Changing consumer behavior
In recent years, consumer behavior has changed a lot – the use of mobile devices has become more and more popular. Deloitte’s latest survey shows that 95% of all European and American consumers use their mobile phones daily in order to use online services.
The National Social Media Survey 2020 (in Dutch), conducted by Newcom Research, shows that the Dutch frequently use social media too. No less than 96% is spending 98 minutes per day on social media. 12,1 million people in the Netherlands are using WhatsApp nowadays and 10,4 million are using Facebook.
The Nielsen Report shows that a growing number of people prefer to use messaging as a communication channel when it comes to interaction with companies. 63% of consumers indicate that they make more use of messaging apps to contact companies than they did two years ago.
The Nielsen Report also shows that 53% of the respondents prefer shopping at a store that provides support through a chat app. According to these consumers, the chat app improves interaction. It is expected that messaging apps will be used more frequently by consumers in the following years. Nielsen’s survey shows that 67% of the people using messaging apps to communicate with companies, is planning to do so more often in the next two years.
Before, all that brands had to do was to send the right message. Nowadays there is more and more interaction with consumers through channels like Facebook and WhatsApp.
Part of conversational commerce is responding to customer needs regarding communication. Companies are required to think about refining their communication process. Conversational commerce enables companies to connect and automate those processes to meet customers’ needs. The customer journey will be completely mobile in the near future and only one channel will be used which will make other apps redundant.
Popular messaging channels will be used to complete the entire interaction between customer and company. That includes not just chats, but also payments (in-channel payments) and personalized messages. Users might interact with employees, chatbots or both.
Customer journey at a higher level
Refining the communication process will result in a more structured conversation which will improve customer satisfaction. It will lift the entire customer journey to a higher level.
An online store for instance, can use conversational commerce to communicate about frequently asked questions and most common issues via one messaging channel. For example:
• A customer uses WhatsApp to indicate that he is having a problem with his order.
• The customer will receive a reply explaining the procedure instantly in response to his complaint.
• The same channel will be used to immediately send a return or exchange request to the customer.
• The customer will be updated about the exchange through WhatsApp.
• If it turns out that the product has been damaged and the customer is not satisfied, he will receive a discount code through WhatsApp; not just to compensate, but also to encourage a new purchase.
• The same channel will be used to inquire about the customer’s experience and to ask him to leave a review.
The same process is possible in ticketing services. You can use your WhatsApp to order and pay for concert tickets. On the day of the concert, the organizers can use WhatsApp to inform you about traffic jams, or they can help you find the best parking spot.
Convenience and personalization
Conversational commerce is all about convenience, speed, and personalization in customer contact. Thanks to new technologies, conversational commerce will play an even bigger role in the coming years. By anticipating and by integrating new solutions in current company processes, the customer experience will be raised to a higher level.
Make sure that your company meets customer expectations. Be present on the channel that is preferred by the customer to make certain that they can comment, search, and interact with you. That’s the only way for a company to stay relevant and to participate in the online world.