How to Choose the Right Digital Communications Platform

The right digital communications platform (cPAAS) can make a massive difference to your business in many ways. In today’s digital world, automation has paved the way for a streamlined experience for customers, helping to drive conversion and increase customer retention. While some enterprise businesses are still not sure whether to make the move from a manual system to a fully digital system, others are making the change to see major results. The right digital communications platform can transform a wide range of businesses, from SMEs all the way to larger businesses and online stores.

With that said, many platforms are limited in their features and services. Some may allow you to automate your marketing processes, without additional solutions that further assist customer communications. Others focus purely on customer-facing tools without giving you the benefit of lead generation or other tools. Rather than using multiple tools, it is far more cost-effective and simple to have one platform that can handle a full range of solutions that aid communications on all levels. In this guide, we share some of the most important things to look for when choosing a digital communications platform.

First things first, you will need to consider the services offered by the digital communications platform. As we mentioned above, you want a comprehensive platform that gives you all the tools you need for campaigns and customer care. The most important features you should look for when choosing the right platform include the following:

Lead generation

Lead generation remains an essential tool for every business aiming to drive conversion rates. You want a platform that allows you to plan and run lead generation campaigns across multiple channels that bring in the most traffic and awareness. A good platform will allow you to automate the process, using features such as instant discount and promotional offers. You should also be able to create rich content campaigns that elevate your results even further. These include video landing pages as well as mobile-based campaigns that are interactive. Optimising your sales funnel is essential to nurture leads at all stages of their journey. A platform that simplifies this process from the bottom of the funnel to the top of the funnel is therefore vital to your campaign success.

Communications

You also want a platform that offers a robust tool for better customer engagement and communication. The best way to ensure a smoother digital communication workflow is to have a tool that allows you to scale your strategies quickly and easily. You need an enterprise-grade digital communications platform (cPAAS) that ensures secure and reliable digital customer communications capabilities, backed by robust network capacity, providing reach, scale, and agility. This will help to reduce costs and complexity of planning real-time communications applications that are not automated. With this type of system, time-to-market for your services and apps will be greatly accelerated, with ROI seen much faster thanks to reduced need for testing and troubleshooting. Business processes and customer-facing apps will be easier to deploy, saving you time and downtime in the process.

Customer service

Customer service should also play a core role within any platform you choose. Customer communication workflows should be streamlined to improve customer experience and satisfaction. Happy customers are repeat customers. They are also far more likely to recommend your business to others in their network, further growing your reach. Excellent service plays an important role in reputation-building and loyalty as well. Poor customer service is something that no business can afford. The right communications tool can greatly improve operational efficiency and productivity, supporting your customer care teams and making their job easier and more efficient. You will also be able to reduce your inbound call load, which, in turn, frees up time for your customer care agents.

Marketing

Digital marketing is another feature that should be offered by your chosen digital communications platform. Over and beyond lead generation, marketing also includes omnichannel tools to automate and streamline a wide range of customer engagement campaigns. This means multi-stage communication workflows that enhance the customer journey across every channel. Through a fully integrated marketing automation tool, you will be able to attract and grow customer relationships through interactive, personalised campaigns designed to reach customers at every level. You will also be able to drive conversions, optimise your customer communication while maintaining marketing budgets, increase loyalty, drive customer retention, fine-tune your customer experience, and increase your overall marketing returns. A platform such as Grapevine Interactive allows you to combine channels, content, triggers, data, sequencing, and other parameters to create automated campaigns, quickly and at scale. This enables you to market far faster than a non-automated system, allowing you to plan and execute your campaigns while focusing on your day-to-day operations.

Business continuity

Business continuity plays an equally important role in your results. When your communications workflows are automated, you will be able to fast-track business-critical processes. You will also be able to increase productivity across all departments within your organisation, streamlining daily communications processes as a result. You will also be able to ensure business resiliency, reducing the risk of problems at any point in the customer communication process. Information can be delivered quickly and simply, keeping staff, suppliers, and stakeholders up to date on all information. Features such as email, two-way SMS, in-app, and voice communications will further optimise delivery.

Beyond the Basics of Digital Communications

The goal of any digital communications platform should be to help you work smarter, not harder. Digital communications is the solution for better business. As such, you need to choose a platform that goes far beyond the basics. You need an integrated communications cloud platform that can fully automate customer communication workflows, fast-tracking all business processes, from marketing and lead generation to other areas that make you transform your engagement on any channel.

Features that will add more value to your business include mobile statement and document delivery, as well as collections. Statement and document delivery enhance customer experience by sending statements and documents securely to your client’s preferred channel. Encrypted online statements can be sent via SMS, MMS, USSD or email, allowing customers to get the information they need quickly and easily. This helps to reduce time-wastage, printer costs, and various other challenges faced by traditional print-based statement delivery. Further features such as payment gateway integration and tracking add even more value to your customer service. Collections, meanwhile, digitise and automate your collections processes for a higher recovery rate and reduced debt collection costs. These can be done via multiple channels, providing customers with easy to access debt repayment options via USSD and personalised communications to help customers through the payment process.

At Grapevine, we believe that digital transformation is the lifeblood of today’s businesses. Over 400 large consumer brands use our platform to automate their customer communications. Our integrated digital communications platform (cPAAS) provides you with all the tools you need to digitise and automate your customer communications. To learn more about choosing a  digital communications platform that meets all of your needs, get in touch with our team today.

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