Key Highlights

  • Current Situation
  • Top 10 challenges faced & available products & services
  • Digital Adoption – Route Mobile connecting the dots

As the lockdown continues in major parts of the world, a few countries are easing out. Many industries and businesses are limping back to operations. There are certain challenges faced by businesses, still they are trying their best to manage and navigate through this pandemic. Remote working is the viable option for most of the businesses during this crisis as social distancing is the new norm across the globe; and safety of employees and their customers precedes all priorities.

Enhanced business communications have become the need of the hour as it can automate the communication processes. Apart from large scale, small scale and medium scale businesses have also started adopting & exploring cloud communications due to limited capital investment required for deploying the setup, faster on-boarding and ensuring end-to-end communication cycle.

Below are some challenges faced by different industries during this unprecedented times and the solutions that can ensure seamless communications:

Government & NGOs

Many NGOs and governments globally have announced relief packages to enable people sustain and fight this pandemic. Variety of relief efforts are being undertaken globally. If the updates are organised and communicated from known mediums it can aid better engagement, build followers and offer support on humanitarian grounds for the people who are affected the most. The use of text messaging and push notifications is being used widely at such times. A push message can be triggered with an option to get the conversation on Viber Business Messages. Where a Viber Business Messages chatbot can assist them with FAQs about what is Covid-19, what precautionary measures to be taken, the nearest centre for testing or the medical/quarantine centre using the geo tagging feature to get admitted if diagnosed. A lot of Governments and NGOs around the world have been using WhatsApp Business Solutions as well.

Customer assistance / Contact Centre Assistance/Services

In this current situation which has led to a dramatic increase in the call rates for many brands and organisations. It’s vital for brands to perform at a high-efficiency level without compromising the service quality. For.e.g due to higher volume of calls, there is a lot of hold time for customers, this may ruin the customer experience. With WhatsApp Business Solutions’ IVR deflection to WhatsApp feature, the customer gets an option to continue the conversation on WhatsApp without the need to wait for the next available customer agent to come online. The AI driven chatbot is completely capable of assisting customers for basic queries. This not only improves the customer experience manifolds but also reduces the load on call centre agents.

A similar experience of IVR deflection can be enabled via RCS Business Messaging and Viber Business Messages as well.

Additionally, most of the customer agents are working from home. At such times, the infrastructure can play an important role. For example, a brand has its customer care number numbers published at various places for customers to easily reach the brand. Call patching can be implemented with simple steps. Call patching enables a brand / enterprise to link its callers in real-time with suitable customer care agents via Route Mobile’s IVR platform. It’s an easy preinstalled cloud-based feature that will assist clients to patch calls for two users seamlessly in real time.

Logistics Industry

There is a surge of demand for E-commerce, logistics providers and home delivery services, businesses as online services are being used widely. If a product is wrongly delivered to a customer or wants to lodge a complaint about the defective product, customers can scan the QR codes embedded on the delivery package and get redirected to Viber Business Messaging. They can initiate a chat by sending ‘Hi’ and start a conversation via Viber. The customer can use the suggested reply feature and log a report. Then the customer is prompted to verify the order and share the image of the defective product. The customer has to confirm the timing by pressing a button and a pick-up is then initiated.

Pharma Industry & Distributors

During this pandemic, the magnitude of spread is very quick. The delivery becomes crucial in the areas that are quarantined as mobility is restricted. Supplies and stocks are constantly running low as the supply chain is disrupted. Businesses might not be running efficiently as they are facing shortage of staff. Proactively communicating these updates regularly to their distributor networks is the need of the hour. A regular automated (A2P) SMS update to their distributor network can help to ensure the information of stock and next delivery can be sent.

Healthcare/Medical Industries and Testing Centres

The healthcare sector is still developing and facing a lot of challenges due to poor infrastructure, workforce shortage, absenteeism, and quality of care. The Healthcare brands can implement a WhatsApp Business Solution with a simple onboarding process and enable a Click-to-Chat feature. For e.g If a person is visiting the Healthcare brands’ website and is looking to get online assistance for COVID-19, Click-to-chat feature on the website will enable them to start a conversation on WhatsApp. All the FAQs can be embedded at a backend and the assistance can be via a chatbot that can answer all the related queries of the customer. The brand can also share educational tips via videos & images, for e.g washing hands, wearing masks, avoiding to go in public gathering, using a sanitiser etc. They can also provide virtual assistance from various doctors, send prescriptions, pdf bills, invoices, and reports via WhatsApp Business Solution.

Banking Industry

Owing to the current situation, banks are working for limited hours and many of its employees are working from home. This may be challenging for its customers as they may need to communicate with banks to avail various services. Banks can implement RCS Business Messaging by following simple onboarding steps and ensure seamless communications. For e.g the bank can send a push SMS to inform the customers about its new RCS Business Messaging service and onboard them. The customer can type “Hi” to initiate a conversation using RCS Business Messaging. The rich features, simple menu, suggested replies enable customers to engage with the banks more effectively. For e.g knowing the account balance, requesting for a cheque book, knowing the nearest ATM or banks location. The sender verification enables the customer to trust the message source. The features like logo, business description enables the banks to brand the messages.

