Reason #3 of 5 to use conversational speech: Personalized proactive communications encourage immediate action

Today’s consumers welcome having an ongoing dialog with the companies they do business with and actually want to receive proactive messages and reminders. This is good news for companies since proactive notifications encourage immediate action that drives bottom-line results. In the third part of the “reason to use conversational speech” series, Dena Skrbina explores recent research highlighting consumers’ growing appetite for proactive communications and explains how conversational speech removes interaction barriers, increasing the likelihood of real-time engagement.

In this information-saturated age, could people really want more communications? Surprisingly enough, they do. Consumers have a growing appetite for communications, as long as it’s provided on their terms. Recent research* shows that people welcome having an ongoing dialog with the companies they do business with. According to a 2013 survey, each week the average respondent receives 13 automated texts, calls or emails regarding their business relationships. Across all industries, more than 75 percent of consumers report that these messages are extremely helpful and welcome.

The study also shows that people are especially appreciative of proactive communications. In fact, the majority of respondents (70 percent) believe these communications could have helped them avoid issues. The most valued messages are critical notices, from credit fraud alerts to power restoration notifications, and reminders to take action, such as making a payment or refilling a prescription. But in order for today’s on-the-go consumers to take action on these proactive notifications, you have to make the interaction options as easy as possible. That’s where conversational speech can make all the difference.

Speech and natural language remove barriers, increasing the likelihood for immediate action. Even if the recipient is out and about—driving, exercising, shopping, etc.— when they receive a proactive notification on their mobile device, for example, conversational speech makes it simple to respond and get on with the day. These notifications use natural language when communicating to provide a more pleasant experience while making it clear how customers can take action.

While the benefits for consumers, like immediacy, convenience, and avoidance of issues, are apparent, what’s in it for your company?  Increased revenue and bottom-line savings are two important benefits.  Consider these examples:

  • Sharp HealthCare sends personalized notifications to patients via their preferred channel, reducing missed appointments by 25% and freeing up time slots valued at $2.3M in revenue
  • A top 10 bank sends customers payment reminders, with the option to self-serve, reducing first payment defaults by 60% and saving $8-25 per deflected incoming call

Cross-channel awareness of recent or pending outbound notifications can produce even more impressive results. Say a consumer receives a fraud alert via text, but he’s in the middle of a meeting and can’t take immediate action. When he calls in later, the IVR proactively asks if he is calling about the recent unusual activity on his credit card, thereby streamlining the interaction for faster resolution. This kind of natural, unified, cross-channel experience builds trust, drives engagement and improves self-service. To learn more download our new
white paper “5 Must-Dos for Delivering Self-Service Magic”


*Survey commissioned by Varolii Corporation and conducted by Wakefield Research, October 2010

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Dena Skrbina

About Dena Skrbina

This was a contributed post by Dena Skrbina. To see more content like this, visit the Customer experience section of our blog.