7 Customer Communications Management (CCM) Trends to Follow in 2021

Customer Communications Management

Introduction

The ever-growing technical advancements are changing customer experiences. With constant digitalization, customer communications have now become recipients of new devices, channels, and technology. Communication is the essential element to build relationships with customers, vendors, partners, and employees. Digitalization has made the customers grow more demanding and less forgiving. According to a report, one-third of customers wouldn’t mind switching companies after a single bad customer service experience.

You must keep up with the latest trends to stay ahead of your competition and deliver a long-lasting experience to your customers. Knowing these trends can help you get insights into changing customer needs. By turning these insights into actionable strategies, you can improve your customer communications management to increase retention and customer satisfaction.

Popular Customer Communication Management Trends

Forrester predicts that a quarter of brands will significantly advance their customer service quality in 2021. With Customer Communications Management (CCM) being a crucial part of overall customer service, it is evident that there will be many changes in this field too. Here are some of the CCM trends to follow in 2021.

  • Deliver Personalized Experience to Customers
    Customer expectation for a personalized experience is not new. It has long been a growing factor in driving the customer journey and will continue to be so in the future. The Gartner survey reports that businesses lose 38% of customers due to low personalization strategies. Today, customers have more power than ever, and they want brands to consider their opinions or feedback while designing their products. Businesses must keep customers at the core of their development strategy to get an edge over their competitors.
    Everyone wants to be valued and recognized as an individual rather than just a customer. Sending hyper-personalized correspondence to customers can do wonders for your business. You can send hyper-personalized videos instead of generic ones that use customers’ names to address them. Similarly, you can also send hyper-personalized URLs, pdf, emails, and more. Personalized messages provide a big help in connecting with the customer and understanding their needs. Nike has incorporated a personalization approach in their business strategy by allowing the customers to design their shoes. Calling customers by their names makes them feel like they are recognized and accepted.
    The enhanced engagement can also lend you an opportunity to collect customer data such as interest, preference, and intent, which can then be used for analytics and developing business strategies.
  • Digital Presence for Omnichannel Communications
    Gone are days when businesses had limited communication channels and mediums such as phone, fax, and emails. The breakthrough in technology has resulted in a paradigm shift in the customer’s habits. This shift brings new challenges for businesses to adapt and deploy solutions that meet customer’s expectations. Shifting from single or multichannel to omnichannel communication is the need of the hour. Therefore, companies must quickly evolve to integrate their communication channel in response.
    Omnichannel communication delivers a single message over all the channels. It puts the customer at the core of the business and creates a holistic, integrated, and personalized shopping experience for your customers. It mainly relies on customer data(customer behavior, buying pattern, interests, and previous interactions) to drive meaningful insights. You can utilize these insights to deliver a seamless customer experience. It helps businesses collect data from several sources and provide appropriate responses, even if customers approached you with the same query through a different channel. It also helps in enhancing multichannel correspondence and collect customer profile details on other platforms after their consent.
  • Harness the Power of AI and Big Data Analytics
    Technology is evolving at a rapid pace. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing the way companies interact with their customers. Data has become the new oil that fuels the growth of businesses. But most of this data is useless in its raw form. The predictive analysis, deploying chatbots, deploying intelligent platforms is the new trend. With big data analytics and insights, you can build data-driven interactive solutions. AI can make machines imitate human behavior to predict customer needs and generate meaningful insights. It can also help automate customer communications by providing software solutions such as chatbots to interact with customers without human intervention. Experts predict that AI will power 95% of all customer interactions by 2025. You can provide data-driven emails, pURLs, SMSs, and videos for conversational purposes with the help of AI and big data analytics. The future of business communications with hyper-automation is bright. However, it is essential to read about the factors to consider before implementing AI projects and jumping on the bandwagon.
  • Adoption of NLP-based Chatbot Communications
    A chatbot is a product of AI technology. The endless benefits of using chatbot communications are significantly raising its adoption and growth. Around 80% of enterprises started to use chatbots by 2020. And the rise of chatbots will likely continue in the coming years. Most business websites and applications harness the power of interactive chatbots to respond to customer queries. NLP (Natural Language Processing) allows chatbots to read a text, interpret it, and provide appropriate responses. They provide various benefits, such as extensive assistance, 24/7 availability, proactive interactions, and enhanced engagement.
    Besides all the other benefits, chatbots also help you meet some other trends in this list: omnichannel communications and AI-driven correspondence. You can deploy chatbots on multiple platforms. They can then collect all the data throughout each interaction and store it in a single place. Thus, whenever a customer switches the channel for the same query, the chatbot will be aware of what they are looking for and will not have to ask for multiple details again and again. Also, NLG-based chatbots have the potential to learn with every interaction and experience. They can learn automatically to improve customer communications continuously.
  • Enhancing Engagement through Messaging Channels
    Having a separate business application altogether is excellent for businesses. But even those who have not invested in a custom application are exploring options like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Although you get many benefits from having dedicated apps, it is still essential to be present on other commonly-used messaging channels. Customers do not want to clog their smartphone storage by installing numerous business apps that they do not use frequently. That is where being available on other messaging apps helps organizations to lead in the competition. There are more than two billion WhatsApp users worldwide, and the same is the story with Facebook Messenger. Hence, it is not surprising that many businesses are and will continue to use such apps for sending personalized messages.
    With business WhatsApp, you can send real-time personalized messages to customers. You can also integrate chatbots and AI’s features into WhatsApp. By implementing chatbot and AI features, you can make WhatsApp more interactive and data-driven. You can then use WhatsApp and Facebook Messengers to send personalized promotions, updates on orders or services, and other messages.
  • Increasing Adoption of the Cloud Platforms
    Businesses move most of their IT infrastructure to the cloud to leverage its benefits such as scalability, cost-efficiency, and reduced downtime. Gartner predicts the SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) segment to grow to USD 140,629 million by 2022. Organizations will be looking to move customer communication management solutions to the cloud. Solutions such as Customer Communications Management-as-a-Service (CCMaaS) will be on the rise in the coming years.
    With SaaS-based CCM solutions, you can streamline customer communications by leveraging cloud-native features. It will allow you to quickly scale according to your business needs without worrying about IT infrastructure. On top of that, it will also provide you with complete visibility over data to ensure optimal security.
  • More Attention on Privacy
    It is right to say that there will be a cyberattack every 11 seconds in 2021. With even a minor data breach costing the business a fortune, it is evident that the focus on security and privacy will be on the rise. Also, falling prey to cyberattacks can impact a brand. Customers know that sharing their data will help them get personalized services, but at the same time, they expect that their data will be kept safe and confidential. You need to abide by data privacy laws such as GDPR and ensure that none of the customer data gets leaked from the company.

Conclusion

All the trends mentioned in this list will help you develop customer communication strategies that cater to your needs. But while knowing factors that can change the customer experience and the ongoing trends can help improve customer communications, it is also essential to equip your teams with the right tools. Only with apt customer communication management solutions, your team can deliver top-notch services to customers. The right tools offer some primary features such as pre-embedded analytics, multi-device compatible UI, advanced data monitoring, and contact center integration. FCI can help you get the right tools and build the right strategies. FCI enterprise CCM solutions allow you to efficiently design, deliver, and manage hyper-personalized communications across multiple channels.