Instant Messenger Connection
Brands should always be striving to create personalized connections as a way to build customer relationships. The biggest question is - where and how can brands engage customers to create those connections?
My answer is simple: messaging channels. The way to open a conversation in those channels is less simple, but as the technology evolves to meet changing consumer habits, so do the entry points on offer.
In recent years the ‘continue with Facebook’ tool – alongside other login options – when registering for a site or logging in to a new app has been a real CX bonus – Making customers sign up or sign in every time they hit a brand’s site can badly affect conversion rates. Having the option to login using a Facebook profile removes a major blocker because it’s a one-click process.
Facebook’s recently launched the ‘Login Connect via Messenger’ feature, which is a game-changer for creating conversational experiences from the first point of engagement. At the point of login, customers can opt in to open up a Messenger conversation, which means the first contact will be a tailored engagement via a messaging channel and, crucially, on their terms.
(in testing) we’ve seen more than 70% of users opt in to messaging with businesses that enable Login Connect with Messenger. This creates a vital source of new customer conversations for businesses looking to double down on customer engagement through the Messenger Platform.
Apps and websites traditionally suffer from poor conversion rates, with 98% of visitors leaving without making a purchase, so it really is an incredible new feature that will allow brands to engage customers using Messenger at the start of their journey when they are showing the highest intent.
There are far more chances for engagement than just creating a single sale. It opens up the opportunity for:
- Bespoke flows aimed at appointment booking, subscription sign ups or product discovery
- Re-engaging if the customer has abandoned their cart without completing to revive the sale
- Post-purchase engagement - WISMO or CSAT surveys, for instance
- Regular, targeted engagement for recurring sales or when a subscription renewal is due
The possibilities for engagement are vast and it is likely to go some way to offsetting the recent privacy moves from Apple and Google, which are already affecting Facebook’s ability to target their ads based on consumer activity tracking.
It means tools that connect brands directly to their consumers are so valuable - 63% of shopping journeys now begin online and satisfied, retained customers are 70% more likely to buy from brands they’ve used in the past after a good digital experience. Being able to provide the most personalized, seamless and engaging conversational experience at the earliest possible opportunity is the key and Login Connect via Messenger makes it a possibility for every brand and consumer with a Facebook presence.
Brand Discovery on WhatsApp
WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging app, with 2bn monthly active users and since its acquisition by Facebook, has been keen to stress its commitment to maintaining the privacy of its users’.
WhatsApp Business also has a series of safeguards in place that restrict the kinds of brands that can get a verified account, as well as when and how they are able to engage their customers on the platform. This hasn’t stopped more than 5m businesses using the app to engage its customers.
It means that discovery of a brands’ WhatsApp account is trickier to discover than say Facebook Messenger or Instagram Messages, so I am fascinated to see how the recently launched pilot by WhatsApp in Brazil is going to enable more business discovery and customer engagement.
Users in Sao Paolo have a ‘Businesses Nearby’ option in their contacts section, to find local shops and services through the app. If it works, that the platform can move into the world of eCommerce without needing adverts that drive a huge amount of revenue on Facebook and Instagram.
Sitting alongside features like Catalog, where brands can showcase their products, the new feature opens up the acquisition stage to businesses in WhatsApp, without feeling invasive and is in line with June’s announcement that “Shops” are coming to the platform.
We only need to look at the way Chinese messaging apps like WeChat have developed into far more than a platform to send and receive texts to understand what this could mean for WhatsApp. WeChat users can order in restaurants, shop pay bills and send money transfers all through the app.
WhatsApp is an integral part of 2bn people’s lives, it’s how they communicate with friends and family, and increasingly, their favourite brands. If the platform can offer the convenience and speed that modern consumers demand from their customer experiences, then brands can capitalize on these features to build strong and long-lasting relationships. The new ‘Business Discovery’ tool is clearly only one step towards that, but it’s an exciting development and i’m really intrigued to see where Facebook takes the platform as it looks to expand the opportunities for conversational customer engagement.
You can find out more here about building long-lasting customer relationships using messaging channels.