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Latest 04 Sep 2018 | Customer Service | 6 min read

How Brands Can Outwit Nimble Startups with Facebook Messenger Support

The fact that smartphones have devoured the world isn’t news. Almost every brand now exists in pixelated form on mobile devices. This digitization has led to a sort of competitive synesthesia that’s rearranged the global business landscape.

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 percent of customers have higher expectations than they did last year.

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.

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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 percent of 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 percent of consumers feel their needs aren’t being met on digital support platforms, like messaging, because brands aren’t giving them the thing they want above all else: first-touch resolutions.

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 exist which can consolidate all digital support channels and allow customer support agents and their managers to triage inbound requests, scan social media, and deploy chatbots which, according to Accenture, can handle the 80 percent of requests that are routine. Plus, many digital support platforms connect to the CRM and can authenticate users’ identities on messaging apps while accessing their past history.

With the right tools to conduct messaging support effectively, big brands that have long underinvested in CX suddenly start to look quite hip. And the benefits of playing catch up are enormous.

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.

Harness the power of Messenger Customer Chat as a disruptive digital customer care opportunity. Read the white paper here

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