#3 FRENEMIES

September 27, 2016

Is there any way we can create true relationships with consumers by running a purely online business?

In marketing, the term “resonance” means keeping a conversation with a consumer via having consistency among marketing channels, including people encounters. Interestingly enough, the in-person touch points with the brand are usually the toughest to make consistent for companies in all industries alike. Those having the most resources (read: money) available to hire, train, and retain quality employees are the successful companies whose reputation and consumer loyalty skyrockets. However, for an e-business, efficiency is usually the top priority and the main reason of settling down in the online space, and hence they cannot allow such a customer service luxury.

Microsoft and Facebook are currently “overhyping” the release of bots (low key AI?), who (which?) are the possible solution for e-businesses befriending their consumers better. Such bots are created to support an individually-tailored dialogue with the user, fostering the “you and me” relationship between the customer and the brand.

One one hand, we can see how easy it is to standardise such bots and make the consumer/brand interaction consistent. The real concern, nonetheless, is whether consumers will feel creeped out by how good such bots are in their quest of replicating human interaction. E-businesses indeed have this tricky challenge to overcome. Does a multi-tiered approach to communication with a consumer present itself as a solution? Omni-channel as a solution for a strong consumer loyalty? A human component of an e-business as mandatory for befriending your clients?

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