Language is a powerful tool which enables us to structure the world we live in. It determines our objectives, sketches out the outlines of our vision of the world. Why would it be different for brands then? The speech of a brand is intimately linked to its reputation and, as social media helps information circulate increasingly faster, this element has become absolutely vital. It means solutions to implement for brands but it also includes real opportunities that brands can seize: use the language as an asset for your brand!
A paradigm shift
With more than 1.2 billion active monthly users on Messenger and almost as much on WhatsApp, should we still spend time wondering how we can engage with consumers? Thanks to new technologies, and especially messaging apps and social media, customers can express themselves wherever they want, whenever they feel like it. Brands have to be careful about their image and speech as now everyone has a medium to express their opinion. So the challenge of keeping a good online reputation is essential, all the more when you realise how much impact it can have on your brand: 60% of customers who have a bad experience with customer service express their discontent to an average of 21 people (against 40% of customers who have a good experience who express it to about 8 people) according to a study conducted by American Express/Ebiquity.
Brands are now using messaging apps to position themselves as personal assistants for their customers. Messaging apps are tools available to each and everyone and they are extremely focused on user experience which enables brands to establish a deep connection with their customers and, more importantly, a lasting relationship. And today, being ubiquitous, being attentive to your customers and offering a personalised experience adapted to each visitor’s context is a good asset to increase customer loyalty.
Rethink and reinvent the conversation you have with your customers
Messaging has become a relational challenge in an interconnected, mobile and instantaneous age when we need to use the same touchpoints and the same codes to reach each other and communicate.
According to Nielsen, 53% of consumers are more likely to shop with a business they can message. It is now time for brands to be chatty and offer means of communication adapted to users’ new practices.
The boom of CtoB messages forces brands to rethink about their speech. Should they be formal or informal? Do they need to adapt their behaviour according to social media and new digital codes? Should they start using emojis in a professional context as 92% of the world population uses them (2016 Emoji Report)? You need to think about all these questions now as it has become essential to have a consistent brand speech across the different touchpoints you are using.
During Conversation, David Jamin, Customer Experience Product Manager at Air France said:
It is true that for Air France’s first class compared to authenticity, values and our promise, we can’t allow ourselves to include emojis in the conversation.
On the other hand, on Flying Blue pages, which is our loyalty program, we authorize customer service agents to have a more flexible tone because the audience is different: we retain customers so we use their tone and we adapt according to them.
An opportunity for brands
According to Accenture, 55% of customer churn is due to a bad experience with customer service. The challenge of good support and successful customer service are now essential. But this challenge also represents a real opportunity for brands. The data stream that circulates during these exchanges allows you to better know your customers. This way, you can detect their desires, remember their previous purchases, know how to communicate with them, increase your chances to convert them. The ubiquity challenge should not be seen as a blocker because there are solutions available to help you meet this challenge.
Language is everyone’s business from chatbots to human agents
Chatbots or savvy enthusiasts can be a solution offered to your customers and prospects. Chatbots can be available 24/7, adopt the tone you have attributed to them, they can engage the customers you are targeting and enable you to avoid missing contact opportunities. This way, you can collect data about your customers and qualify their queries before, if necessary, put them in contact with a human agent who will be able to focus on interactions with high-added value. Chatbots are not a magical solution and they may not be suited to every business’ situation.
Despite the wow effect related to the bot’s technology, 79% of customers would still like to have the opportunity to speak to a human agent. Humans can also be a part of a peer to peer community to deliver customer service – ibbü experts. This way, your customers interact with their peers, they have feedback which provokes emotions, engagement and they have a real authentic experience. In this situation, the tone is similar on both sides, everyone adapts their tone naturally: savvy enthusiasts embody your brand and they help your customers.