Why you should forget Batch and start communicating in Real-time

Let’s agree on one thing first. The way you communicate with your customers has a huge impact on your business.

Your customers want to be treated as individuals not as a number in a crowd. And it’s your job to make sure that each one of them feels like they are getting personal treatment.

Here’s the second thing we can agree on…

Crafting a unique message for each customer takes time. Loads of time that doesn’t create a functional business process that takes care of hundreds or even thousands of customers.

You have to create workflows that combine the two: an efficient process that sends a personalized message that shows you care.

Even when you send them an invoice.

That’s why so many companies rely on batch processing to automate their outbound communications. There is no doubt it has its advantages. But it’s not always the best option in comparison to real-time.

But first…

Why Batch Communication has worked well for Business Process Management Efficiency

Batch, let’s you take loads of data and create outputs without running the same process multiple times and with little manual input.

Maximum Throughput

When you have thousands of messages, emails or invoices to send you want something that will execute once and all your customers will receive the information they need.

And it makes sense.

It works well for sending outbound communication to a large group of people at the same time.

But what happens when something changes and you have to respond quickly?

Let’s take the following scenario as an example to see where problems with batch can easily be solved with real-time communication:

Scenario 1: “My email address changed”

You’re sending out hundreds of invoices by email. You have it run once a month during a billing period and you have a major customer that recently changed her email address without updating it on your website.

When the invoices are sent the customer’s invoice goes to her old email and bounces.

She never receives her invoice. She never pays her bill.

But this time she’s more on top of things. She sees she hasn’t received her invoice this month and realizes she forgot to update her email address.

She panics and calls into your customer service and speaks to an understanding representative. They chat about the mixup, update her emails and pay the invoice.

Everyone is happy. Problem solved.

She’s an understanding client. But another error in batch has something in store for her.

Scenario 2: “I already paid!”

Same scenario. Same customer. Except for one thing.

The batch process for sending out invoices started two prior to when she paid. She missed the batch window…

Now you can’t stop the process and you can’t update the records of who has paid and who hasn’t until the process terminates.

The next time she receives an invoice she sees, “You are 30-days overdue on your invoice. For any inquiries please contact our customer service line below”.

Her eyes open wide, she mutters a disgusted “what?!” and she calls customer service. This time she is less patient and ready to see your company burn to the ground.

Customer service handles it, but it could have been solved if you could have sent out the right message as soon as the payment was processed.

This is where real time processing shines.

Communication Process Management requires fast responses and accurate messages that keep your customers happy and save you hours of headaches dealing with less satisfied clientele.

MyMultiChannel can receive batch and realtime data, but it processes every flow real-time. The flow will immediately restart to the selected next step depending on the outcome.

In the case of your customer, when her email bounced she could receive a text message that reminds her to pay her bill, or an automated phone call. You could even set it up so a paper invoice is automatically sent to her office.

The overdue invoice never gets sent and you have a satisfied loyal customer.

That sounds great. But what about all your other customers?

Send thousands of real-time messages without overloading your system

To stay up-to-date with all your customers, at the same time would require more processing power than anyone is willing to pay.

Luckily there are webhooks.

What’s a webhook?

It allows a client to contact a server only when changes have been made. Let’s use the client server conversation below to make a point:

Real time in the old days:

Client: “Hey, did that lady pay her bill? Server: “No”

1 week later

Client: “Hey, did that lady pay her bill? Server: “No”

1 week later

Client: “Hey, did that lady pay her bill? Server: “No”

1 week later

Client: “Hey, did that lady pay her bill? Server: “Yes, finally. Will you leave me alone now?”

Real time with webhooks

Client: “Hey, let me know when that lady pays her bill. Deal? Server: “Deal. Talk to you later”

A few days later without any processing power used:

Server: “Hey, that lady paid her bill.” Client: “Great, thanks! I’ll send her a nice “thank you message”.

Flowize makes is possible to communicate with a customer immediately after they have completed a event along their customer journey by using webhooks.

Every data-record on a customer is processed by itself. Depending on the conditions or business rule the user has set or the events (webhooks) the customer makes to the data record ( like clicking on a link or responding to an email) the customer will “walk through” her own customer journey at her own pace.

Making your communication with your customers personalized and automated without the bloated processing budget.

Are you still using batch to send out your automated communication? Start reaching your customers in real-time for free with Flowize.