It’s amazing how continuously connected we are now to our family, friends and even acquaintances, thanks to mobile. Our devices have revolutionized our power to stay in touch and engaged, and this capability has become a must for today’s brands to stay connected with their customers.
Truly, for today’s connected consumer, switching brands is just a Google search away. Every company spanning every industry, whether it’s a retailer, airline, or bank, is looking for ways to keep its customers’ business and keep customers from searching for competitors.
One of the most effective ways, in fact, to create repeat customers is to deliver a better experience than a competitor does. But in today’s complex and fast-changing digital world, this isn’t easy, and the ways to do it are almost limitless. More precisely, the question that every business should ask in relation to their digital transformation strategy is, “Am I too late, and is my message just more noise?” And if not, “What can I do to compete in a world where every one of my customers are looking for that instant, high-value response?”
In my role as Senior Director of Product Management responsible for Syniverse Intelligent Engagement, I frequently get these questions in relation to how our service impacts these areas of the customer experience, and in this post I’d like to share a few of them.
Syniverse Intelligent Engagement is our mobile messaging platform that helps deliver personalized, meaningful conversations to bring a brand emotionally closer to people’s lives, and makes use of preferences and context to continually improve customer relationships. This service has opened a new chapter in our ability to help our customers emotionally connect with consumers, and we’re just scratching the surface in unlocking a wealth of new benefits and use cases.
Question: What does Syniverse Intelligent Engagement do?
Intelligent Engagement digitally forges a stronger emotional attachment between a brand and its customers. It provides the capability for companies to understand and tailor their messages to connect with customers and meet their needs, in real time. Our platform also allows brands to track and curate every message they send, ensuring that customers don’t get duplicative or conflicting content. With clarity on customers’ experiences, companies can send messages that are powerful and build trust.
Question: But how exactly does Syniverse Intelligent Engagement help brands create emotional connections with their customers?
In technical terms, we integrate events and data from multiple sources and communicate based on the current state of the customer. If you don’t know what state your customer is in, you shouldn’t be messaging them.
For example, imagine your customer is dealing with a bad experience. If they are at the airport and their flight just got delayed, that is not the best time for an airline to send them a promotion for its credit card. The airline should be aware of the customer’s real-time situation, defer the marketing message, and remediate the experience by quickly arranging a better flight and offering the customer a discounted meal in the airport.
Question: Is it really that important for me to have an emotional connection to brands that I do business with, whether it’s my bank, hotel or airline?
Yes, and I bet you already do. Think of the brands that you interact with today. Whether it’s a grocery store, bank, airline or gym, it doesn’t matter. If I ask you to recommend your favorite restaurant to me, your answer will be based more on emotion than individual facts. Good meals or great views don’t cut it if the service is terrible.
Likewise, as consumers, we want businesses to show they care about us, and in the long run that’s not about the cheapest price, it’s about how they treat us and deliver the things we need for ourselves and our family. Discounts and convenience factors may generate some sales, but an emotional connection is what builds lifetime value.
Question: That’s good in theory, but how can a brand really achieve that?
In short, by having a conversational customer strategy that uses technology combined with a human touch to take better care of their customer than their competitors can. It’s easier said than done, but the key is to focus on the craftsman, not the toolbox. A good craftsman will choose and use the right tools to build emotional connections with customers. The toolbox has little value by itself and will probably just make a lot of noise.
Craig Winter is Senior Product Management Director at Syniverse.