SYDNEY: As data and automation drive more brand-customer interactions than ever, experts in the area believe that keeping a human-centred customer experience will become a careful balancing act.

Two senior marketers from SapientNitro Australia, Holly Joshi and Niklas Zillenger, addressed this topic at Mumbrella 360 in Sydney. And, more specifically, they discussed how the popularity of messaging apps – and for brands, chat bots set within messaging apps – is set to change the game.

They argued that not only would the opportunities for engagement provided by messaging apps force brands to put the customer journey at the core of their personalization effort, they would require a fundamental strategic rethink for many brands.

"Audiences and segmentation really change. Background infrastructure, data layers and your data management platforms are going to become even more complex and even more necessary," Joshi explained.

"You're actually going to have to start thinking about tracking individual conversations,"

Designing for conversational experiences requires a completely new approach to design, they argued, as well as to the creation and delivery of content. (For a detailed guide on how brands can develop customer-centric chat bots, read Warc's report: Chat Bots & Customer Experience: What Brands Need To Know.)

"From an experienced design perspective, this renders a lot of tools that we use at the moment on a daily basis absolutely useless," said Zillenger.

He suggested that a well-designed chat bot also allows brands the ability to make changes more quickly – immediate insight into what isn't working allows constant improvement of the customer experience.

"The great thing about the whole messaging system is that you have the flexibility of the back-end, and the minute you learn that people drop out, you can adjust and are ready with the next conversation," he said. "You can head in a better direction and improve."

Data sourced from Warc