Customer communication is an important part of any company’s strategy. Organizations of all sizes and industries understand the need of staying in touch with customers in order to increase loyalty and encourage repeat purchases. Companies send an average of 22 customer messages every month to each consumer. However, the times are changing. Companies are shifting from traditional print-based channels and transactional exchanges to electronic interactions in the digital era. According to a new IDG Research MarketPulse poll of 102 IT decision-makers, concentrating communications channels on a single supplier is a highly effective strategy to support a successful business.
The Electronic Imperative
The survey revealed that, while businesses use a variety of means to communicate with consumers, email is by far the most popular—81% of respondents said they rely on email substantially, and businesses send 6.4 customer emails every month on average. Many businesses also use other communication methods such as voice, paper, SMS, and digital fax.
Not all channels, however, are increasing at the same rate. Email, SMS, and phone have all shown considerable growth in the last 24 months, and will continue to do so in the coming months. Print and digital fax, on the other hand, have been stable for the previous 24 months and will continue to be stable for the next 24 months.
The general sentiment from respondents is that electronic messages are more dependable, easier to convey to others, and simply “more current.”
The Multivendor Conundrum
From the poll, we noticed companies employ four vendors on average to communicate with their customers, but 21% use five to ten vendors, and another 14% use more than ten vendors. Why the need for so many? In many cases, companies have hired suppliers who specialise in each channel because they want to reach customers through several channels. Relationships with such providers have established over time, and mere inertia may play a role in their retention. It’s also worth noting that just a few providers are capable of meeting an organization’s needs across all channels.
Having several electronic communication providers, according to a considerable number of respondents, presents a multitude of obstacles:
The Single-vendor Solution
It’s no surprise that having a single vendor that integrates email, SMS, voice, and digital fax is valuable, given the numerous issues that come with having several vendors for client communications. One respondent stated, “With the hiring of a single message provider, we can minimise renouncement to zero or as near to it as possible.”
The advantages of dealing with a single provider can be divided into two categories:
1. Management – traits that help businesses express their messages to customers in a more efficient, effective, and cost-effective manner.
2. Customer experience — features that allow customers to interact in a quick, efficient, and pleasant manner.
Strong performance in both areas is essential for overall success. Improved customer experience helps fulfil the most critical goals of customer interactions: boosting loyalty and encouraging repeat sales; more effective management decreases expenses, thereby impacting a company’s bottom line.
Effective client relations are becoming an increasingly critical need for any successful organisation in the Digital Age. Consolidating client contact channels on a single vendor, as electronic communications gain traction, provides various important benefits to businesses and their customers that might add up to a clear competitive advantage.
To read the full IDG MarketPulse report and how OpenText can fulfill your needs in terms of providing an omnichannel customer communication solution, click here. InfoConnect is a proud partner of OpenText, do reach out to us for more information about OpenText solutions.