Think of the conversations you have with friends and family on a daily basis. How many times do you pick up the phone and call them? Every now and then, sure, but the bulk of our communication happens over messaging channels whether that’s via iMessage, Messenger, or WhatsApp. The world’s most forward-thinking brands have already acknowledged this and are engaging with their customers on the channels of their preference; not forcing them into the same old archaic never-ending phone tree of "Press 4 for accounts". And here are four reasons why.
Say Goodbye to Waiting on Hold
Waiting on hold sucks. In a world where customers are more impatient than ever, leaving them waiting in a queue is a sure-fire way to eradicate any loyalty you may have built. People want answers and they want them now. Whats more, take our ‘new normal:’ consumers don’t have time to wait on hold with homeschooling and queueing in line to get into a grocery store.
Messaging is asynchronous; it’s not based on a single session. It’s an ongoing conversation with no hold times. Although, we're sure you already know this as you likely use messaging every single day. The main benefit of being asynchronous is that customers can send their message and then get on with their day. They’re not glued to their phone or laptop for hours on end.
Contact When It’s Convenient for You
With phone calls, agents simply work their way through the queue, handling one customer at a time. Messaging works a bit differently. Agents can have multiple conversations happening simultaneously. With customers replying when it’s convenient for them, agents are free to maneuver across multiple conversations at once. In fact, in the same time that it takes to handle one phone call, an agent can manage up to as many as five conversations over messaging.
Stop Repeating Yourself Over and Over
When a customer calls a brand, customer support has to waste a lot of time getting up to speed with the issue the customer has been facing. With messaging channels, agents always have access to full conversational history - it happens natively. It’s baked into its very essence. Messaging isn’t session-based, it’s a continuous thread of communication that stores all customer interactions. In a sense, messaging is its own CRM.
The asynchronous nature of messaging means there are no disconnections. Agents and customers can pick up conversations exactly where they left off, in the same way that we do when messaging our friends and family. This helps agents save the customer's time. If a customer has an ongoing issue, the agent is already up to speed with the situation and can advise the customer without them having to repeat their entire experience thus far. It also ensures agents are in a better position to empathize; “I can see you had an issue with this yesterday, I’m so sorry. Let me work out how we can get this fixed soon as possible.”
Get the Information You Need Instantly
What’s worse than waiting on hold? Well, an automated phone system might just take gold for crappy customer experience. It’s 2020, you shouldn’t have to enter your 16 digit credit card number followed by a hash.
Automation on messaging is a frictionless experience that instantly connects customers to the information and experiences that they want.
“Where’s my order?”
“Can I book an appointment?
“I’d like to upgrade to first class.”
These are all conversations that can be automated over messaging to save time for both customers and agents. There are no robotic voices and no dead end IVR trees. It’s simply giving people what they want in the most efficient way possible.
Plus, with automation handling your most common customer queries, agents are freed to handle what they do best: providing empathetic service that builds long-lasting customer relationships.
So, Will You Hang Up the Phone?
Over the past few months, call centers have been stretched like never before and hold times are at an all-time high. In April, we found that the number one reason for customers contacting a particular client was to complain about the service over the phone. That says it all!
Companies have been scrambling to adapt to a new normal where customers have more questions but brands have fewer agents to answer them. With the increased efficiency of messaging, its seamless automation, and CRM-like capabilities, isn’t it time brands start hanging up the phone and move to messaging?