A&S Alumnus Mike Murchison (BSc 2012) is CEO of Ada, an AI-powered platform transforming how brands around the world interact with the people that love them. Read an excerpt from his latest article on Forbes about the case for automated brand interactions.
In my previous columns, I’ve discussed the importance of proactive customer engagement, particularly in the new frontier of digital acceleration fueled by the pandemic. Now that we’re deep into year two of this digital revolution, it should be clear how essential it is for brands to use all of the tools at their disposal—particularly those in AI and automation—to meet the moment.
Those that didn’t take this challenge seriously may have been left languishing or have failed to retain customers as a result of poor brand interactions. But it’s never too late to get better. It’s time to refocus on the concept of the brand: what they are, how they interact with customers and why automation is such a crucial tool in providing a VIP experience to all brand stakeholders.
Let’s Define Some Terms
This might sound basic, but what actually is a brand? In the past, a brand was something concrete and much more literal. It began with cattle ranchers branding cattle to denote ownership; a brand was a name associated with a product.
In 2022, a brand is something much more complex. It’s not only your name, logo and product, but also what people think of you and how you make them feel.
Keeping this high level, then, what are interactions? Given the omnichannel, multimedia and multimodal landscape of the current era, opportunities for interactions are nearly infinite. Interactions are every customer touchpoint. They’re the wide array of social media, outbound or inbound customer communication and on-site and off-site customer support. These touchpoints are ever-expanding and different from customer to customer.
So tying it all together, what are brand interactions? Brand interactions are the merging of these two worlds. Your brand is an experience, and these points of interaction are an opportunity for you to deliver that to your customers, prospects and employees in a way that makes them feel valued and that their problems are being heard and addressed.
Why Brand Interactions Are So Important
I believe that brand interactions are what make a brand. They are what make you stand out to prospective clients and employees, and they’re a key driver of customer loyalty and retention efforts. It’s often said that costs of converting a new customer are between five and 25 times higher than existing ones. And a mere 5% increase in retention can mean a 25% increase in profit.
Brand interactions are the distinguishing point between a company merely treading water and a company going above and beyond for all of the people who love them. They are your way of showing a stakeholder that you’re there for them on a personal level. Nothing gives a customer a worse impression of a brand than reaching out for support and being left on hold or being sold something when you’re in the midst of a negative support experience.
By understanding the importance of brand interactions and investing in creating valuable touchpoints for your customers, it serves as a foundation for a long-term customer-brand relationship.
Read his full article here