Manila Times Column

The future of customer experience

Great customer experience is the outcome of great engagement moments. As the top global users of social media, Filipinos turn to multiple online channels such as Facebook Messenger, Viber and WhatsApp to interact with businesses. With messages coming in at different times on different platforms, the opportunity to provide fast and efficient customer service could easily be missed. In a PwC report on Retailing 2020: Winning in a polarized world, the number of companies investing in the omnichannel experience jumped from 20 percent to over 80 percent in the last decade. Based on the same PwC report, the emerging new concept is a channel-agnostic view of how consumers experience the retailer brand. “Shoppers increasingly demand a consistent level of experience regardless of channel or mode by which the retail is accessed. Such shoppers avoid retailers who are ill-equipped to deliver a seamless brand experience online, in-store and across multichannel media, both consistently and continuously,” the report said.

Some of the challenges faced by businesses include customers getting irrelevant messages or messages sent to the wrong channels or at the wrong time. Conversions are low due to lack of personalization. Data is scattered across different sources and departments. Extraction and analysis of data get to be tedious and take a lot of time. Precise segmentation and targeting are hard to achieve.

In an interview with Charist Montenegro, Infobip Philippines country manager, we talked about the future of customer experience through contextual information. Infobip is a global cloud communications platform that enables businesses to build connected customer experiences at scale across all stages of the customer journey. Montenegro presented Moments, an omnichannel customer engagement hub that enables Filipino businesses to better understand and reach today’s connected consumer. While customer interactions may have become digital, Montenegro emphasized the importance of adding a human touch to attract and keep customers. “Businesses need to remember that their customers are human. They respond to being called by their name, having their context and realities understood and acknowledged, and being approached in a way that is respectful, empathetic and compassionate. Moments could help organizations connect on a deeper and more human level across different platforms, building more meaningful relationships with customers,” she said.

Key features of Moments are to improve customer engagement, satisfaction and retention; improve conversion rates, increasing sales; and optimize campaigns, improve marketing return on investment or ROI, and increase brand trust and reputation. Infobip Moments aims to help Filipino businesses overcome engagement challenges and turn these into opportunities. What it could do is personalize; then the decision of messaging is by the identification of customer profiles. The target and tailoring of these messages would be more relevant for the customers since these would be based on the customer’s previous interactions, preference or behavior. Creating a profile is something that could be done in Infobip Moments. Once data is collected, one could turn these into a specific campaign or messaging. Creating a more seamless and interactive flow of personalized behavior-based communication is what one would want with their customer. Analytics would then track results, analyze behavior and understand the journey so that the relevant message is delivered at the right moment via the right channel.

Montenegro cited that most brands, companies and enterprises are using Moments. For ecommerce, they could put out reminders on abandoned carts to complete the transaction to check out. Triggering a personalized reminder or campaign for a special deal is possible.

Another example is a retail shop that provides you the notification reminders on delivery of the package that you have purchased. In the end, “the aim is providing a better customer experience for the businesses and from there, it improves the brand loyalty, increasing customer satisfaction, increasing the lifetime value of their brand and their products.”

A good experience translates to customers spending more. Businesses could take advantage of automation but has to make sure that there is a person that can be reached when one is needed. With the influx of brands reaching out to customers every day, Filipinos are expecting personalized and relevant messaging from their preferred brands.

First published at the Sunday Business & IT on March 14, 2021.