Any channel, any time: advancing communications and enriching conversations
Organizations today are facing a critical paradox: customers want high-quality digital experiences that are highly personalized yet doing so at scales of more than a few dozen customers is effectively impossible without the right technologies.
Dealing with the diversity of preferences and needs is challenging, and those preferences are prone to change. Most organizations will also need to change their modes of operations, and even their specific offerings, too.
Take as a single example a conversation held between a retailer and a customer. This might take place initially on a website via a built-in chatbot. The customer might create an account and place an order for delivery.
The customer wants updating as to the order’s progress through WhatsApp, and it’s through that channel they learn their payment card has just expired. The retailer calls the customer, and they confirm their identity using their fingerprint on their smartphone, using the phone’s on-screen keypad to enter new card’s details, which are then verified.
Finally, on the day of delivery, the logistics company’s last-mile driver communicates with the customer directly via SMS, giving delivery updates and notification of completed delivery goes back to the retailer.
What transpired here is a seemingly simple set of communications, but the underlying technologies of each different party depend on preferences, the best choice of channel for purpose, type of business involved, and represents just one example of how a customer experience is built.
Building the required infrastructure for this type of communication is very complicated and beyond the capabilities of all but the largest enterprises — the household name vendors and service providers that lead the way in setting standards for customer experiences.
However, the suppliers we feature below can help establish communication frameworks that can be used in any organization. As well as covering customer-facing communications and their wide variety of channels and preferences, the same frameworks can also be used to empower marketing departments (creating multiple touchpoints) and business-to-business communications, operations, sales departments, and customer care functions.
Because the core of today’s businesses comprise of data, its potential is virtually unlimited. Each of the following vendors has a specific focus in its offerings that help in different ways. They create systems that otherwise would take years to build and ensure that market trends and preferences are catered for, removing the need for companies to commit their resources to develop and constantly iterate on their communication platforms. From full IPaaS (integration platform as a service) systems that unite APIs to UC (unified communication) platforms designed as customer care hubs, you’re bound to find the right supplier for your specific needs.
Millions of developers around the world have used Twilio to unlock the power of communications to improve any human experience. Twilio has helped democratize communications channels like voice, text, chat, video, and email by virtualizing the world’s communications infrastructure through simple to use Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Any developer can use them, yet they’re robust enough to power some of the world’s most demanding applications.
Organizations have used Twilio in a range of everyday situations, from allowing end-users to contact their teacher or communicate with students, to alerting the public about emergency situations. Twilio has facilitated video chats with doctors, allowed users to speak with their rideshare driver, made bank transaction, enabled online shopping, authenticated millions of accounts, and even allowed constituents to interact with elected officials – and this is just a fraction of what Twilio has done.
Founded in San Francisco in 2008, Twilio now has 26 offices in 16 countries and the infrastructure to support communications worldwide. It handles more than 1 trillion interactions every year for more than 235,000 customers globally. Its customers range from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the world’s largest corporations and come from a broad range of industries including financial services, health care, manufacturing, retail, education, and logistics.
In Asia-Pacific, Twilio has offices in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, and Singapore, and powers the communications behind leading businesses like ANA, Airtasker, Deliveroo, Go-Jek, Morgan Stanley, SingLife, Westpac, Woolworths and Zendesk to name just a few.
By making communications a part of every software developer’s toolkit, Twilio allows for innovators both big and small, from across every industry to reinvent how companies engage with their customers. Find out more on the company’s website.
The Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) provides a single place where companies can pull together customer data, analytics and marketing automation to provide personalized content across multiple touchpoints. Creating the kind of hyper-personalized, cross-channel customer experiences that today’s consumers (and businesses) expect is a complex task, typically involving multiple, incompatible point products. Luckily, the Sitecore XP is the first end-to-end solution that collates, organizes, and publishes content across channels — and does so at scale.
Each customer’s journey information is captured in real-time, helping you build a complete picture of every interaction, and the data can be used to create highly relevant market segments and identify trends. Information is collected from multiple sources and stored alongside the media elements and other materials you’ll use to build personalized interactions.
That means brands can create human connections between themselves and their customers, with rich content, seamless commerce and personalized touches.
At the core of the Sitecore Experience Cloud is the Sitecore Content Hub, from where proactive enterprises can manage every part of their marketing content. From one place, multiple referenced sources provide all types of content and media, with machine learning algorithms intelligently tagging content for easier locating and deploying of rich content.
You can read more about the Sitecore Content Hub, the critical basis for the Sitecore Experience Cloud in a more in-depth feature, here on the pages of Tech Wire Asia.
BAC Partners is different from the others on this list in that the company operates primarily as a reseller and consultant. That means that its offerings are not driven by an internal agenda but rather by the desire to produce the best outcome for the commissioning organization.
Although CX (customer experience) is often held to by an externally-facing aspect of today’s organizations, BAC recognizes that CX is also highly relevant inside the organization — employees are also end-users, and providing them with seamless, easy-to-use and attractive working tools is an essential part of an efficient business.
The company helps companies digitally transform as an entirety or can place technology at key junctures in operations, like in the call center or marketing department. Here, although the core of the solutions is data-based, its presentation and uses are different. In externally facing departments, efficient communications and messaging can help turn potential customers into return business, and from there, into true brand advocates.
With flexibility for the future firmly in mind and with a platform-agnostic approach to advising on and installing only the best systems and services, BAC Partners is helping a new generation of digitally fluent businesses in the APAC region. Find out more on the company’s website.
What sets Workato apart is the way it combines different technologies—a next gen iPaaS, API-led RPA, low code API management, and chatbots— on a single platform. A true low-code/no-code platform, Workato empowers both seasoned developers in technology teams and non-developers in other business functions to lead and own the automation of their workflows for faster business transformation.
Workato’s founders, with backgrounds in companies like Oracle, Skype, and Splunk, understand that technology must become simpler so more people can use it. Therefore Workato operates on plain English and drag-and-drop. The result? Workato users (nearly half of which are in non-IT functions) love the platform.
As industry standard-bearers, Workato is also the only company of those featured here that has appeared both in the Gartner Magic Quadrant and Forrester Wave as leaders in integration platforms. In fact, Gartner has named Workato a leader in the three years it has participated in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise iPaaS.
The company has recently announced it raised a further US$110m at a post-money valuation of US$1.7bn, so Workato is clearly a name to watch.
For more information on Workato here on Tech Wire Asia‘s pages, we urge you to read more by clicking right here.
*Some of the companies featured on this article are commercial partners of Tech Wire Asia
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