Communications are Converging


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Where is customer communication headed? [1]

It is clearly becoming individualized. This isn’t new.

We’ve talked about relevancy in one?to?one communication for years, but talking about it and making it real are two very different things. Now it is not just becoming real; it is becoming an expectation. Companies that don’t segment their customers (or can’t do so because they are siloed either by organizational structure, the way they have aligned their different communications channels, or even by just their beliefs or mindsets) consequently will have a fragmented view of the customer and will be unable to entertain a coherent conversation.

It is happening in Real Time.

The reality is that technology has fostered this need for instant gratification. But many of us have a batch mind set, and a batch process that we are still relying on, and when the expectation is that you are going to communicate with me in an individualized way, and you are going to do it right now, real time can become very difficult unless you know how to do real time mass personalization.

Interactivity and Multiple Channels

We now have the ability to engage in any dialogue, and we are engaging in that dialogue across multiple channels. This is also a challenge because of silos, and the ways we tend to silo our messaging channels: e?mail here, social there, SMS and still another place for everything else…

This is also, however, because customers’ behaviors and expectations have changed. They expect to be known. They expect to be treated as individuals, not an e?mail address, not a phone number, and they expect that the interaction that the enterprise is going to have with them is going to be across their channel of choice. And you know what? They are not staying in the channel you might have initiated that conversation in. They are moving to whatever channel suits them at that particular point in time, and those expectations and behaviors are changing constantly.

And what is next – or right here? Convergence.

Communications are coming together. It’s about the fusion of marketing and services, and it is about all your customer touch points. The reality is that over time, the channel chosen is going to become very incidental to the message that you are trying to convey, as the consumer is going to be fluidly moving in and out of those channels. So we should all start looking to become more adept at how we manage that flow of communications as opposed to individual channels.

[1] In an effort to understand this, I first had to define communication. So, as a recent MBA student who was forbidden to accept Wikipedia as a reference source, I of course leapt this social free encyclopedia. It is defined as the “activity of conveying meaningful information…communication requires a sender, a message, and an intended recipient, although the receiver need not be present or aware of the sender’s intent to communicate at the time of communication; thus communication can occur across vast distances in time and space.” (This, by the way, made me laugh and think about the Star Trek time and space continuum.)

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mary Cook
Mary Cook, Director of Contact Center Solutions for Varolii Corporation, provides companies with operational, contact center and CRM consulting services. Prior to Varolii, she was a principal at The Call Center Intelligence Agency, providing expertise and interim management services for worldwide contact center operations for clients within the entertainment, communications, financial services, consumer product and service provider industries. Prior to that, she spent 10 years managing contact center operations for iQor, AFNI, Kuehne + Nagel and FTD.


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