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5 key takeaways about why your mobile app is key to your omnichannel communication strategy

Blog Cover Arion research blog 2 Why Your Mobile App Is Key To Your Omnichannel Strategy
May 11, 2023
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Caroline Dangson
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New survey
How consumers prefer to communicate with businesses

The modern consumer is well-informed, tech-savvy, and engages with businesses across multiple channels. To cater to these consumers, how can businesses ensure that they develop a robust omnichannel communication strategy that meets the needs of their target audience? Which channels do consumers trust, and which ones are they wary of?

To find out, Sendbird partnered with Arion Research to take a closer look at the communication channel preferences of consumers and how they’re interacting with businesses today.

Here are key takeaways from the latest study on consumer channel preferences.

Get the full results of the study to supplement the 5 key takeaways below.

Key takeaway #1: 93% of respondents regularly use mobile apps

Mobile apps matter. The study found that mobile apps are used for a variety of activities, such as social networking, communication, and entertainment.

  • As many as 63% of consumers regularly use mobile apps for banking and payments.

  • 56% use mobile apps to make purchases regularly.

  • Post-pandemic, 1 of 2 consumers still regularly use mobile apps for food delivery.

This is the time for businesses to leverage their mobile app as a channel to build trust with their customers. Enabling customers to engage with the business or with other users through in-app messaging is an effective way to drive user retention and loyalty. According to the report (page 5), 43% of consumers say they used in-app chat in the past year to interact with a business, with 1 out of 2 respondents doing so via the business’ mobile app. These percentages are expected to grow.

Key takeaway #2: Not all channels are equal within your omnichannel communication strategy

The study validates the importance of businesses meeting customers where they are - not the other way around. While consumers tend to spend the most time on their phones, communication channel preferences vary by business function and online activity. For example, banking and healthcare consumers prefer live chat over SMS and public, third-party messengers (pages 10 and 11).

Key takeaway #3: SMS fatigue is emerging

Out of consumers who report using SMS to communicate with businesses over the past year, only 11% say they prefer SMS (page 11). This suggests that more than 3 out of every 4 consumers who communicate with businesses using SMS do not have a good enough experience with SMS to prefer its continued use. This could be due to the many pitfalls of SMS as compared to in-app chat, as well as the gaps that SMS creates in the customer experience.

The study further revealed 34% of consumers reported an increase in the amount of unwanted SMS spam over the past 12 months, which is an important reason that 49% also say they are likely to ignore text messages. In fact, if a business sent “too many SMS messages,” 1 out of 4 consumers said they actually chose to switch brands or to avoid renewing their subscription (page 12).

Key takeaway #4: Trust is everything. Which channels have earned it?

Trust is a key part of the choice consumers use to determine which channel they prefer to use. This survey reveals that not all channels are equal when it comes to consumer trust. Email and phone have earned the most consumer trust based on this survey, whereas SMS and social media garner the least amount of trust (pages 8-10). Live chat (46%) is consumers’ third most-preferred communication channel with businesses, especially when it comes to communicating with banks and healthcare providers (page 9).

Key takeaway #5: Customer relationships are built on good conversational experiences

When businesses offer a good customer communication experience by using a preferred communication channel, they are more likely to achieve positive business outcomes like customer retention and advocacy (pages 4-5). Inversely, businesses that offer a poor customer communication experience (e.g., too much email, text/SMS, or a poor mobile app experience) face a greater risk of customer churn.

Get the full results of the study.

Is your mobile app a part of your omnichannel communication strategy?

If your mobile app is a critical piece for delivering a product or service, then your mobile app is also a critical channel for connecting and communicating with your customers: 1 out of 5 consumers surveyed said they chose to switch brands or cancel the subscription because of a poor mobile app experience (page 6). The conversational experience you provide here can make or break your relationship with your customers.

Sendbird believes that conversations are at the heart of building relationships and getting things done. As such, we built the world's most proven conversations platform for mobile apps across chat, voice, and video. Industry leaders like Reddit, Virgin Mobile, and Paytm use Sendbird to drive increased transactions and loyalty for hundreds of millions of users every month. Request a demo to learn how Sendbird can transform your mobile app experience to help you build lasting customer relationships as part of a robust omnichannel communication strategy.

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