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New CX Research from Vonage, Reward Gateway, and MessageGears

New CX Research from Vonage, Reward Gateway, and MessageGears

Vonage: AI Can Help Decrease Consumer Frustration While Boosting Engagement

A new report from cloud communications provider Vonage says AI can help businesses reduce consumer frustration and enhance customer engagement, boosting the omnichannel communications strategy of a commercial operation and serving as a differentiating factor.

In its Global Customer Engagement Report 2024, Vonage says that while consumers prefer a range of channel options when communicating with businesses, including mobile phone calls (36%), messaging/non-SMS apps (31%), and phone calls via apps (29%), just 42%—less than half—say they are “very satisfied” when communicating with businesses.

Consumers cited multiple frustrations, such as long wait times to speak to an agent (63%), inability to speak to customer service via voice/phone (59%), lack of available 24/7 support (48%), and lack of self-service support (46%). However, AI can bring about 24/7 immediacy and continuous engagement across diverse communications channels, the report discloses. And leveraging AI tools, such as virtual assistants, can enable businesses to provide consumers with a more targeted personalized experience, including the ability to triage urgent customer inquiries, provide smarter self-service at scale, and deliver skills-based routing to connect customers with appropriate agents, preventing or mitigating a bad CX.

Related Article: Enterprise Connect 2023 – Vonage Gets Speedier and Smarter with Launch of Vonage AI Acceleration Suite

Consumers, for their part, are embracing AI to make their experiences better, according to the report. Chatbot and video chat usage among consumers will likely more than double within the next year, with 10% using chatbots today and the number rising to 23% in the next six to 12 months. For those running video chat, usage will increase from 13% to 26% during the same period of time.

“This data underscores that to differentiate on customer engagement, businesses need an omnichannel communications strategy that allows customers to contact them seamlessly across their preferred channels,” said Joy Corso, CMO at Vonage. “This goes a long way to ensuring personal and real-time customer engagement at every touchpoint.”

Vonage, headquartered in New Jersey, is a provider of unified communications, contact center, and conversational commerce applications. Findings from the company’s latest customer engagement report—its 12th annual study on the subject—are based on a survey of more than 7,000 participants across 17 global markets.

Reward Gateway: US Workers Say Well-Being Support Is Low

Many American workers do not think highly of the employee well-being programs of their companies, but recognition and a system of rewards from employers is critical to business success, indicates the new Reward Gateway study, Workplace Wellbeing Report: Where to Focus in 2024.

Nearly a quarter of the US workforce is actively seeking new employment because of factors related to employee well-being, a complex and interrelated combination of physical, mental, emotional, social, and financial factors, the report said. Moreover, 41% feel overworked and underpaid, 33% feel burnt out, 24% do not feel supported by their managers, and 23% do not think their employer cares about their well-being.

Overall, 51% of US employees rate the well-being support provided by their organization as average or poor. But for companies vying to attract talent, engage employees, and boost performance, the report says improving the well-being of American workers is of critical importance.

One insight offered by the report is that positive recognition is vital, given that 2 out of 5 workers do not remember being recognized by their managers in the past 12 months. Initiatives to enhance the financial well-being of employees also matter, and workers want employers to support managing the cost of living by providing access to company offerings like employee discount programs.

For companies with Gen Z workers, the report discloses that compared with other age groups, stress related to the cost of living affects Gen Z and their work the most and that they feel less connected to their workplace. And AI, which many fear will displace jobs and put people out of work, is in fact seen by workers as a helpful tool to automate repetitive tasks, balance workloads, and improve productivity, the report notes.

Anthony Knierim, the managing director for the Americas region at Reward Gateway, says employee well-being is indispensable for any company looking to achieve success in 2024. “Considering that work occupies a significant portion of individuals’ schedules and is intricately linked to their sense of identity and achievement, employers hold a distinctive opportunity,” remarked Knierim. “They can not only enhance employee retention and productivity, but also wield substantial influence over the personal happiness and engagement of their workforce.”

Promoting a culture of well-being can be elevated by investing in the right technology, and the appropriate tools can empower business leaders to create a more connected and engaged workforce by supporting the well-being of employees, according to the report. And through strong leadership and intentional efforts, companies can strengthen individual well-being and boost worker engagement, productivity, and retention.

Boston-based Reward Gateway is the provider of a unified employee engagement hub offering recognition, reward, well-being, and benefits for workers worldwide. Its latest report is based on a December 2023 research surveying 1,000 employees in companies with more than 100 workers in the US.

MessageGears: AI Has Significant Impact on Customer Engagement

A new study from cross-channel engagement firm MessageGears reveals AI to be especially useful to marketers in connecting with customers and in helping save money, but the new technology also presents specific challenges in its deployment.

In the report, The Enterprise Perspective on AI & Customer Engagement, 56% of marketers use AI in targeted advertising campaigns, and 49% use the technology for personalized email marketing, customer support and service, and customized product recommendations. And near-universal agreement exists among the respondents for the research that AI makes a big difference in figuring out customer preferences and behavior.

For marketing leaders looking to AI as a means of reducing costs, 72% say they have succeeded in saving money thanks to the technology, with only 3% indicating that AI added costs to their balance sheet. Investing in AI pays off as teams learn to harness the technology, data from the report shows.

Related Article: M&A News – Acquisitions by Ardian, Sprout Social, MessageGears, Thoma Bravo, and Invenna

Where marketers are running into challenges, the main headaches include the lack of AI knowledge in their departments, getting teams up to speed, and integrating AI into existing systems.

Marketers also have a wish list of uses for AI in the year ahead. At least 53% would like to use the technology to identify the type of consumers most likely to make a purchase, and 50% wish that AI would help them pinpoint the most effective channels to reach customers. Overall, 61% say AI will be highly or extremely crucial to their marketing strategies going forward.

“AI algorithms are like the secret sauce, letting marketers dive deep into customer data,” said Will Devlin, vice president of marketing at MessageGears. “Then, armed with the inside scoop on preferences, behaviors, and demographics, marketers can fine-tune messages on the fly. With real-time tweaks to content, timing, and more, AI-powered campaigns ensure the connection between a brand and its audience is spot-on and meaningful.”

Headquartered in Atlanta, MessageGears is a customer engagement platform, offering direct data access and advanced platform capabilities for enterprise brands to reach their customers. Its new AI report is the result of a survey of enterprise marketers in companies with 500 or more employees.

Author Information

Alex is responsible for writing about trends and changes that are impacting the customer experience market. He had served as Principal Editor at Village Intelligence, a Los Angeles-based consultancy on technology impacting healthcare and healthcare-related industries. Alex was also Associate Director for Content Management at Omdia and Informa Tech, where he produced white papers, executive summaries, market insights, blogs, and other key content assets. His areas of coverage spanned the sectors grouped under the technology vertical, including semiconductors, smart technologies, enterprise & IT, media, displays, mobile, power, healthcare, China research, industrial and IoT, automotive, and transformative technologies.

At IHS Markit, he was Managing Editor of the company’s flagship IHS Quarterly, covering aerospace & defense, economics & country risk, chemicals, oil & gas, and other IHS verticals. He was Principal Editor of analyst output at iSuppli Corp. and Managing Editor of Market Watch, a fortnightly newsletter highlighting significant analyst report findings for pitching to the media. He started his career in writing as an Editor-Reporter for The Associated Press.

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