Digital overload is driving a new trend: two-way conversations with customers

Your phone rings. It’s a local number but you don’t recognise it. Do you answer it? Many people have stopped answering calls from unknown numbers. Robocalls have become a symbol of digital overload; people are losing trust in the telecoms industry and in the companies who engage in automated cold calling.

It’s not just cold calls. Social media is also responsible for an overwhelming volume of unwanted communication. Messages, alerts and push notifications are constantly popping up, turning smartphones and tablets into an irritation.

If you are a marketing exec, you need to find a different way of engaging with customers and building trust in your brand. Thankfully there is a better way; two-way conversations. Digital ones. Here we examine some of the trends in the way digital technology can improve customer communication.

Caller ID protocols

The STIR protocol adds digital information to the call so that the origin of the data can be identified. This doesn’t stop a call agent from spoofing a number or caller ID, but it allows points along the call route to determine whether they are authentic.

The use of STIR and its companion SHAKEN is progressing in the USA and Canada. In the UK, OFCOM has published a consultation [1] to promote trust in telephone numbers. It emphasises that implementing STIR must be a priority for telecoms providers.

This will allow a customer to answer a call with confidence that it is coming from the business or person it claims to be.

Choosing the right channel

In 2019, the average open rate for campaign emails [2] in the UK was 17.5%, down slightly on 2018. However, the click-through rate increased massively, from 0.9% in 2018 to 2.4%. Marketers found better ways to capture attention and encourage subscribers to visit their websites.

By comparison, political campaigns [3] showed a reverse trend with emails either not arriving, or being delivered in a secondary tab. Campaigning has moved to social media.

In the UK 2019 election, the campaign was conducted on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, The Conservatives, although spending only half as much as Labour, achieved 10% more engagements. They used two key tactics:

–           Targeted advertising based on broad categories that would be seen by non-Tory voters
–           Two full-day YouTube campaigns that would be seen by every visitor

There was also widespread use of private Facebook groups and messaging through peer-to-peer networks. Members trust and engage with these channels.

Natural language understanding

With the increasing use of Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Facebook Portal, people have learned to trust digital assistants to answer simple questions about the weather and to carry out tasks such as setting an alarm and playing music.

As natural language understanding and AI technology improves, businesses are starting to use chatbots and virtual assistants to build a dialogue with customers. The advantages are:

–           The assistant can understand dialects and accents
–           It can give helpful suggestions, quickly and accurately
–           It can authenticate a customer using their face or fingerprint
–           It can give a personalised experience based on previous interactions and orders

Customer experience (CX) will be the ultimate test. Businesses are investing in people with the skills to harness digital technology in order to improve CX. This means understanding how customers prefer to interact and having the vision to see how this can be achieved with technology.

Talent

Hiring a marketing specialist is no longer about finding someone who can run a good email campaign. Email still has its place, but tomorrow’s marketing execs will have the skills to utilise other channels and technologies as they evolve.

The speed of change presents management teams with tremendous opportunities but also challenges finding senior digital talent. Why not contact our team at Clifford Associates to see how we can help your business to thrive in this climate.

[1] https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0022/144265/first-consultation-promoting-trust-in-telephone-numbers.pdf
[2] https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/guides/uk-email-marketing-benchmarks/
[3] https://www.bloomberg.com/press-releases/2019-11-12/twilio-analysis-of-presidential-campaign-email-effectiveness-shows-only-a-small-number-reach-intended-audience

 

Don't just take our word for it

  • Tom Salvat, CEO, CONCURED
    "As a fast-growing start up, we need great people with a tough set of skills to find. They need to be hungry, experienced and fit the culture of a business that is always adapting and growing. Finding these people using Linkedin and other job boards is tough, time-consuming and rarely bears fruit. Ross has always been able to uncover gems for us, and we are benefiting greatly from his skills at CONCURED. Ross has a rare ability to really understand the business, the culture and the people that will nail the role. I couldn't recommend him highly enough, and he is the only recruiter we deal with"      
    - Tom Salvat, CEO, CONCURED
    Tom Salvat, CEO, CONCURED
  • Tariq Mahmood, Enterprise Sales, Concured AI Content Marketing
    I am writing to express my gratitude to Ross Clifford & Associates who helped me successfully secure the role of Enterprise Sales Executive at Concured. Ross was extremely professional and understood the specifics of the job I required. I especially appreciated his fast response, transparent communication, and coordination in a timely and efficient manner.
    - Tariq Mahmood, Enterprise Sales, Concured AI Content Marketing
    Tariq Mahmood, Enterprise Sales, Concured AI Content Marketing
  • Jessica Cole, Editor – Redwood London.
    Ross is one of the friendliest recruiters I've dealt with. He was always attentive, quick to respond and ready to help with any questions I had. He's very professional, and not at all superficial like so many other recruiters out there. I would highly recommend him.
    - Jessica Cole, Editor – Redwood London.
    Jessica Cole, Editor – Redwood London.
  • Gareth Lofthouse, Founding Partner, Longitude.
    “We look for commercial people with a rare blend of talents. They need to be able to advise our blue-chip clients on thought leadership strategy. They need to be highly strategic and purposeful in uncovering opportunity. And they need the hunger it takes to thrive in a rapidly evolving business. RC&A were quick to understand our needs, they only delivered high-quality people for interview, and succeeded in getting us a winning candidate incredibly fast.”  
    - Gareth Lofthouse, Founding Partner, Longitude.
    Gareth Lofthouse, Founding Partner, Longitude.
  • Johnny Meredith, Senior New Business Manager, The Bio Agency.
    I can't rate or recommend Ross highly enough. He brings a thoughtful, personal approach to the process, carefully matching opportunities with candidates, through a good understanding of their priorities and skills. Throughout, he keeps candidates up to date in an open, honest way. A genuine pleasure to work with.
    - Johnny Meredith, Senior New Business Manager, The Bio Agency.
    Johnny Meredith, Senior New Business Manager, The Bio Agency.
  • Karen Troman, Office Manager & HR Co-ordinator, VoucherCodes.co.uk part of RetailMeNot
    Ross is the best recruitment agent I have worked with, he stayed in contact, kept me informed and was with me every step of the process. He also checked in with me during my first couple of weeks in my new role to make sure I was settling in. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him.
    - Karen Troman, Office Manager & HR Co-ordinator, VoucherCodes.co.uk part of RetailMeNot
    Karen Troman, Office Manager & HR Co-ordinator, VoucherCodes.co.uk part of RetailMeNot
  • Neil Kettleborough, CRO & Co Founder, Chalk Social
    I have worked with Ross over 4 years now and he has always delivered a really high standard of candidate both at senior and junior level. His online knowledge is second to none and all the candidates he has put forward over the years have only good things to say about Ross and his work ethic.
    - Neil Kettleborough, CRO & Co Founder, Chalk Social
    Neil Kettleborough, CRO & Co Founder, Chalk Social
  • Helen Rosemier, Commercial Director, Professional & Financial Services Practice, Longitude
    Ross is a fantastic recruitment consultant -  extremely professional, meticulous, patient and supportive. Throughout the process, I felt he represented me really well and genuinely cared about my career and finding the right role. Thanks to Ross I am now in a role I love, working with a brilliant team. Very highly recommended!
    - Helen Rosemier, Commercial Director, Professional & Financial Services Practice, Longitude
    Helen Rosemier, Commercial Director, Professional & Financial Services Practice, Longitude

© Ross Clifford Associates. Website by Outlines Design.