Smart Notifications Take Gold in New Research on Top Customer Journeys and Channels

DENVER, US – News Direct – 17 February 2022 – CSG® (NASDAQ:
CSGS), the leader in innovative customer engagement, revenue management and
payments solutions that make ordinary customer experiences extraordinary, today
released its 2022
State of the Customer Journey report. Drawing on over 10 billion customer journey
interactions, the research found that companies reached their customers through
an ever-broadening mix of digital channels, finding increasingly sophisticated
ways to connect with their customers at scale.

The report highlighted the efforts of global brands to deepen
levels of engagement with their customers by shifting focus away from sales and
customer acquisition toward long-term loyalty and customer goodwill, both at
and after the point of sale. As such, use cases like smart notifications and digital
customer service became vitally important and made significant gains during socially
distant times, with consumers now expecting these instant interactions online
or in-store.

Top
takeaways from this year’s research include:

  • Smart notifications take customer
    journey gold as top channel
    :
    With the world moving faster than ever, brands embraced
    “micro-moments” to capture customers’ attention at the right time and in
    the channels they already use. Case in point: smart notifications
    accounted for more than 50% of
    journey interactions and took the top spot as the number one customer
    journey use case in 2021. Notably, SMS texts presented a unique
    opportunity for immediacy, engagement and personalization. CSG found that
    SMS notifications increased by almost 1,000% year over year, and for good
    reason: 90% of messages are read
    within 3 minutes.
  • Voice and SMS make a powerful 1-2 punch: It turns out consumers still want to “phone a
    friend,” as total phone calls increased in volume by 290%, with inbound
    calls accounting for 31% of total calls in 2021. This trend highlights the
    growing importance and value of intelligent automated phone system
    technologies like interactive voice response (IVR), which can better
    understand customer needs and offer more self-service options for faster
    resolution. Like voice, SMS saw a big increase in adoption, with overall message
    volume more than quadrupling year over year (304%). As businesses adapt to
    notifying consumers in real-time, whether to confirm a delivery or provide
    a fraud alert, SMS will soon become a requirement to compete.
  • Email makes a rebound: Despite the rumors heard year after year, email is not dead. Email interactions grew steadily since last year’s
    report (+145%). It triumphed as the most popular channel for journey
    interactions for customer notification, onboarding, digital customer
    service and acquisition. Email’s scalability and low technical
    requirements for personalization continue to make it a powerful “must-have
    option” for any company’s digital channel mix.
  • Journey interactions rise across
    the board, across industries
    :

    • Financial
      services
      : Timely, accurate communication is especially
      important when it comes to managing and protecting our wallets. To meet
      this expectation, financial services institutions became the ambassadors
      for channel mix diversity, with 40% more variety in their communication
      channel delivery than other industries. Not only are banking customers
      being kept better informed, but banks are building greater trust and
      confidence with their customers, which will lead to more business down
      the road. Interestingly, phone channels reigned supreme, accounting for
      69% of digital customer service interactions.
    • Telecommunications:
      The telecom industry also had a lot to gain from channel
      diversification. Communications service providers (CSPs) got savvier with
      their channel mix (+36% than average) to retain customers long-term while
      also pursuing innovative ways to acquire new subscribers. In a highly
      competitive market, CSPs can ensure current customers are happy by making
      their experiences simple and easy. On the acquisition front, CSPs need to
      leverage sophisticated segmentation and analytics to show that they know
      what future customers are looking for, and then be able to adapt their
      communications and interactions in real-time to deliver value even before
      the customer signs up.
    • Retail:
      Retail brands are mastering the channels they’ve used for years — on
      average tapping two — but are now standing out in other ways. They are
      broadening ways for customers to interact with the brand, whether through
      e-commerce with convenient upsell suggestions during checkout (the
      digital version of snacks in the checkout line) or hybrid options like buy
      online, pick-up in store (BOPIS). Overall, the opportunity
      to create the best journeys in retail will come from increasing everyday value-add
      and orchestrating transactional messages through the most intelligent
      journey workflows possible.

“Winning with customer journeys is quite straightforward: be
where your customers are,” says Mark Smith, VP of digital engagement solutions
at CSG. “If it’s across six channels, your brand should have a uniquely
enticing presence in each, but also ensure you offer consistent value and
experience. The goal, especially after the hardships of the pandemic, is to
uplift your customer and elevate the experience they have with your brand in
the most proactive, predictive and personalized way possible. This digital
transformation shift is here to stay, and businesses are realizing the benefits
of digital communications that are intelligently coordinated, as evidenced by
the expanding channel mix and rise in smart notifications.”

Methodology

CSG tracked more than 10 billion customer journey
interactions in 2021 through its customer journey orchestration platform, a
component of CSG Xponent™ .
CSG defines a customer journey interaction as an instance where an API triggers
an action to be taken on a channel within the customer journey. New this year, CSG
supplemented its journey orchestration data with data from voice and messaging
channels (U.S. only), also spanning 2021, with 2020 volumes for comparative
reference.

Read CSG’s full analysis, findings, and recommendations in
the global industry report: State
of the Customer Journey 2022.

 

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