By James Brown, CEO of Smart Communications
It became clear in 2018 that the drive for meaningful customer communications has become a major focus for businesses looking to gain a competitive edge. As the communications landscape continues to evolve, companies must look to new tools and technologies to meet growing consumer demands. So, what customer communication trends can we expect to see in 2019? We gathered insights from several key industry analysts and experts to identify some common themes.
Increased Adoption of Cloud-based Platforms
Nine out of 10 companies are expected to have some portion of their infrastructure in the cloud this year. Cloud adoption has officially come of age and enterprises are starting to act smarter when it comes to workload migration and scalable communication strategies. Previous security concerns have been eased and the benefits that accompany cloud computing are resonating. There’s no denying, however, that communicating with customers has become more complex. Having a cloud-based customer communications solution in place gives enterprises the functionality needed to provide more timely and relevant conversations. As a result, we’ll see a tremendous surge in businesses buckling up for their cloud journey in 2019 – especially at the enterprise level.
More Unified Communications Architecture
In 2019, a growing number of enterprises will build or revamp their communications architecture so that it can more effectively be leveraged across business units. According to Deviprasad Kuppuswamy, Cognizant CCM practice lead, “connecting to marketing and CRM platforms will help communications platforms to provide better message visualizations to customers, enabling them to take quicker actions.” Consumers are becoming more accustomed to seeking out information on their own, they now expect nearly instant responses to their needs and requests. Especially as more communication channels are added to the mix, speed and agility will provide a massive advantage for enterprises looking to scale. A unified communications architecture will help businesses meet these growing demands.
Heightened Focus on Analytics to Fuel Personalization
A more unified communications architecture allows for deeper analytics that can be used to drive personalization across various touchpoints. In 2019, we expect enterprises will start to deliver this more personalized customer experience. Enterprises will no longer be able to rely solely on the traditional methods of communication, such as print or email. To create new digital experiences, business users will have to rely on data-driven insights across various stages of the customer lifecycle to determine the customers preferred channel for communications and more.
From Transformation to Automation
Naturally, the drive toward digital transformation presents a need for further automation. Big data analytics and machine learning capabilities only work well when information is captured in a central database. Breaking down silos is key to internal success. In 2019 enterprises will want to have more control, either by enhancing internal capabilities or choosing vendors who offer more business-friendly capabilities that give them more control at every touchpoint. The landscape for service providers and technology vendors is undoubtedly changing. According to Kaspar Roos, founder and CEO of Aspire, vendors “will need to operate much closer with their partners and start driving innovations through co-creation.”
Curious to see what else leading industry experts have to say? Download our 2019 Predictions piece for a deeper dive into the trends above and more.