By James Brown, CEO of Smart Communications

A company’s success or failure is directly related to the experience they provide to their customers and central to exceptional experiences is the quality of communications they are delivering to them. Given that 62 percent of consumers will leave a company that isn’t delivering on their communications expectations, organizations that don’t have a customer-centric strategy in place risk losing customers to those that do. To inspire companies to make conversations SMARTER in 2020, we’ve identified three ways that will help deepen customer relationships while improving the overall customer communications experience.

Shift Focus from Communications to Conversations

Modern consumers no longer want to be communicated at, they want to have a conversation with the company they are doing business with – and we can thank the evolution of technology for that! To help put this into perspective in today’s modern age, a communication can be defined as a message that is developed and delivered. It’s often a static, one-way output, such as a printed billing statement or policy document. A conversation is a two-way interaction that is highly personalized and can be delivered across multiple channels, specifically digital. Having the technical capability to deliver customer conversations will enable companies to focus on learning more about their customers by using data to inform and develop more relevant conversations in the future.

Leverage Modern Tools and Data to Personalize Communications

The shift toward more engaging conversations is certainly a journey, but a great place to start is to deliver more personalized communications – and there are plenty of modern tools available to make this possible. According to Viswanath Maddali, vice president of client services at ValueMomentum, having tools in place that can help measure document history, points of interaction and support document tracking are extremely valuable when it comes to better understanding your customers. Having improved insight into the document journey is the first step toward understanding the historical interactions a customer has had with your company. Furthermore, being able to capture data from points of interaction can be used to improve and tailor communications with an individual customer down the road. Document tracking tools help companies determine whether the customer is actually opening and engaging with the communications sent across different channels. Modern customer communications management (CCM) platforms can help companies that are stuck in the static, one-way communication stage. They are increasingly evolving to enable digital workflows, provide flexibility and scale to support instant communication through a variety of new channels.

Use Artificial Intelligence to Improve Organizational Agility

As more companies begin to understand the impact and value data can have on their business, it’s an extremely exciting time to be in the data and analytics space. Looking specifically at the various capabilities that fall within the artificial intelligence (AI) umbrella, whether its refining processes, utilizing real-time data to drive personalization, or leveraging AI-powered insights, each one individually brings great insight to the organization. And we’re already seeing a significant number of companies beginning to incorporate AI into their overall business strategy. According to Forrester Research, 53 percent of global data and analytics decision-makers say they have implemented, are in the process of implementing, or are expanding or upgrading their implementation of some form of AI. Those that do embrace AI in 2020 will be one step closer to building frictionless automated processes within their organization, bringing them one step closer to having SMARTER customer conversations that can be delivered across multiple channels.

What’s the Next Step?  

In 2019 there was a tremendous focus on migrating to the cloud, but in 2020 it’s clear that the focus is all about optimizing the customer experience. From a customer communications perspective, this means evolving your current communications strategy to focus meaningful, dynamic two-way conversations. Moving to the cloud is an essential component of a successful digital evolution, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Want more inspiration from industry experts on ways they’ve been able to make conversations SMARTer? Download our whitepaper, Resolve to Make Customer Conversations SMARTER in 2020.

Or, you can also attend our live webinar, Pro Tips for Making Customer Conversations SMARTER in 2020, for a chance to ask questions in real-time!