All About Digital Customer Communication

Ira Brooker    December 19th, 2023

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There’s no question we’re living in a digital age of business communications. While physical media such as flyers, brochures, and paper documents still play a key role for many organizations, the shift to digital communications shows no sign of slowing down. Nearly 75% of businesses worldwide count digitization as the top priority for their IT departments, and 95% say artificial intelligence is or will soon be a key element of their customer contact. It’s not just businesses who prefer more digitized communications, either. Roughly one billion customers exchange a message with a business every week on Meta platforms alone.

With all of that in mind, developing a stronger understanding of digital communications options should be a key goal for organizations of all sizes, in all industries. In this article, we’ll explore some of the features, applications, and benefits of digitizing customer communications, while also looking ahead at the trends and tech that will shape communications in the immediate future.

What Is Digital Customer Communication?

Digital customer communication is an all-purpose term for any communication between an organization and its customers distributed via a digital channel. That could include email, text messaging, chat or instant messaging, interactive forms, and app-based notifications.

Technology has had a huge impact on the ways customers and businesses communicate, as society has moved away from paper-based communications and phone calls and toward more digital options. Today’s average customer expects to be able to communicate with a business via multiple digital channels, and even to be able to move between those channels mid-communication.

7 Benefits of Using Digital Customer Communication

It isn’t only customers who prefer communicating in the digital realm. Digital communications offer a wide range of benefits for businesses as well, from perennial goals like reducing costs and improving customer service to more nuanced changes that can only be achieved using automation.

With more room for creativity and flexibility, deeper insights into customer behavior, and easier coordination and control of all communication efforts, a digital communication plan is essential for any competitive modern business. The benefits of digital customer communication management include:

1. Easier real-time communication
Digital communication platforms are simply faster than older methods, allowing a business and its customers to engage in real-time exchanges that get issues resolved and questions answered as quickly as possible.

2. Reduced costs
Time really is money when it comes to customer communications. Digitization cuts down the time spent on addressing customer questions and concerns while also reducing spending on physical items like paper and printing equipment.

3. More effective customer service
Digital communication channels not only allow quicker resolution of customer concerns, they also provide more inclusive service that can meet the needs of customers in any location and of any ability much more easily than older methods.

4. Deeper data analysis and insights
Data drives innovation in the modern business landscape, and digital communications provide an easily accessible data resource for assessing your customers’ behavior, needs, and concerns.

5. Consistent messaging
Customers are easily put off by inconsistent branding and messaging from a business. Digital systems consolidate customer communications, making it easier to maintain a recognizable tone, voice, and branding strategy.

6. Omnichannel delivery
Today’s customers don’t rely on a single platform for their communication needs. A digital solution allows seamless distribution via email, text messaging, and whatever other channels your customers prefer.

7. More personalization
Personalized communications that reflect customers’ specific needs have a more powerful impact. Digital communications can be easily personalized and adapted to speak directly to a specific audience.

What Are the Most Common Digital Communication Channels?

Channels for digital communication are constantly evolving. New apps, AI tools, and social media platforms emerge every week, and existing channels are always improving and expanding their range of services. Each new step opens new doors for customer communication, which in turn means more opportunities for organizations to connect with those customers. Some of the most widely used forms of digital communication in the modern business era include:

Email

  • Tried-and-true option for sending out formal messages, newsletters, targeted marketing campaigns, and other everyday communications
  • Ideal channel for interactive smart documents that can be customized and personalized to enhance individual customer experience

Social Media

  • Increasingly replacing more traditional platforms as a preferred customer channel for support, engagement, and personalized communication with businesses and brands
  • Popular platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), Tik Tok, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Bluesky each come with customizable layouts and communication options that customers can customize to their specific needs

Live Chat

  • Makes it easier for customers to resolve issues, find answers, and report problems in real-time
  • Provides personalized customer service and one-on-one interactions that build rapport with your brand

Chatbots

  • Uses artificial intelligence to respond quickly and accurately to customers’ frequently asked questions
  • Generally more cost-effective than live chat for addressing a limited range of key questions

Video Conferencing

  • Allows real-time communication with customers who prefer a one-on-one, “face-to-face” conversation
  • Provides a personalized experience for customers wherever they are, expanding the reach of your communications beyond your physical location

By entrusting EngageCX to automate key CCM functions, your business can improve regulatory compliance, reduce errors and delays, boost customer satisfaction, and lower operational costs.

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The Importance of Having an Omnichannel Customer Communication Strategy

Today’s customers are accustomed to having multiple channels of communication in their interactions with businesses. To meet those needs, organizations need to have a system that can accommodate an omnichannel strategy for digital customer communication management. Enabling customers to communicate with your business via whichever channels they prefer, rather than locking them into one or two communication methods, is a key to building and maintaining a loyal customer base.

What Are Omnichannel Communications?

An omnichannel platform is designed to deliver communications via any channel preferred by a customer, on their preferred schedule, and using any device. That might include mobile phones, laptops, tablets, or desktop PCs. An omnichannel solution empowers customers with total flexibility in choosing the way they prefer to communicate. Customers can choose whether they prefer to receive emails, texts, social media notifications, physical documents, or a combination of two or more of those channels.

Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Communications

Both omnichannel and multichannel communications are hot topics in customer communications, and the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. That’s a mistake, as there are some very important distinctions between the two. The biggest difference is in the intended focus of each approach.

Omnichannel marketing efforts focus on customer experience. This involves learning what channels your customers prefer for communicating with your business and then making certain that you provide them with easy access and seamless integration. For example, if a customer begins an interaction with a chatbot and wants to learn more, it should be easy for them to move the conversation to a live chat or an interactive form without needing to re-enter their information or repeat their concerns.

A multichannel communications strategy, on the other hand, is focused more on the products or services being offered by your business. Essentially, that means making use of multiple channels to communicate the same message. A multichannel marketing strategy might involve creating an awareness campaign that is sent out to customers via email, social media, text messaging, and physical advertisements. The goal is more about reaching customers through as many channels as possible, as opposed to offering customers as many channels as possible to reach your business.

4 Key Benefits of Omnichannel Customer Communications

Personalized conversations
Omnichannel solutions allow your business to communicate across multiple channels using specific customer knowledge, language, tone, and branding that connects with each individual recipient.

Seamless continuity
Omnichannel communications integrate multiple channels into a single, comprehensive solution, allowing customers to move smoothly between channels as needed.

Across-channel compliance
Edits, approvals, and changes made with a centralized communications solution carry across all channels, maintaining consistency and compliance with all regulations and brand standards.

Consistent customer experience
Omnichannel controls ensure that customers are receiving the same messaging no matter what channel they prefer, including logos, branding, legal disclaimers, and other key content fragments

How Can Businesses Make Their Communication Omnichannel?

A customer communication management software solution like Engage CX from MHC is your most reliable path to omnichannel communication. Engage CX is a comprehensive, user-friendly solution that makes it simple to build a seamless customer experience across a range of digital channels. Creating a centralized, unified communication strategy built on real-time customer data allows you to craft a personalized yet consistent experience for all users.

Some key omnichannel customer communications features of Engage CX include:

  • Scalability – Engage CX is built to grow and change along with your customer’s evolving needs and wants, as well as new channels and technology.
  • Agility – In-house design allows MHC to address issues, perform tech maintenance, and add or upgrade technology without the help of third parties.
  • Self-service – Engage CX’s user-friendly, intuitive controls allows even non-tech-savvy users to build, manage, and maintain your business’s communications.
  • Personalization – MHC’s ease-of-use and library of content fragments makes it easy to personalize channels, language, and tone to meet specific customers’ preferences.

Take Personalized Customer Communications to the Next Level

An omnichannel communication strategy powered by Engage CX CCM software provides your business with a unique opportunity to personalize communications in a way that resonates with individual customers while also serving your overall strategy. Personalization helps to set your organization apart from competitors and allows customers to engage with your business in ways that build trust and loyalty.
Here are four key areas where Engage CX can help provide a personalized experience for each of your customers:

Tone

For some of your customers, a more casual or playful tone might be appropriate and engaging, while others may be more receptive to a formal or businesslike tone.

