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How to increase app engagement and customer satisfaction with business communication technology

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How consumers prefer to communicate with businesses

The evolution of business communication technology

From the phone calls and emails of 30 years ago to today’s hyper-personalized, AI-powered customer communication tech, business communication technology has come a long way. Crucially, the rise of multiple channels of customer communication presents a tremendous opportunity for businesses to reach, engage, and support their customers with the adoption of cutting-edge business communications technology.

Customer communications: Technology adoption path

By harnessing business communication technology to enhance your communication efficiency, relevance, and capabilities, your business can make incredible gains in employee productivity, customer satisfaction, and the bottom line.

In this blog, we'll discuss how business communication technology has changed, and explore key aspects that it can offer your business and your customers.

Let’s dive in!

What is business communication technology?

Business communication technology refers to the various types of software solutions that enhance and streamline B2B or B2U communication through the use of tools such as messaging, voice and video calls, as well as notifications.

These powerful tools help to facilitate omnichannel communication, taking business communications to new heights and driving success.

What does business communication technology look like today?

Business communication today is always-on, hyper-personalized, and super-targeted. With modern business communication technology, from ChatGPT-powered in-app chat to AI-powered customer support solutions, we have so many forms of technology in business communication at our disposal.

To really put this in perspective, let’s take a peek into the past. Consider the release of the Apple I personal computer in 1976. Take a look at the original print ad used to promote the product. Its business communication included two additional channels, apart from the ad itself:

  1. Retailers sold the units from their shops

  2. According to Apple's history, Steve Wozniak was the only person who would answer and field customer support questions

Compare that to the business communication Apple sends out today: There are advertisements, press releases, direct mail, emails, desktop notifications, mobile notifications, and, of course, in-app communications for virtually every app on an iPhone. And this is just a few of the professional communication channels available today. Businesses go to great lengths to reach their customers, and a lot of that communication is conducted digitally.

An example of business communication via an iOS push notification
An example of business communication through a push notification on iOS

How is technology changing business communication? 4 uses of business communication technology

Now let’s talk about 4 critical use cases of business communication technology.

Customer support

Businesses still using phones as their primary customer support channel would do well to explore AI chatbots for customer support, which can enhance user engagement, summarize conversations, boost customer loyalty, and reduce support costs with surprisingly human-like conversations. In fact, we surveyed 1,200 consumers in 14 countries in 2023 and found that a staggering 57% chose to switch brands or not renew a subscription simply because of being put on hold.

This is why messaging-first support solutions are an important customer communications touchpoint. By offering personalized and efficient support, businesses can reiterate their commitment to providing - and enhancing - the value provided to customers. With modern, mobile-first chat support, businesses can increase support agent effectiveness and customer satisfaction. If your business uses Salesforce, you can even integrate Sendbird’s chat support solution to extend the functionality of Salesforce. With Sendbird’s Salesforce Connector, customer support agents will be able to assist customers through chat right within the existing Salesforce instance. With the integration of SmartAssistant, agents will be empowered to do far more accurate and efficient work with this powerful customer support integration.

B2B and B2U messaging

In-app messaging will likely continue to gain popularity as more and more companies develop branded apps to extend their offering further than the web, email, and phone support. With feature-rich in-app chat, business can communicate with other businesses and users to send relevant, contextual messages to drive higher engagement, more transactions, and ultimately better business outcomes. It’s easy for businesses to build in-app messaging, without having to reinvent the wheel, by using a developer-friendly, white-labeled messaging service like Sendbird.

Internal business communications

These societal shifts in business communication technology also apply to internal business communication. There are multiple different types of business communication—between in-person meetings, phone calls/text messages, PowerPoint or similar software, instant messaging, memos, and notifications from shared digital applications, teams have more channels than ever for sharing information with one another. In fact, communications with coworkers comprise 72% of an employee’s workweek.

According to MarketSplash, email remains the preferred communication channel at work, with 93% of Baby Boomers using it every day. However, Millennials—who find the idea of phone calls too time-consuming—prefer using collaboration tools in 55% of cases and email only 28% of the time.

That said, the modern communication landscape demands businesses to adopt new technologies quickly or risk falling behind competitors!

Notifications

If your business wants to send targeted, personalized, contextual, and relevant messages to people using your app, sending notifications is the way to go! Whether you send transactional, promotional, or marketing notifications, or have another strategy altogether, the potential of notifications to achieve your business objectives is massive when you execute them correctly. Before you start sending out notifications, understand how to create well-designed notifications. Also, remember that a well-thought-out notifications strategy has a tremendous potential to boost your business!

What new business communication technology can offer to companies

Now that we have a baseline for the state of modern business communications technology, let’s explore what these new channels can offer to organizations.

Message delivery at lower costs

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, sending the right message through the right channel has the potential to be a huge cost savings for businesses. Consider the example of texting your customers vs. sending them an in-app notification.

For every text you send, you’ll incur a charge. Additionally, there will most likely be some customers who opt out of SMS notifications with every blast, so in a sense, you’re paying to lose access to that customer.

In-app messaging, however, does not incur costs per message sent. Additionally, you can configure your notifications to go out at precisely the right time due to the fact that the user is actually in your app at the time of receiving the message.

If you extrapolate this example to tens of thousands of notifications, the cost savings can be significant!

