10 Best Practices for Customer Communications

The foundation of any strategic communications is “right time, right place, right message.” A notoriously difficult challenge made somewhat simpler by the technology available to us today.

Contacto’s mission is to enable omnichannel customer communications with a personal touch — especially in a time when human connection is so important. We’ve come up with this list of 10 communications priorities to help you meet new and changing customer expectations, so you can provide a better customer experience and enhance loyalty.

Keep in touch

82% of U.S. consumers want more of the human element in their interactions with agents. That requires open lines of communication, across your audience’s preferred digital channels.

Omnichannel is best

The last two decades have seen a proliferation of new communications channels, from the rise of SMS/MMS, to social media, and now nearly ubiquitous mobile phone and mobile app usage. Your customers are everywhere — and they’d like you to be, too, because it’s more convenient that way. They want you to be there when they need you.

Offer self-service

Research from customer service expert Shep Hyken found that 67% of respondents use digital self-service tools, including AI-powered chat agents, and 41% said they prefer them. While there’s still a large percentage that prefers live agents, self-service can siphon off the low-touch enquiries to give agents more time to handle live interactions.

Be nimble

Over the last two years, amidst constantly changing conditions, agility has become a real competitive advantage. A proactive notification can keep customers in the loop when things are changing fast.

Consider CDC guidance that may lead to store closings or openings, demand-side shifts shaking up forecasting, and supply chain woes impacting inventory levels and fulfillment. Brands had to communicate fast and transparently.

Get the channel right

First, let’s be clear — omnichannel doesn’t mean every channel. Different consumer demographics, different business models, and different verticals all have unique needs — and brands will have a specific face they want to show to the world. That should all impact your channel mix. Plus, get to know what customer interaction types work best on which channels, so you can guide consumers to convenient customer journeys with the lowest friction.

Follow best practices

Omnichannel isn’t a whole new form of customer service. Classic best practices still apply here, in many cases. Even more so, perhaps, because an omnichannel contact center is so well suited to optimizing for metrics like first contact resolution, average response time, and measuring customer satisfaction.

Be dynamic

What’s convenient or most effective for one customer may be ineffective — or even inaccessible — for another. Being dynamic means that you can switch communication channels mid-conversation without losing the thread, to give your customer base a convenient and flexible journey to resolution.

Have a reliable backup

On Oct. 4, 2021, Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were down for the better part of a day. Back in December 2020, Gmail users were unable to fully access services on two separate occasions, over two days.

Outages happen, but if you’re in a competitive market, you don’t want a single minute of downtime to knock you off balance. Giving your audience more than one way to contact your customer service team creates redundancy that ensures you meet your customers’ needs when they need you

Carrier network matters

If you want to create great customer experiences, you can’t take carrier quality for granted.

Contacto is powered by Plivo’s Premium Communications Network. In Plivo’s 10 years, they learned that reliability depended upon building their own network of high-quality carriers, and that:

  • Strong technology and infrastructure alone cannot compensate for poor carrier network quality.
  • Relying on aggregators is not a good way to ensure carrier network quality.
  • Building a premium carrier network requires redundancy.
  • The infrastructure and technology layer all need to have the same commitment to quality.
  • No provider can build a quality carrier network overnight.

Our advice to you: Be proactive and don’t accept carrier network quality as a given.

Choose a vendor that’s committed to your success

Using a cloud platform for communication services beats maintaining your own infrastructure. With a cloud contact center, you don’t need to buy and maintain expensive equipment, or handle carrier relationships in-house. You also don’t need expensive expert developers to keep the software updated.

Look for a vendor that makes your success their priority, as Contacto does.

Ensuring customer success

Our commitment to our customers doesn’t end once they’re up and running. To help you get the most from us, we want to know about your business and how you use Contacto. Our customer success team has a great track record of keeping customers happy. They’re one of our not-so-secret weapons in our mission to provide superlative customer experience.

Our relationships carry the day

With telecommunications, not all problems come from the customer side of the connection. Often businesses have issues with carrier networks and connectivity, but we’re here to deal with the carriers to fix things

Need help bringing it all together?

Contacto offers an easy-to-use way to deliver streamlined, omnichannel customer service. It integrates with your existing business systems to give customer service teams all the data they need, from a single pane of glass. Read more about Contacto’s channels and features.