Real Time Communications Featured Article

Building Brand and Customer Loyalty with Rich, Contextual Communications

September 17, 2014

There’s a lot of talk about omnichannel customer service these days and the use of the phrase “meeting customers where they are.” These are certainly both important trends. But effectively catering to the customer of today is about more than simply enabling them to chat or e-mail with you. It’s about understanding customers so you know how and when to most effectively meet their needs and present them with new offers. This concept is commonly referred to as contextual communications.

Industry research and consulting group Gartner got it right in a 2011 study when it said: "For marketers and campaign management to use digital channels effectively, these channels can't be just a port for traditional campaign methods. Although most marketers are using more than one digital channel, their approach is often no different from a spam model, where success is driven by high volumes and attempting to make a profit from nearly everyone who accepts the offer. Just using digital channels is not the answer."

What’s needed is to better address the particular needs of each customer? Some businesses are leveraging real-time communications tools and predictive analytics to support contextual marketing efforts, which are built on an understanding data such as relative location, social graph, usage, accessibility, and a user’s past or current activity on the Internet to determine when an individual is most receptive for what message or transaction based on his or her behavior.

This can allow an organization to deliver a truly differentiated customer experience. And that is key to building customer loyalty and shaping that organization’s brand into one that is truly unique.

For example, this month, retailer Toy Genius will go live with a website through which shoppers can communicate in real time with clerks that appear via live video to tell them about products, answer their questions, and trigger videos showing those products in action. While talking with online clerks, shoppers can continue browsing the Toy Genius website, and the clerks can see what they’re looking at to engage them in conversations about additional products on which the shoppers have paused. Not only can the clerks interact with and share information with shoppers, they can put the products customers select into virtual shopping carts and move shoppers to the checkout when the time is right.

The real-time communications features on the website are powered by Kandy, a new Platform as a Service from GENBAND. Kandy allows access to communications sessions via APIs, SDKs, and Quick Starts so developers can more easily leverage them to bring real-time communications to their applications.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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