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Conversations for better customer relationships
By Jesse Martin, Staff Writer
Last updated May 25, 2022
The most critical connections brands have with their customers are in their conversations. Rather than treating interactions with customers as a series of one-off transactions, companies with excellent CX track records are leveraging the entire customer journey with new tools, channels and data.
According to the 2022 Zendesk CX Trends Report, over 70% of customers expect conversational care when they engage with companies. In practice, this means brands are integrating channels into their customers’ every day lives, keeping conversations connected, personalising interactions with full context and scaling with automation.
Customer relationship management tools that provide insight are the bare minimum for modern enterprise, but not everyone is up to speed on the latest channels that customers are choosing for better service. When speaking with brands, 72% of customers expect agents to have access to all relevant information.
For companies, this means that all customer conversations – whether they're happening on WhatsApp, in emails or with chatbots in their own apps – are being routed to the same place, where no data is lost to silos. For agents, this means having the full context of the customer relationship in the same view as the conversation. And for customers, this translate to a seamless experience where they’re not forced to repeat themselves at every touchpoint.
A conversational customer relationship is integrated into everyday life: The customer can contact you the same way they’d get in touch with friends and family, at their own speed, and shift gears to the channel of their preference. It’s a relationship made personal with automation and context, and it’s managed in one accessible platform that’s built to help businesses scale.
“So many rich conversations are happening with customers, yet this valuable context ends up being locked within a particular department and isn’t visible to others who could benefit from this information.”
Mike Gozzo, VP of Product at Zendesk
If the messages we send to friends and family can be rich and fluid, the conversations brands have with customers should feel the same. Conversational service means customers are having natural, seamless conversations with companies that know them.
At best, a customer support interaction should reduce friction between brands and customers so that everyone involved can get on with their day. Bad support interactions are sticky and hard to forget – upwards of 60% of customers are willing to turn their backs on a brand after one bad experience.
When companies treat support conversations like a series of one-off interactions, rather than as a touchpoint in an ongoing relationship, they are essentially treating customers like strangers. Internally, not using the right tools to leverage important customer data will leave businesses in the dark about opportunities for growth.
Conversations go beyond service – they’re at the heart of every sale too. Whether engaging prospects or strengthening existing relationships, a conversation can make or break an experience. In our digital-first world, conversations between buyers and sellers have changed. Buyers are more informed, harder to reach and easily distracted along their buying journey.
In order for sellers to differentiate themselves, they need to offer personalised conversational experiences that buyers and customers have come to expect. According to Forbes, 80% of buyers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalised experiences. To adapt, sales teams are taking advantage of the same channels, automation and analytics that high-performing companies use to better communicate with their customers.
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