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To Provide Favorable Customer Experiences on Social, Brands Must Lean into Messaging, says Conversocial’s Jason Valdina

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“We’ll give the brand a cookie for a good experience, but we’ll punish that brand if it’s a bad experience.” — Jason Valdina, Director of Product Marketing, Conversocial

With 38 percent of consumers citing poor web experiences, an average CTR of 1.9 percent for e-mail, and a brand app adoption rate of less than six percent, it’s clear that both brands and consumers are disappointed by the result of their digital experiences.

At #SMWNYC 2019, Jason Valdina, Director of Product Marketing at Conversocial, shares what it takes for brands to exceed customer expectations on social and build a credited customer service community through emotional connection.

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Here are Conversocial’s top three takeaways on how brands can provide successful customer experiences on social.

Lean into the power of messaging

High-end customer service usually involves a person working one-on-one to give the consumer a tailored and attentive experience. “Every brand wants to capture that, but it’s a total budget buster. You can’t have somebody in a store focused on one person at a time. It just doesn’t scale,” explains Valdina.

To emulate that luxury customer experience (CX), consumers are engaging with brands more on private social messaging channels than they are in public. “When you look at the numbers, messaging is taking over the world. From 2017 to 2019, user interaction with brands over Messenger has gone from 2 billion messages per month to 20 billion. That’s a 10x growth in two years,” said Valdina.

“The future of customer experience is truly conversational. It’s about messaging one to one. It’s about a private experience between you and that brand to solve a problem or inquire about a product.”

Seamlessly combine bot and human agents

Bots don’t build relationships, but they’re great at collecting information, moving users down a path, and being available at any time. Humans don’t scale very well, but they can handle qualitative and complex tasks, provide a level of empathy, and be trained for key use cases.

To put it simply, brands need to bring the best of bots and humans together in conversation.

One solution is to combine the unique nature of conversational automation with human agents. “Adaptive automation is about letting people in the contact center do what they do best, and letting bots drive the conversation until something happens. The bot can say, ‘For that I’m going to get you somebody’ and when the person handles the situation, they can say ‘I’m finished here. Take it away bot.’ We call this the switchboard,” said Valdina. This experience allows brands to handover to a human if there’s a need, and for the human to hand it over to the bot when they’re done.

People don’t like fixed tree flows

Valdina explained that the best practice in bot-building is to allow users to deliver information when it comes to their mind, and let the bot figure out what to do with it. “When the bot doesn’t understand what’s going on, let a person pick up the phone.”

To provide the best CX, bots must triangulate what consumers need based on random access navigation instead of a linear flow. “If done right, the conversations are a circle. They’re not a line. The bot needs to know location, the type of class you want to book, and the time. That could take 10 seconds or 10 days. The bot doesn’t care, but users should be allowed to change their mind or start at a point that is most intuitive to them,” says Valdina.

What does successful CX on Messenger look like?

Valdina used Sephora as an example of how messaging can transcend the customer experience across acquisition and re-engagement. Sephora used compelling ways to get people into their store by incorporating augmented reality and allowing users to book sessions through the app. “It’s a private moment between you and your phone,” explains Valdina.

Due to their creative use of Messenger to provide a unique and personalized customer experience, Sephora saw 60 percent increase of in-store appointments over web or mobile app and 42 percent increase in clients showing up for appointments in-store.

As Valdina put it, “We’ll give the brand a cookie for a good experience, but we’ll punish that brand if it’s a bad experience.” With the power of social, brands can make the customer experience as pleasant and easy as messaging a friend.

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