The advent of electric cars posed a somewhat precarious challenge for the automotive industry. With no noticeable sound coming from electric motors, could pedestrians safely cross the road?
The answer: no.
But here lay an opportunity for auto manufacturers to orchestrate the sound of new-age, low-emission vehicles – one that would become recognized by populations around the globe.
But it is not only electric vehicles looking for their sound. Any forward-thinking brands also need to be asking themselves: ‘What does our brand identity need to sound like?’.
In this article, Kim Johal, senior retail lead at Infobip UK&I is discussing how brands can activate their voice, and not only make them stand out from the crowd but also increase your customer engagement with this.
Brand engagement should not be a commodity
McKinsey & Company reported a 19% YoY increase in prioritization of customer experience improvements. Without an effective engagement strategy, brands risk sleepwalking into the unforgiving world of irrelevancy. Successful brand-to-audience audible experiences helps moat against this downfall, enabling organizations to better compete in crowded marketplaces.
An organization’s voice is an integral tool that can be used to enhance brand identity, experience, and value. Through mediums such as voice calls, video, and instant messaging, organizations have the chance to curate distinctive, memorable moments that win the hearts of prospective audiences and retain the business of existing customers.
Take a recruiter-to-candidate engagement. According to Gartner, 86% of companies already conduct employee interviews over video calls. But a brand’s voice isn’t as resonating if it must rely on third-party video platforms such as Zoom.
To unleash their true voice, organizations should launch video communications under their own brand banner. This makes for an impressive hiring experience that attracts and engages the right talent, versus the typical process.
Conversational channels activate engagement
As brands strive to become more involved in our lives, consumers tend to identify closely with brands with matching values and principles. We care if a brand has a stance on social and justice movements. We care when a brand has a privacy data breach. We pay attention to how bad news like lay-offs and price hikes are announced. We care about how a brand uses its voice to relay its message.
It’s vital a brand’s voice, in all scenarios, is steadfast. They must encapsulate conversational dialogue, discernible discourse, and a sympathetic, non-defiant tone.
McKinsey & Company report that 58% of customer care leaders expect growth in call volumes over the next 18 months. This will place an burden on customer care agents, and to the detriment of user experiences. How off-putting is it when an interaction consists of, ‘Your call is important to us. All our agents are busy right now’?
Deploying a care assistant via popular messaging channels like WhatsApp and Apple Messenger, allows end-users to interact with brands conveniently in their moments of need.
All within a trusted messaging platform.
There are several routes to providing a meaningful voice experience.
- Chatbots – an ideal way to automate repetitive tasks
Ushering in FAQs, nearest stores, and balance information expediate convenience for end-users. Being a first port-of-call for customer queries, chatbots should be unobtrusive, employ a warm but declarative tone, and have brevity as a core conversational principle. And there are plenty of user cases on how these help solve the omnichannel challenge for brands.
- Contact centers are where audible transactions between brand and user take place
Contact centers provide an exemplary opportunity to make your brand voice heard. The better the contact center experience, the better the chances of an advocating customer. According to Gartner, there is a 97% chance of positive affirmation and an 86% likelihood of increased wallet share after a successful contact center interaction. And cloud-based contact centers enable brands to not only mold their customer experience to the tone of their voice but also service more enquires and clients more efficiency for the business.
- The way we access brands has altered
We expect organizations to be within reach at the touch of a button. Brand accessibility is indispensable when it comes to acquiring new users. An impactful tactic is embedding calls directly into applications. This gives the chance for users to ‘click-and-call’ within an application, perfect for getting in touch with your holiday host, finding out where your taxi driver is, and having a video call with a freelance designer.
With organizations, of all types, vying to gain a place hold in our day-to-day lives, a vehicle that makes this happen is customizable Voice APIs. These APIs are the building blocks companies use to compose interaction journeys – such as when you call a customer services line and are routed to a particular department depending on your need.
By controlling each aspect of an audible interaction, brands can better articulate their true voice. Personalizing the welcome music based on a customer’s preference. Using emojis as part of the follow-up on WhatsApp. Making each conversation as personal as possible.
These elements of the voice journey build truly personalized experiences for users around the globe helping brands become synonymous with trustworthiness, rapport, and relevance.
See how UNICEF was able to converse better with their donation community with beneficial outcomes here.