The communication technology stack is connecting businesses with consumers in real time, and has been doing so since the invention of the telegram. The number of consumers who chose to talk to brands during 2015, by chat or phone, as part of their decision process is by far more common than the total amount of online checkouts that were made during the same year. Yet, the communication technology stack is a legacy, on premise solutions that are disconnected from the Internet. In a typical organisation 1 out of 1,000 employees have access to this technology. The remaining 999 team members can do nothing about your response time via chat, the average is 7 minutes, or your IVR tree having 6 questions that very few have the energy to answer.
This comes with implications for your business. Everyone that you employed over the last five years to manage your growing online audience has no access to your communication technology stack. Hence, if your online visitor chooses to call you, they are met by an IVR (Interactive Voice Response), which you probably haven’t changed for the last 10 years. If the same person chooses to complete an online checkout, they are delivered a digital experience where you change the content dynamically based on what you know about this visitor. This delivers two completely different brand experiences. One visitor will probably return, and it’s not the person who chose to call you. That consumer is already buying from someone else, and they are often purchasing a higher value product when compared to the pure online consumer. This is why they needed to ask a couple of questions as part of the transaction process.
The only reason why your organisation is ignoring these high value customers is because they cannot access the communication technology stack and constantly iterate towards a better consumer experience.
But this is changing, and the impact will be dramatic. Developers can today build tailored communication applications in 5 minutes using communication APIs like Twilio. The successful IPO of Twilio shows the recognition and massive need by companies to remove the communication stack from its silo and integrate it into the wider business. Twilio made it possible for developers to use the communication stack to solve problems that used to be unsolvable, like secure 2-way authentication. Twilio is used by more than 28,000 web developers on monthly basis who use the power of conversational technology interfaces.
The next step in this evolution is for non-developers to get easy access to the communication stack. Marketers and ecommerce professionals that want to make sure every single visitor gets a first class user experience. This will kill the traditional IVR once and for all, as soon as they can manage the conversational interfaces with the same simplicity as they manage the online forms and the online checkout process.
Have you ever met a consumer that likes to click 1 for “X”, click 2 for “Y”, and then if they return, you ask them the same questions again? Probably not. Who decides what in the $1,3 Trillion communication technology stack is about to change. If you still do not believe me, check out the growth of Twilio, you can now monitor it online: