By Olufunmilayo Okubena, Country Manager at Infobip Ghana
24 March 2021
While enterprises across the globe are increasingly leveraging multiple channels to talk to their customers, Ghana’s business landscape is not yet as far along as it should be in terms of the adoption of unified communication solutions.
Whereas online engagement channels are being used to some extent, customer interactions – whether online or physical – are not significantly unified, so communication remains siloed across various platforms.
That said, the COVID-19 pandemic is pushing businesses that have previously relied heavily on physical interactions to explore digital channels to reach their customers, as footfall has significantly decreased at bricks and mortar sites.
These organisations are fast realising that they need to invest in alternative channels and ensure that they offer the same level of customer engagement across all communication channels. Many eCommerce players have benefitted immensely from this, as they already have a framework in place to engage with customers online.
This trend is also emerging in Ghana’s banking sector, where increasing competition from peers is having a direct impact on banks’ behaviour, and some financial institutions, which provide a poorer Customer Experience (CX), have seen a high rate of client attrition.
These customers are switching to banks that provide a better CX by offering communication channel options that include contact centres, chatbots, websites and online portals, and whose responsiveness and ability to engage across all these channels allow for a seamless CX.
Currently, most banks are still engaging with their customers via physical branches and online banking, but several financial institutions have started to deploy chatbots that enable 24/7 interactions. Not many have yet taken full advantage of social media, but some banks are exploring the opportunities and seeking regulatory approval to fully engage via social media platforms.
Yet, this is likely to change as more and more financial institutions are becoming aware of the opportunities that an omnichannel approach creates to improve customer engagement, including better targeting and customer segmentation. This is key to providing a personalised CX and offering customers products and services that they need, based on historical behaviour.
In addition to enhancing the CX, an omnichannel approach can also have a positive impact on a business’ bottom line, as value-add services can be better positioned and customised to meet the particular needs of customers. Businesses can thus expect to see a better return on investment (ROI) for omnichannel-driven campaigns.
Businesses must also realise that the personalised nature of unified communications is key to creating powerful human connections. For example, a customer can start an engagement with a brand on the internet and seamlessly move across to a mobile app. This offers convenience, flexibility and a better CX, resulting in a deeper and richer communication experience.
Hence, businesses should look to an omnichannel platform that allows for a combination of various communication channels and personalised messaging, which is key for a holistic approach to customer engagement and powerful human connection at scale.
However, businesses must also be aware that data privacy is a major concern when adopting a communication strategy. In Ghana, customer data protection still requires some fine-tuning in terms of engagement channels, so security has become a focal point for many organisations, which are taking their time to ensure that they have the right security framework in place.
While local businesses still have some way to go in terms of omnichannel adoption, those that have been proactive and are providing customers with access to communication channels of their choice are leading the pack. Those that were slow to react are playing catchup and are stuck at the losing end of the spectrum.
Regional Head of Marketing