Home Delivery of Food

The pandemic has forced everyone not only to work from home but also do the home chores. Cooking food amidst a busy day can be a task. A lot of QSRs have started and increased the home delivery services by distributing pamphlets with QR codes. The customer can quickly scan the QR code, they get redirected to Viber Business Messages. Once they type “Hi”, they get a menu option to select from. They can browse the menu which is displayed as a carousel, the customer can then select the desired option and place their order of their favorite cuisine within minutes. A ‘thank you’ message is displayed and the order is placed. Post that a tracking link is sent for the customer to track the order. Once the order is delivered, a delivery is confirmed and a coupon code can be sent for the customer to use it for the next order. A similar engagement experience can be enabled via WhatsApp Business Solution and RCS Business Messaging.

E-commerce Industry

The demand for online groceries and for daily essentials on the E-commerce websites is staggering. To meet the demand of customers buying online, many E-commerce websites have started to take orders via RCS Business Messaging, which makes it easier to order online. The brand can display the products using rich features such as rich cards, product carousels, high-resolution images etc., allowing the customer to choose the relevant product and place an order. This is hassle free and enables the customers to order at the comfort and safety from their homes.

A lot of brands are using WhatsApp Business Solution in the packaging as well. For example an active WhatsApp number is printed on the packaging for the customers to place their next order via WhatsApp Business Solution.

Online education

The pandemic has forced schools and universities to be closed, affecting globally over 1.2 billion children in 186 countries. In order to continue, schools and universities are adopting E-learning portals. They can now send links for the registration or to join the online classes via SMS and emails. Products like Smart URL shorteners (like Acculync) can trim the entire URL and send unique hyperlinks embedded within messages for landing pages, registration forms, video links, assignments, give links to payment gateways etc. Furthermore, it also enables the online education brand to get detailed tracking, actionable insights and analytics.

BFSI Industry

The pandemic has given ample opportunities to fraudsters to send fraudulent messages to gain customers’ personal information. Most of the sensitive information is sent by BFSI companies to its customers such as OTP number, account authentication details, and any other updates. OTP is a very critical product that ensures 2 factor authentication as it is sent to the customer registered mobile number only.

There are a lot of SMS customers receiving during this time. Identifying the SMS from the trusted source is tricky at times. For e.g an insurance company has to send a message to its customer on additional cover for Covid-19 with a nominal premium amount. The SMS can easily get lost in the messaging inbox. Verified SMS that is very useful to differentiate between normal & trusted messages. With a simple onboarding process, the insurance company can start sending verified messages to its customer. With Verified SMS, they get a verification badge, their business name and logo can appear in the message thread. With these features, customers can easily differentiate and engage with the insurance company. Furthermore, a call-to-action button can enable them to connect with the business with ease to understand further about the additional cover and pay the premium amount. Verified SMS can help to mitigate frauds such as phishing, and does spam detection and protection, thus safeguarding the customers and maintaining the brand’s trust.

Tackling Business continuity

As the future is unpredictable for now and many businesses are coping up with gigantic losses. Businesses are finding out ways for business continuity and also to inform the same to its employees and customers. Route Mailer is an efficient tool for businesses to inform its customers on business continuity plans that are available to serve them. Businesses can even send emails to their employees about the important updates and arrangements made during this time. It is strategically designed to handle enterprise needs of prompt or broadcast-based email deliveries. The service, which can be easily integrated through SMTP, APIs, and User Interface, enables you to send multiple emails from an instantaneous mail delivery system with top security measures to your customers’ inbox. The reports can give you additional insights.

Additionally, brands are looking for ways to ensure business continuity communications have been successfully delivered and read by all the customers. An Omnichannel solution is a great option. It ensures unified communications across multiple channels replacing the single and multichannel communications.The parallel and sequential communications ensure the delivery of the communications using messaging, voice, email or enhanced business messaging like WhatsApp Business Solution, RCS Business Messaging, Viber Business Messages and host of similar channels. Multiple channels of communication provides the capability to understand, quantify, and review communication with each customer. Furthermore, a customer-centered viewpoint of Omnichannel gives businesses the opportunity to manage customer relationships across all channels. It also removes the dependence on a single channel to help reach customers through their favorite channel along with personalisation to create brand loyalty. The uber cool dashboards help the brand to keep track of its campaign results with actionable insights into response and overall delivery.

Route Mobile has been in the forefront during this pandemic to enable businesses to simplify communications for better outcomes. Businesses have been trusting Route Mobile as our communications platform can seamlessly integrate with existing systems of businesses through a unified API. A panel is made available to deploy campaigns with ease. A customised dashboard is built to regularly track campaigns and get suitable analytics to determine its success and plan for the future ones.

We see that most businesses have adapted or are adopting digital communications to serve its clients and customers and will be evolving more in the future. Cloud communication is a game-changer in most of the businesses, as it is able to send real-time communications, enhance its customer engagement and achieve better customer experience.