Customer expectations are higher than ever, yet only 36% of companies said they had a well-defined customer experience vision, according to Forrester. This disparity opens up the opportunity for brands to listen to their customers in order to stand out. More and more, consumers are trying to connect with brands on their preferred methods of communication — for example, over 8 billion messages are exchanged between people and businesses each month on Facebook Messenger. And the successful launch of Apple Business Chat last year has already proven itself as a compelling messaging platform for businesses to reach consumers.
With our bird’s eye view that comes from working with leaders like you, we’ve got a few ideas about the trends that will shape brand success in 2019 :
Community is Key
For brands, facilitating and fostering a sense of community is an essential part of the customer journey. It’s no longer enough for a brand to just have a community feature — the concept of community should be ingrained into each business decision. It’s not enough to have a community. Behaving like an authentic, accessible community, as so many of our customers are doing today, helps brands to stand out from the increasingly crowded and distracted marketplace — and earn customers for life.
Brands will Own Their Customer Interactions
2018 shined a light on the importance of data privacy, and how brands need to think about ownership of their sensitive customer information. Customers are eager to interact with their favorite brands on the platform of their choice, placing the onus on brands to find a way to do this safely, and securely. Companies that are ahead of the curve in 2019 have found ways to be where their customers are, engage with them, and then bring that engagement on to their own platform. We’ll see more companies focus even deeper on building out their owned platforms, where they can closely manage risk while maintaining control over crucial insights from customer data. The Democratization of Influence
Communities, whether they’re brand-owned or living on social networks, are the driving force that builds brands into cultural icons. Consumers crave authenticity and brands must deliver on this if they hope to create real, meaningful relationships with customers. In 2019, brands will use the strength of their communities to turn their superfans into micro-influencers. Empowering trusted influencers to help solve another customer’s problem is a prime example of how brands can be doing this today. By building and promoting places for superfans to create content, share stories, and shout brand love, companies will secure brand loyalty from the ground floor.
You Have to Give to Get
The Holy Grail of customer engagement is when your customers are your best advocates, helping drive sales, answer questions, and act on the brand’s behalf in times of crisis. But today’s savvy customer won’t just advocate on your behalf without a brand experience that stands out — one where value is delivered and expectations exceeded. That exchange of value — or connective capital — is the currency that is unlocked when customers and brands connect in meaningful ways. Just as greater amounts of economic capital can lead to more opportunities, higher amounts of connective capital can lead to a more significant impact on a brand’s audience. One of our Lithium-Spredfast customers saw a 20% higher conversion-to-purchase rate for those customers who spent time in their community before coming into the store. This brand invested in a robust, engaging community where customers were learning about products and preferences from their fellow consumers, and then coming into stores with goodwill and intent to buy. When a brand has more connective capital, its community members are more likely to express brand loyalty and promote brand awareness, creating long-term customer relationships.
Craving more predictions? Take a look at all of the Spredfast + Lithium executive team predictions here . And hear from some of our customers on what they’re thinking the new year holds for marketers. What trends do you think will surface in 2019?
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Hi @CarolineS Thrilled you will join us in Austin and we'd love to see you at both! The morning sessions may be similar but I expect we'll get a different mix of customer voices in the afternoon and cocktails at the Exploratorium will be amazing!
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The last year has been big—we added new customers, new employees, new products, and expertise. We're launching our new global customer roadshow to keep our best customers in the know on all the big things happening —"Lithium CX Live".
Over the course of October and November 2018, Lithium is taking the CX Live show on the road to five cities around the world, kicking off with our marquee event in Austin:
Austin (2-day marquee kickoff event, with optional workshops and Lithy’s Party!)
October 3-4 @ Omni Downtown Austin
October 17@ The Exploratorium
October 31@ Grand Hyatt Melbourne
November 13 @ The Brewery
TBA 2019 @ Lightbox
Our customers are at the heart of this roadshow; every CX Live event will provide you an opportunity to exchange best practice and advice with your peers. You will also hear roadmap and product updates, plus knowledge sharing from Lithium leadership and industry experts.
In Austin, Texas where we’ll build the next generation of CX together. This event will take place over the course of two days, with Wednesday (10/3) featuring an optional training/certification program that will require a fee to participate in ($499) and end with our Lithys celebration that evening (free to attend!).
Thursday (10/4) will be a free day-long program that will include an update on Lithium and our roadmap from Lithium’s leadership, as well as customer panels and plenty of interactive engagement with your peers. We’re looking forward to a fun-filled day with lots of great content shared in a collaborative way.
By attending a Lithium CX Live event, you'll:
Hear Lithium's vision for the future of service, customer care, and digital marketing.
Learn about our product roadmap for the next generation of digital customer experience.
Meet and network with experts and peers that will help you get more out of your digital and social strategy.
And of course, those coming to the Austin event can attend the annual Lithy Awards Ball!
Want to share your Lithium success story at a CX Live event? No problem - simply provide us a summary here and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Register here for the marquee event in Austin or here for any of the roadshows in New York, San Francisco, London or Melbourne.
We look forward to seeing you on the road!
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Hey @Parshant - thank you for flagging! I don't see the issue on this side - the link works for me - can you let me know if it's still a problem? Here's the full link regardless and thank you for the feedback!
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How would you choose to engage with a brand for help? Some of us may look up and call the 1-800 support number, but most others would pull out their smartphones and find a way to message the brand directly.
Welcome to the world of conversational commerce. Consumers want all interactions with a brand – from shopping to getting their questions answered – to happen with ease from anywhere. In addition, brands that experiment with new channels will ultimately see happier customers. According to Sapio Research, 63% of consumers who have used direct messaging to contact a brand report they were very satisfied/satisfied with their experience.
Lithium has been working with Apple during their beta process, and today we are excited to announce our support for Apple Business Chat. Lithium’s integration with Apple Business Chat includes the ability to:
Monitor incoming conversations
Filter, prioritize, tag, and route those conversations for response by an agent
Respond to conversations
Analyze sentiment, agent performance, channel performance, etc.
“Great customer service today is really about creating great customer engagement,” said Lithium CEO Pete Hess. “Today’s consumers expect a convenient way to interact with brands without waiting on hold or expiring chat sessions. The ease of messaging a brand directly and personally, through Apple Business Chat, is a crucial way brands build loyalty and trust. Being there for customers whenever and wherever they want to connect with you is an absolute necessity for businesses who wish to survive.
We’re excited to add Apple Business Chat as another channel for brands to provide exceptional digital customer care. Please contact your Lithium Account Representative representative for more information on integrating with Apple Business Chat.
Learn more about integrations with Apple Business Chat here. Or check out our press release announcing this integration here.
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