Language

When you communicate with some customers, it may be appropriate to use technical or industry-specific language, while others may require more general terminology.

Content

Tailoring content to address a customer by name or to pull from data based on specific behavior lets a customer know they are not a number, but a respected person.

Orchestrated Customer Journeys

Using that personalized customer data, Engage CX makes it easy to build a unique journey that guides your customers through an experience that will resonate with them personally.

The Main Digital Customer Communication Trends Shaping 2024

Methods of customer communication are evolving as quickly as new technologies can be introduced. We’ve seen massive changes in the way organizations communicate digitally in the past several years, and that evolutions will continue in 2024. Here is a snapshot of some communication trends customers can expect to see in the immediate future (and be sure to check out our communication trends article and infographic for more insights).

AI Is Shaping User Experience

Artificial intelligence will continue to have a major impact on the way organizations connect with customers. From chatbots using advanced natural language-processing to give customers more accurate guidance to voice chats with AI-powered assistants, AI is poised to keep expanding its reach in communications.

Automate Your Communications

Customers expect to receive consistent and accurate communications from your business, but that can be a tall order for organizations dealing in high volumes of communications. Engage CX allows your team to send out large-scale batch communications that ensure the same quality of messaging for every customer, while also scaling down for on-demand messaging.

Customers Demand More Personalized Experiences

Personalization matters to today’s customers. Research shows that 80% of customers say they are more likely to make a purchase from a business that offers a personalized experience, while 73% have an expectation that companies will understand their unique individual needs. A business that offers the same generic experience to all customers is putting customer loyalty at risk.

Virtual Reality Isn’t Just for Video Games Anymore

Virtual reality has been making inroads in customer communication for years, and the technology is poised to play an increasingly larger role in the coming year. From VR training programs that put your employees in touch with the customer experience to immersive views of products and services for your customers, the virtual moment is now.

Self-Service Is Gaining Momentum

It’s important to remember that self-service is a key part of customer service. As much as consumers appreciate a helping hand, there are also many situations where customers would rather do it themselves. With nearly 60% of customers saying they prefer a self-service option for answering basic questions, companies have an opportunity to provide automated self-service with order tracking, how-to guides, step-by-step instructions, instructional videos, and more.

Be Everywhere with Updated Delivery Channels

There is no single best way to deliver goods and services to your customers. In the landscape of 2024, customers have a wide array of delivery options, and giving them the service they need means offering delivery channels that can reach every customer. Engage CX helps to open the channels each customer prefers, regardless of their age, location, ability, or tech-savviness.

We’re Living in an Influencer Marketing World

Social media remains an integral part of customer communication. Focusing on influencer campaigns that speak to different customers in the language, tone, and channels they prefer lets them know that your team recognizes and values their individual experiences and tastes. That empowers customers and drives invaluable engagement and brand loyalty.

Embrace Digital Customer Communications in 2024

As we watch those trends continue to develop throughout 2024, industry demand for digital communications will only grow – and so will customer expectations. Embracing a digital communication strategy aided by an automated CCM system will be a necessity for any business trying to stay ahead of the curve while providing a superior customer experience.

If you’re ready to learn more about what Engage CX can do to help your business achieve a digital CCM strategy, contact us today to request a personalized demonstration. Our staff of communications experts will demonstrate the specific advantages of Engage CX for your business and offer solutions that target your personal customer communication needs.

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Ira Brooker

Ira Brooker is a freelance writer and editor based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He has been writing blogs and copy about software-as-a-service solutions for most of the past decade. Before exploring accounts payable and workflow solutions with MHC, he wrote about fields including cybersecurity, workforce management, online accessibility, audiology, retail sales, and much more. When he’s not doing business writing, he also indulges in writing fiction, journalism, arts criticism, and bar trivia.

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