December 3, 2018 / 11:12 AM / Updated a day ago

Reimagining the customer experience, one conversation at a time

Communication methods are developing faster than ever and the speed of change means that some brands are playing catch-up.

“Traditional communication methods have changed and there is a shift towards more personalised experiences. It’s also a two-way communication. In order for brands to be engaging and to deliver engaging content they need to be able to offer those experiences to audiences.” Eleni Karamalegkou, Director, Social Media Centre of Excellence at The LEGO Group.

Immediate, personal and conversational messaging apps have become central to the way people communicate, no matter what their age or socio-economic background is.

The informal, two-way nature of messaging is something brands must replicate if they want to match evolving customer behaviour and stay relevant. By entering into a conversation with consumers, brands can strike up more meaningful and flexible one-to-one relationships.

In recent years many companies have tried to personalise customer interactions by understanding purchase paths to predict future needs. But this is an inexact science and can quickly frustrate potential buyers when suggestions are irrelevant.

Brands that start conversations with their client base don’t have to predict what they want. By using conversational platforms, they can connect more meaningfully with their customers and find out precisely what’s on their mind.

The LEGO Group reaching new frontiers

“New platforms are really fuelling our ideas for growing our business,” explains Karamalegkou.

"We started to customise our experience towards one-to-one and make it more age-specific and more passion-specific"

She adds: “We have endless possibilities and opportunities to reach new audiences and create niche communities around specific interests, and we always take that into consideration. What we aim to do is to put the customer first, what they need, what they want to see, what they want to engage with from a brand perspective. Based on that we create our experiences.”

Conversational platforms enables brands to interact in an innovative, personalised and actionable way. It facilitates genuine exchanges of information in which the brand can react to a specific need. As a result, consumers receive immediate and practical help in getting to where they want to go.

 The LEGO Group, for example, introduced a Messenger experience called Ralph last Christmas to make it easier for consumers and shoppers to navigate their way through the huge choice of products and pinpoint the perfect gift.

The LEGO Group Messenger experience Ralph helped customers shop at Christmas

It quickly found that consumers and shoppers were spending longer than anticipated with Ralph and wanted help with more than just present selection. This encouraged the company to dig deeper into what Ralph could do.

Karamalegkou explains: “The time people spent engaging with Ralph, looking outside of what we call key buying occasions, meant we are now turning it into an always-on presence.”

The LEGO Group has evolved Ralph so that it understands and responds differently to individual consumer groups.

Discussing this evolution, Ksenia Barton, Social Media Strategist at The LEGO Group, says: “We started to customise our experience towards one-to-one and actually make it more age-specific and more passion-specific. So now, parents will see totally different experiences for pre-school builders, for 6-12 year old builders and for our adult fans.”

At work in the London office of The LEGO Group

Brands have always understood the need to know their clientele, but in the digital age they have struggled to replicate the exchange of information that takes place in human interactions. Conversation is helping them overcome this problem.

It enables brands to strike up intelligent conversations with customers and create a two-way dialogue that gives people the immediate and personalised outcomes that they want.

So if you are not using conversational platforms to talk with your customers, you can be sure someone else is.

Karamalegkou concludes: “It’s no longer a question of whether we will choose to be on a platform or whether we will choose to have a presence. We actually have to and we have to go wherever our customers are.”

The Reuters editorial and news staff had no role in the production of this content. It was created by Reuters Plus, part of the commercial advertising group. To work with Reuters Plus, contact us here.

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