Yesterday, big brands only battled with their direct competitors. Unilever clashed with P&G, American Airlines with Delta, and Hertz with Enterprise. Today, all wires are crossed. Companies must compete based on their customer experience (CX) and that means their competitors are anyone they share real estate with on users’ smartphones – namely, tech firms like Uber, Facebook, Google, and Airbnb, each of which pours tens of millions of dollars into crafting ultra-satisfying experiences.
Customers expectations also continue to rise. A recent Conversocial study of 2,000 consumers found that as high as consumer expectations are, they’re only trending up: 81
What are the brands that haven’t poured tens of millions of dollars into CX to do? Simply: adopt a leapfrogging strategy. Any business can skip years of painful experimentation by launching their support at the cutting edge: on private messaging apps.
What consumers really want
At the intersection of “fast” and “satisfying” lies the brave new world of consumer messaging. More than 3.6 billion people use messaging apps. For context, that’s more people than those that use social media! Many of these individuals want to message directly with businesses, on private channels, for three reasons:
- It’s convenient: Consumers spend 80
percentof their mobile time in apps and messaging a business from Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Twitter and is easier than calling or emailing.
- It’s fast: Customers have learned that digital messaging sites like Messenger Customer Chat offer shorter support wait times, and are happy to take public conversations private in return for resolution.
- It’s satisfying: Messaging apps can be secured and authenticated to users’ digital profiles, meaning there’s less back and forth identification, more personalization, and less interruption.
The major messaging app providers like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and WeChat have capitalized on this consumer-to-corporation correspondence and have released features to help businesses offer support. Facebook Messenger, for instance, now provides a website plug-in that doubles as a live chat support service.
However, not every business uses these support tools well. Many do it poorly. Conversocial‘s study found that 39
Brands are still transferring consumers to other departments with the maddening regularity that inspired a generation of on-hold jokes from comedians like Jerry Seinfeld. The problem is that brands are taking their analogue habits into the digital age. Support teams aren’t evolving and they aren’t investing in the technology that makes great digital support possible.
Instead, many have fallen prey to system creep. Whenever they launch support on a new channel, they adopt a new software. Today’s agents juggle an average of 11 systems they must switch back and forth between to support customers.
For brands that do the difficult thing and invest in the right technology, however, these issues disappear. A range of digital support platforms
Messaging support offers agility, but also savings
For brands that effectively leapfrog the competition and deploy messaging support can realize:
- Agility: Support agents on messaging apps can have one-to-one conversations with many customers at-scale. A Forrester report found that digital agents can handle 167% more issues.
- Cost savings: Digital support costs $1 per resolution as opposed to $6 per transaction for email or phone.
- Customer satisfaction: Customers prefer connecting with brands on their channels of choice, especially when they can get first-touch resolutions there.
Big brands can’t escape the gravity of the smartphone and they can’t avoid competing on the basis of CX. But they can leapfrog years of expensive catch-up by deploying their support on an app like Facebook Messenger.