Automation

Earlier, we saw that many customers chose to discontinue a service after being put on hold when contacting customer support. With an AI-powered solution like generative AI chatbots for support, your business can begin helping your customers immediately without needing a human employee.

This does two things simultaneously:

  1. Engages customers and begins moving them toward a solution immediately

  2. Reduces the overall need for live support (via phone or chat)

While some customer support inquiries need to be addressed personally, in other cases the request is as simple as order tracking. AI chatbots are an ideal solution for this type of inquiry, and they can also create support tickets to hand off to a human agent for other types of requests.

Connectivity in the workplace and with customers

For workplace communications, consider the example of a project management tool like Asana. When a task is completed, the appropriate parties can be alerted via:

  • Email notification

  • In-app notification

  • Slack notification

All notification settings can be configured by the end user, thus giving everyone the power to receive good communications in a manner that best suits their working style to improve their teamwork.

In consumer-facing applications, the concept is much the same. Can your business offer the same level of customer support via websites, mobile apps, SMS, social media, email, live chat, and physical locations like kiosks and stores? If not, consider brushing up on your communication strategy.

Engagement

According to State of the Global Workplace: 2023 from Gallup, disengaged employees have cost the global economy $8.8 trillion in lost productivity. Effective business communication is one of the key levers companies can adjust to increase employee engagement and enhance company culture.

Post-pandemic, with people increasingly preferring remote or hybrid working environments, companies see the need to adapt their methods of communication with employees. Can a Zoom video conference replace the nuances of a face-to-face meeting, like body language and facial expressions? Perhaps not completely; however, video calls are especially popular among Millennials and Gen Z. Businesses would do well to embrace and structure video conferencing (among other channels) to enhance team communication.

Business communication technology for customer benefits

Let’s zoom in on some areas where in-app communication can increase customer satisfaction and user retention.

Immediacy

We live in a world where instant gratification is the expectation, and this applies to business transactions as well.

Mobile applications have a unique channel in which they can provide immediate benefits to their customers via in-app notifications.

In-app messages have the capability to provide value to the customer in the form of:

  • Promotions: Save the customer money by providing discounts on something you know they want based on their app interactions.

  • Support: If a customer gets stuck in their journey through your app, deliver the support to them right on the screen they’re having trouble with.

  • Onboarding: Help your users find value in your product as soon as possible by guiding them right to it the moment they install your app.

Take advantage of the unique capabilities of in-app messaging to deliver immediate and contextual responses to your customers.

Engagement

Disengaged app users are likely to disengage with your app entirely by just deleting it. An average mobile app loses 77% of its daily active users (DAUs) during the first three days after download.

App developers need to do everything in their power to engage users during these critical first days, and in-app messaging is a great option.

Here are a few examples of how to use in-app messaging to boost your user engagement:

  • Encourage new feature trial: In-app messages are great for providing bite-sized tips and info that the user will see in context next to an unused app feature.

  • Use in-app chat: Allow users to start a conversation with your support team (including chatbots) as they learn to use your product.

  • Align messaging with user journey: Start with tips on how to achieve small wins and provide more advanced recommendations as users get further into your app experience.

Engagement is unlikely to happen on its own, so take action to ensure your app downloads don’t go to waste!

Security

App users are particularly sensitive to the security of their personal data. With the launch of iOS 14.5 in April 2022, 96% of users in the U.S. opted out of app tracking.

If your product features in-app purchases or the ability to conduct other financial transactions, it’s crucial that you’re able to communicate your ability to protect user data.

In-app messaging can be a great way to not only issue technical communication to users, but also provide practical info to make them feel more secure.

For example, Paytm, India’s leading financial services company and a Sendbird customer, wanted to add transparency to their transactions. They decided to focus on three areas:

  • Identity (who users are paying)

  • Context (why users are being paid)

  • Distribution (a payment ecosystem between users, businesses, partners, etc.)

Using Sendbird, Paytm was able to use various messaging functionality with our chat API to cover all three areas and has sent over 1 billion secure messages to date. Read the Paytm case study for more details!

Personalization

“Remember that a person's name is to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language."

Dale Carnegie

We spoke earlier about increasing engagement, and personalization is a cheap and easy way to optimize your efforts to spur this.

In-app messages or notifications can be personalized for users based on their profiles and behaviors. In fact, apps that use personalization in these areas see an app retention rate of 61% to 74% within 28 days, compared to only a 49% user retention rate with generic messaging.

Additional options for creating a one-of-a-kind experience for an individual user include using:

  • Geolocation

  • Time of day

  • Interaction and purchase history

  • Time in app

  • User segmenting

Check out this related post for a detailed guide on how to increase user engagement in your app with personalization.

Unleash the power of business communication technology with Sendbird

External business communication has become much more sophisticated. If you have a mobile application, it’s an absolute necessity to provide messaging functionality.

What’s not necessary, however, is for you to build it yourself. With Sendbird, you can integrate feature-rich chat, voice and video calls, as well as notifications to take your business and customer communications to the next level. Without sacrificing control over your data or UX, or having to reinvent the wheel, you can create a holistic, multichannel customer communication experience that makes user engagement and brand loyalty soar!

Request a demo today or talk to us to learn more about how to boost user engagement and customer satisfaction.

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