Nearly 80% of companies have or will implement conversational customer engagement — the practice of communicating interactively with customers from one digital channel to another while retaining context — to improve customer experience, according to new research from IDC commissioned by Sinch. Of those, more than half will do so using a Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) to deliver the efficient, hyper-personalized contextual experiences customers want most.
In a new IDC White Paper, “Digital Customer Experience: Leveraging Conversations to Drive Innovation and Differentiation in the Enterprise,” IDC’s Courtney Munroe, Research Vice President for Worldwide Telecommunications Research, analyzes the global survey of customer experience decision-makers at 355 enterprises to provide insights on the use of conversational customer engagement and to assess its impact on business outcomes.
In the IDC White Paper, Munroe explains: “As enterprises emerge from dealing with the impact of COVID-19, re-architecting their IT infrastructure to leverage digital platforms will be a major priority, and customer experience is the top driver of these investments as it directly impacts the organization’s bottom line.”
He goes on to explore the transformations underway at global enterprises as leaders work to build a better customer experience through customer engagements – interactions that are becoming increasingly conversational for good reason.
Multichannel communications have empowered companies to connect with their customers on the channel of their choice, such as SMS, voice, email, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or Instagram. It’s through conversational customer engagement that businesses can accelerate CX innovation to build long-term loyalty and drive immediate revenue growth.
Among the IDC White Paper’s highlights:
- 79% of respondents have initiated or plan to implement conversational customer engagement within the next two years. The majority (52%) will leverage CPaaS platforms to do so.
- While most companies employ multiple channels and a majority are leveraging conversations, only 22% of companies use more than three channels for conversational engagement. Consumers worldwide typically use four messaging channels.
- Customer service activities — such as customer care and support and customer satisfaction surveys — are the top use cases, followed by operations activities and transactions tied to financial payments.
Only 35% of organizations allow a customer to transfer from a chatbot to a live agent for enhanced support. Those who have implemented conversational customer engagement are much more likely to provide this fulfilling customer experience.