The Digital Roadmap: Navigating the Customer Communication Journey for Enhanced Engagement and Loyalty

As the digital world continues to evolve, brands must always find new ways to break through the noise and stay relevant to their customers. Higher open rates, increased conversions – it’s a big goal for a scary high bar. But with a deliberate approach to customer communication, companies can build lasting relationships with their users on the basis of relevance, action and personalisation.


The Onset of the Journey: Understanding Consumer Desires

A good customer communications strategy is built around an understanding of the customer journey. With consumers constantly barraged by information – online, in the post, over the phone, through the letterbox – it’s getting harder than ever for brands to capture and then retain attention.

‘This is an important insight,’ notes Carrie Sumlin, senior director of loyalty and insights at Ally Financial. ‘Consumers want to control the conversation with brands – and they want relevance and actionability: messages that matter and add value to their lives.’ This new form of consumer behaviour, where individuals are taking the driver’s seat in communication with companies, represents a crucial starting point along the path to more meaningful communications, according to the authors.


Unifying the Brand Experience Across the Journey

From the marketing team to customer support, all teams need to speak with one voice and deliver the same message when and where it’s needed. Every part of the customer journey – from the first touch, through to conversion – is delivered as if from one person to another.

More important for bridging the gap is in-app messaging, the creation of a conversation that replicates the ease and immediacy of chatting with friends. ‘It’s really important to have well-established two-way communication with customers, especially when you can provide customer service through a message channel,’ says Shailesh Nalawadi of the South Korean startup Sendbird, which offers an in-app messaging service. This could be a traditional one such as SMS, or a more modern one embedded in the app for the brand.


Navigating Challenges and Implementing Solutions

Bringing together all forms of customer interaction into a single, seamless trail is a puzzle for most organisations. The solution? A ‘platform’ strategy that allows all departments to interact with the customer in a common way.

This approach not only simplifies communications, but also allows organisations to find the right person with the right message at the right time, with in-app messaging being a key enabler of delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. So, in-app messaging is a key enabler of the right message to the right person.


The In-House Versus Vendor Decision

Starting down the road of communications integration often leads to a fork in the woods: should you build it in-house, or source it from vendors? Ally’s strategy suggests how a balance of speed, cost and differentiation guides the path. Third-party solutions for commodity functions and core competencies, coupled with in-house innovation for differentiated capabilities, puts the enterprise in a position to outmanoeuvre the competition, keep up with innovation and adapt quickly as technologies change.

The Shift Towards Generative AI

Generative AI unlocks new opportunities on this path of the cycle, bringing unparalleled levels of personalisation and efficiency in the way companies create, distribute and engage with their content. In the process, they can also empower their teams of the future with the knowledge of how to operate like a truly digitally native culture.


Customer engagement is constantly evolving with digital innovation creating new routes to engagement. To stay connected, brands need to be more agile, dynamic and responsive than ever. This customer-first approach requires a well-rounded, platform-based approach to in-app messaging with the right technology driving it. A well-thought-out plan, powered by the right technology, can be powerful in helping to scale relationships with customers.

As we reached the end of our journey, the main lesson to be drawn is exactly that: that the path to optimised communication with your customers is complicated and multilayered. Success hinges on everything from understanding your consumers, to deploying a unified platform strategy, to making the right technology decisions.

Ultimately, it’s about building relationships that aren’t just transactional but that cross borders to deliver the true value of loyalty and trust in every piece of content, in every communication across every channel. By navigating the long roads of customer communication, brands unlock the secret to creating sustainable, enduring relationships with consumers who will not only embrace their brand today but who will remain devoted to them tomorrow.

Navigate the grid of them, and as your company navigates it as well, you’ll find yourself more effective at reaching and also knowing your customers, building a community of brand advocates in the process.

May 30, 2024
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