Three ways that African brands can better engage with their customers

By our News Team | 2022

Today’s consumers want it all: Excellent service, quality products and solutions, and brands that engage with them in a relatable manner.

Conversational marketing is one of 2022’s biggest digital marketing’s trends, with a recent Microsoft study showing that 54% of global consumers have higher customer service expectations than in 2020.

This strategy sees businesses and brands engage with their customers in real-time, automated, ways on social media, SMS, WhatsApp, or brand platforms such as website chat boxes or apps. Importantly, the interactions must have a friendly and conversational tone, while adding value to customers.

“Conversational marketing is a powerful tool to better engage with customers and move them through the marketing and sales funnel, or to providing phenomenal customer service to existing customers,” explains Desirée Gullan, co-founder and Executive Creative Director at Africa-based agency, G&G Digital. 

“This tool can benefit all industries, even highly regulated industries, and can help companies start a conversation with their audiences that’s natural and helpful.”

Conversational Marketing

Hybrid: Photo by HubSport blog

Here, says Gullan, are three ways that organisations can better engage with customers.

1. Help customers where they’re at
When customers reach out for assistance, respond in their preferred channels. Don’t ask them to provide additional contact details so that you can assist them later. Show them that you value their time. Technology allows regulated industries to help online and securely authenticate confidential information in seconds. It’s important to let customers know their information is protected and secure.

2. Personalisation is key
Give social media teams and customer service teams flexibility when responding to queries. A copy-and-paste answer will not cut it. Being personal doesn’t mean you should throw out the rule book; social media teams should still act on behalf of the brand. Tone is important, and language choices should demonstrate that your customers have been heard.

3. Keep it simple
Solve customer queries as quickly as possible. Customers appreciate easy and speedy responses, especially when there’s a dispute involved. Even complaints can be turned into an advantage with the right responses and turnaround times, and can lead to additional purchases and favourable reviews that will attract new customers.

“Conversational marketing can help businesses across sectors engage with customers on their terms. And regulations shouldn’t have to restrict this engagement,” advises G&G Digital. “Conversational marketing can enhance customers’ experience of your brands, increase sales, and be [a] win/win for both businesses and customers.”

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    Dr Kin Kariisa

    Group CEO - Next Media

    Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
    With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
    Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

    Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

    Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

    • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
    • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
    • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
    • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
    • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.