in a world where there are endless means to reach out to your clients.
It is time that you consider trying your luck at the email alternatives to engage with your customers.
8 Customer Communication Trends
1. Social Media Platforms
These days, almost all social media platforms encourage businesses on their network. They have lined up exclusive features and marketplaces for businesses to connect with customers easily.
Not surprisingly, customers are also increasingly choosing social media instead of other communication channels. In fact, according to Facebook, 64% of consumers prefer to message a business rather than calling them. As we all know, calls with the customer service team might not always go well.
Social media platforms such as Instagram even have some handy tools that will help to make their process smoother. For instance, you can add Quick Replies to the frequently asked questions, so you can immediately answer your clients. As it goes, not only are customers eager to establish contact through social networks, they also expect quick responses.
Moreover, complaints on social media are much likely to get immediate attention from the business. There are over a dozen examples of Twitter coming in to save the day during a customer crisis. These platforms have not only changed the conversation between the business and the client but the way competing enterprises interact with each other.
2. Video Channels
Though technically, YouTube can be deemed a social media platform, how you correspond with clients here might vary slightly. Most often, your audience reaches out through comments rather than contacting you through direct messages.
This makes it even more challenging. You will need to keep tabs on comments to see which ones are relevant and require an immediate response. But it also has its perks. When you respond to a customer, everyone who checks out the comment section will see and take note of how you reply to the queries. This can be effective marketing by itself.
When customers feel heard and seen, the chances are they will share your videos or spread words about your reliable customer service to others. It increases brand awareness, as well as helps strengthen your relationship with the customers.
3. Live Chat
It has become imperative for businesses to have a live chat option on their websites. Live Chat has the highest customer satisfaction level. When 43% of consumers favor contacting a company through live chat, only 29% go for emails.
On occasions, customers even rely on live chat for clarifications in the middle of purchasing an item from an online store. The biggest attraction here is, undeniably, the quick responses.
By investing in live chatbot software, companies can even use this as an opportunity to promote their products through quick ads or carefully created responses. Additionally, the most common questions can be answered by the chatbot itself. Your customer support team can engage if they not are not busy.
While the benefits are outstanding, only 9% of businesses actually have chatbots in place. This means that if you implement them for your business, you stand at a competitive advantage, no matter your niche. Moreover, it will also help you reduce your support costs significantly.
4. Customer Feedback
If you thought customer feedback could only be used as a metric for your marketing performance, you might be wrong there. When cleverly presented, your customer reviews are excellent to promote your business. A popular way of utilizing customer feedback is to showcase promising reviews on your website.
Furthermore, you can also share positive reviews on social media or other related platforms.
You can, in fact, combine both customer feedback and email marketing to reap the most benefits.
Attach a customer survey form or link to your emails, requesting clients to leave a review of their experience. This suggestion could get you voluntary reviews, especially from happy customers. These days, you can automate emails to go out as soon as your products are delivered to the customers.
Also, encourage them to leave recommendations on ways you can upgrade your customer service and communication.
5. Call Center Software
Although other communication channels might be becoming more popular, when it comes to urgent responses, or even as the last resort, people always turn to call customer service. Today it is mostly used as the last option if nothing else is working.
It might come with its own drawbacks. For one, no one wants to wait for an hour before a customer service agent can actually attend to the call. Moreover, for a small business, establishing a call center might be challenging without sufficient technical management.
However, taking all this into account, you can opt for a call center software that would make accepting customer calls more efficient for your team. The best of the bunch comes with intelligent routing and workforce management tools. You will even have access to other options, such as call recording and surveys to do analytics.
In essence, it will minimize the issues that you might come across when you engage with customers through the phone. You could route calls to specific agents, set a conference call, or even an automatic callback in case a connection is lost.
6. Video Conferencing
As fast as a chatbot or call service can be, many consumers still prefer an actual connection with the customer service rather than through automated responses. And if 2020 made anything popular, it is the video calls.
Video conferencing is already quite popular in B2B marketing and customer relationships. Moreover, 58% of businesses are already utilizing video calls for their everyday operations. This most often includes internal communications.
Soon enough, this could expand to customer relationships as well.
Video chats could resolve many concerns of customers better than phone calls. They establish more of a personal connection with the customers. From the perspective of businesses, it could help you cut costs by running a remote team.
Video calls will be a trend that could accelerate live customer engagement and take your marketing to the next level through live product demos. For instance, many real estate agents have already set up video tours for prospective tenants during the COVID – 19 pandemic.
It will also help you solve problems faster by demonstration, which is not always possible through a live chat or phone calls. For example, if there is a quick solution to fixing your appliance, customer service could show you how to do it through video rather than telling you to press buttons over a phone call.
As you all know, videos are one of the fastest-growing niches in the technology market. It is only expected to expand further and likely to play a significant role in all areas of business.
7. Text Messages And Whatsapp
Texts have become the go-to method to reach out to someone without disrupting another person’s day. Since Whatsapp has become almost synonymous with texts, businesses have been flocking to create their professional accounts.
Many companies have already reached out to their existing subscriber list emphasizing that they are always available.
Text messages can also be used to remind your customers of promotions or any product updates without interrupting them. At the same time, it is also worth noting that many customers consider a text message as a more personal mode of communication.
Whatsapp Business chats, on the other hand, has seen a rise in the last few years. Moreover, you can integrate it with Facebook and streamline your omnichannel customer support. Small businesses can also benefit from the fact that there is no investment required in this option.
But the best strategy for text messages is to use this to communicate only when the customer reaches out to you first. This way, you are merely responding to their queries and not invading their personal space.
Ask Your Clients
If you are wondering which communication channel to invest in, the best means is to find out us to get feedback from your client.
Even if you think your communication channels are effective, gathering feedback will offer you compelling insights. Feedback will allow you to find out how customers feel about your brand. It will also send them the message that you value their opinions and take them seriously.
Do not ignore metrics such as the average response time, and customer satisfaction when evaluating your communication channels. Your analytics could only add to the value of your marketing efforts.
Arm Yourself With the Right Tools
Your average customer is becoming more tech-oriented as days pass by. Customers expect an omnichannel customer experience from all brands – a combination of social media, emails, and chats.
It will help you be more productive, as well as be responsive to clients regardless of which communication channel they prefer. Moreover, your customer service can also benefit from the flexibility.
While there are email marketing alternatives, we recommend that you integrate these different platforms to make the most of all worlds.
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About the author
Victoria Davis is a content contributor for a well-reputed essay writing service, as well as marketing blogs. She writes about academics, business, and technology – using her expertise and desire to educate others as a motivation for developing user-focused and actionable content.