Messaging allows brands to communicate with customers on their preferred channel. You’re already familiar with messaging because you use it every single day when communicating with your friends and family. Messaging is always on and can be accessed from any device. Brands in turn have access to this conversational history which helps them to provide better experiences.
Now, imagine tapping into a customer engagement channel that’s already being used by almost every person on earth.
Well, that channel already exists.
To get a perspective of how useful it is from a customer engagement perspective, here is a shortlist of things that DON’T happen on messaging:
- Customers waiting on hold
- Customers losing connection
- Customers having to repeat themselves after getting transferred
- Customers staying glued to a browser window
- Customers being told they have to call for further support
Brands can be on just four messaging channels to have coverage of over 6.7 billion people across the world. That’s an attractive proposition for any enterprise-scale business.
Others may want to focus on one platform that resonates with their target audience. For example the insurer, Vitality, utilizes WhatsApp Business as it’s ubiquitous amongst its UK demographic.
With messaging, brands finally have a way to collate all of their customer experiences into one place.
A whole host of functionality can happen within messaging including payments, authentication, and appointment bookings - meaning that customers never have to be diverted to a different channel again.
There are boundless opportunities to build engaging experiences across the entire customer journey. Here’s an example of how a typical retailer may plot its messaging customer experiences.
Move to messaging does not mean “be on ALL channels”. It means to be on the RIGHT channels that your customers are already present on. To go deep on that channel, building experiences that are end-to-end and reduce customer friction.
The future standard of customer experience is about channel depth, not breadth. Therefore, brands need to ask themselves a different set of questions; “what channel(s) does it make sense for us to be on?” rather than, “how quickly can we get on all channels?”. Brands need to be measured in their approach. Going deep on a single channel around a high yield intent will ensure that your brand is able to create a dedicated and personalized CX experience.
Tips for offering a uni-channel customer service strategy:
- Measure your channel engagement, then invest time, effort, and money into the channel(s) that perform(s) best.
- Promote your preferred channel and deflect away from your less-efficient legacy channels.
- Continuously evaluate the customer experience of your channel and seek out new innovative integrations to drive a holistic customer experience.
Adopting messaging channels is the first step to future-proofing your customer engagement, but you can’t just rest on your laurels. A common issue we hear from brands after launching messaging is that they see improved customer satisfaction (awesome), reduced cost to serve (great) but low usage compared to traditional channels (problematic?). We know customers want to communicate with brands on messaging apps, so why aren’t they? The key is promotion.
Apple Business Chat helps promote messaging as an alternative to phone via its “Chat Suggest” feature.
Brands need to let their customers know that they can message them. Integrate messaging with your website, put it on your homepage, advertise it across social media. You can even add the option to your Google search results. Customers want to communicate with you, so give them the opportunity. Don’t hide it. Embrace it. Promote it.
Once your customers know they can message you rather than pick up the phone or send an email, adoption rates will naturally increase.
"To put it simply, the future of customer engagement revolves around brands leveraging messaging channels - Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp Business, Apple Business Chat, Google Business Messages, Twitter DM, the list goes on"
To put it simply, the future of customer engagement revolves around brands leveraging messaging channels - Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp Business, Apple Business Chat, Google Business Messages, Twitter DM, the list goes on.
Private messaging is changing the game. Customers no longer have to wait on hold, their session doesn’t end when they close their browser, they don’t have to download your app or even go to your website. They pick up their device (which, let’s be real is already in their hand to begin with) and engage with your brand using those same messaging platforms that they use day-in and day-out.
The way we communicate with each other has always been one step ahead of how brands communicate with their customers. Letters, phone calls, emails, instant messaging - they’ve all had their time in the limelight, but that time is now over.
In 2020, we connect with friends and family via messaging channels and that’s why we believe that it’s time for brands to Move to Messaging too.