Choon Khee Koh at 8×8 outlines four ways small to medium businesses can use voice messaging.
Small businesses often reach a critical point in their growth where they encounter the dreaded chicken-and-egg conundrum: how to increase revenue without the funds to scale marketing.
Without sufficient income streams, small businesses will be hard pressed to scale their marketing and communications in a way that attracts the number of new customers required to take their business to the next level.
At the same time, expanding revenue streams is difficult when dealing with workforce and financial constraints.
But if technological developments are meant to make our lives easier, then automated voice messaging may be the perfect tool to help small businesses thrive at any stage.
With text-based communications, there’s always the option of bulk scheduling and sending marketing messages to reach a wider audience. However, relying on text alone can be a one-dimensional strategy.
Amidst a surging wave of personalisation, voice messaging can help businesses meet the demand for one-to-one communications without taxing their budgets or customer service staff.
Won’t Robotic Voice Messaging Annoy My Customers?
Let’s first address the elephant in the room before diving into how voice messaging can help upgrade your marketing strategy.
Automated voice bots don’t exactly have the best reputation in Asia, especially in recent years where the average person has been bombarded by monotonous voice bots requesting their personal banking details.
But don’t let the bad apples detract from the potential that voice messaging can bring. Big players like Google Cloud have invested millions of dollars in text-to-speech technology, aggregating libraries of voice samples to create speech that sounds natural to the human ear.
Far from being a lesser customer service alternative, this form of voice messaging ensures that small businesses don’t have to sweat the small stuff, such as reminders, notifications, and promotions.
Instead, it provides them the bandwidth to focus on more complex problems and build a memorable brand experience.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Customer Communication Strategy
Call volumes may have subsided since social distancing and border restrictions eased up across the globe, but businesses that were nimble enough to establish voice messaging pipelines during the peak of the pandemic already have a head start in the personalisation game.
That said, there’s still plenty of room for small businesses to play catch up, as long as they know how to implement the right voice messaging tactics.
Voice Messaging Strategy #1: Make Alerts and Notifications Memorable
Reminders sent through email may be left in the cold forever, but voice messages can linger in your customers’ minds for much longer, especially in the digital age where impersonal texts are the order of the day.
You don’t have to stick to just one voice profile, either. Through audience segmentation and multilingual support for up to 80 languages, small businesses can create personas for any number of demographics.
This ensures that all your customers are greeted by a voice that they look forward to hearing each time they receive a reminder or promotional message.
Voice Messaging Strategy #2: Secure Digital Payments
Small businesses often have less budget allocated for cybersecurity defence. Text-to-speech technology can fill that gap while also helping your business differentiate itself from competitors in a digital landscape that is fraught with fraud.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) enabled by one-time passwords (OTPs) go a long way in securing digital transactions, but they still leave a small window of opportunity for cyberattackers to strike.
This problem is exacerbated by the fact that cyberattackers are constantly evolving their methods, and they have learned ways to gain access to mobile device data from a distance.
Voice messaging dials your customer’s number and reads out their OTPs to them, stamping out sneaky cyberattackers by eliminating any digital footprint. Secure transaction methods give customers one more reason to come back to you.
Voice Messaging Strategy #3: Gather Customer Reviews and Feedback
Customers may not be inclined to provide feedback on your business with no incentive, but personalised voice messages can help humanise your brand and kickstart further conversations.
Close to 70% of customers are said to leave reviews when prompted. Having a voice prompt helps to boost your chances of receiving reviews even further by placing you within closer psychological proximity to your customers.
When integrated with IVR flows, voice messaging can also help boost your survey response rates. For example, instead of asking customers to open a link via SMS, they can simply press a button on their keypad to rate a service at the end of a call. For example, pressing “8” rates the service “8 out of 10.”
Reviews are especially important for small businesses because they are often the deciding factor for customers who will purchase from your brand instead of a competitor’s.
Excellent reviews also help to boost your SEO rankings and provide your brand with positive visibility, making it easier for subsequent customers to discover you.
Excellent reviews will encourage customers to spend 31% more.
Voice Messaging Strategy #4: Ensure Tech Inclusivity
For all the convenience that pocket computers have brought to our lives, it’s easy to forget that there are still billions of people out there who struggle to gain access to mobile services.
Visual impairment and illiteracy are just some of the reasons why text on a screen may not be so helpful to different groups of disadvantaged people.
Voice messaging is quite possibly one of the most effective ways to demonstrate the progressive and inclusive values of your business by making your services more accessible to the following groups of people:
- 94 million cataract patients
- 339 million people who suffer from high myopia
- 10% of the world population that suffers from some degree of dyslexia
- People over 80 who will triple between 2020 to 2050
- 1.3 billion people who do not have access to smartphones
Integrate Voice Messaging Into Your Customer Outreach
Voice messaging isn’t just inclusive for your customers, it also makes entrepreneurship more accessible to business owners worldwide by making strong personal branding possible even for leaders with less access to talent and funds. Simply craft your message and let text-to-speech technology handle the execution.This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of 8x8 – View the Original Article
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Call Centre Helper is not responsible for the content of these guest blog posts. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of Call Centre Helper.