Humans are profoundly social beings. We have an innate desire to belong. A lack of social connectivity can impact our physical and mental wellbeing, as well as our longevity. In fact, a 2018 study found that loneliness can be as detrimental to our health as smoking or obesity.
Brands can tap into this fundamental desire for connection to build trust, cultivate brand loyalty, and influence purchasing decisions. It all starts with communication.
Here’s how you can leverage the power of human connection and omnichannel messaging to foster meaningful relationships with your customers.
The profound power of psychology
Do you remember the old adage, “you are what you eat?” A more accurate phrase might be, “you are what you feel.” People who don’t feel socially bonded are more susceptible to depression and anxiety. One study revealed that a lack of social connections predicts your vulnerability to disease and death beyond traditional risk factors, including blood pressure, obesity, smoking, and lack of exercise.
On the other hand, people with strong social ties experience:
- Healthier immune systems
- Longer lifespans
- Shorter disease recovery times
- More self-esteem
- Greater empathy
The benefits of connection reach far beyond just personal health and happiness. Connection can also better your business, foster brand loyalty, and boost your profits. More than half of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a company they feel connected to. Moreover, over two-thirds of customers will continue to buy from that brand over its competitors.
So how can you foster a sense of connection with your customers?
Be where connected consumers already are
At a time when everybody is always-on, it’s crucial for brands to understand that our social lives are anchored by our smartphones. And tech-savvy consumers want to connect with brands in more ways than one. As such, they expect a cohesive experience, regardless of where they log in. Consumers also expect more personalization when it comes to their interactions with businesses.
An omnichannel strategy boosts personalization, segments your customers, and ensures you’re engaging with them at the right time and right place. This allows your brand to bring value and convenience to every interaction, at any time, across every platform.
But what digital channels should you be focusing your efforts on? Three important channels for creating the strongest customer experience include SMS, social media/chat apps, and chatbots.
SMS: We lead a digital-first lifestyle and expect constant communication. Whether it’s interactions with family, friends, or even brands, modern consumers demand 24/7 availability and speedy responses. SMS allows you to take a low-key approach to connecting with customers. Whether you’re sending promos or resolving inquiries, SMS guarantees you can engage with consumers in a non-intrusive, high-impact way. SMS is also more effective than email, with open rates as high as 98%.
Learn more about the psychology behind SMS messaging in our free report.
Social Media/Chat Apps: Whether it’s Instagram, WhatsApp, or Viber – everyone is using social media and chat apps. With over 3.6 billion people logging on to these platforms worldwide, leveraging these channels is a no brainer. Social platforms allow us to be part of an inclusive community, no matter where we live or what we’re passionate about. Engaging with consumers via social channels allows you to be where they already are.
Chatbots: Most consumers find chatbots and other forms of Artificial Intelligence (AI) helpful. Chatbots allow you to provide support and guidance at crucial times of need, including when customers are researching a product or finalizing a transaction. AI can offer immediate responses and a natural flow of conversation. Multi-tasking consumers can reply to a conversation on their own terms, without experiencing the long, annoying wait times of a phone call.
Enhancing consumer connections
In order to enhance the customer experience and foster meaningful connections via omnichannel communications, your brand should:
- Implement SMS promotions
- Offer customized product recommendations
- Provide continuous two-way support on the channels your customers prefer
- Send reminders for important appointments
- Segment customers to send highly-targeted campaigns
Omnichannel conversation is key when it comes to building connections with your customers. And Mitto can help you get the most out of your omnichannel efforts.