Clickatell’s customer and other attendees at this year’s Connect Interact and Transact (CIT) event have been told that customer experience is taking a new dimension and creating a world where commerce and communications collide is where brands may do their best work for their customers.

Titled “Turning Conversations into Commerce”, the event was hosted virtually for Clickatell’s growing list of Nigerian and other African clients and once again was moderated by Hannes van Rensburg, Clickatell’s Chief Commercial Officer.

Before he introduced the keynote speaker, van Rensburg set the scene by reminding attendees that customer service began in branches more than 100 years ago before it evolved to include call centers, our laptops, and then mobile apps.

“Consumers are spending more and more time engaging with one another on chat platforms without the frustration of long wait times, long hold times, and long download times. This convenience is what the Chat Commerce revolution is all about,” van Rensburg explained.

Jon Tullett, Senior Research Manager, Cloud/IT Services, IDC South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, kicked off his keynote titled “More omni, less channel – The future of customer interaction is your business”, by echoing van Rensburg’s thoughts on how rapid digital maturation has forever changed how we engage with brands.

“The traditional notion of omnichannel is changing. A channel brings customers to you. More and more it’s about doing business with your customers where they are in that moment. In the future, this will evolve into anticipating where they will be and engaging with them there,” he explained.

Tullett said the region had seen a tremendous amount of investment in digital fulfillment as companies rushed to get online during lockdowns. However, he warned that there was still some way to go in terms of the development of the behind-the-scenes customer service journey and integrated supply chain efforts required by a digitally mature market.

“Customers are growing up faster. They expect a global e-commerce experience because that’s who they are doing business with. They expect a retail experience that looks and feels like Amazon or GoDaddy. They expect to be able to reach brands through whichever channel they choose with complete privacy and compliance,” he warned.

Tullett went on to look at how today’s customers demand simplicity, but that delivering on this demand can be a complex task for organizations. He also shared five stages of customer experience, helping attendees understand the IDC MaturityScape and what customers expected at each stage.


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