In the past few years, there has been a sharp rise in the number of people worldwide using messaging apps. According to a 2020 Statista study, 3 billion people worldwide are expected to use messaging apps for communication by 2022. In addition, a 2020 Conversocial study found that nearly 70% of consumers surveyed had communicated with brands during the pandemic via messaging. In order to satisfy a growing number of customers who expect service through messaging, companies must embrace platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, or WeChat to ensure optimal digital customer experiences. By integrating these channels into their omnichannel customer relationship strategy, contact centers can deliver faster, convenient, and more personalized service in a conversational style that customers appreciate.
More and more customers expect to communicate with brands through instant messaging, but what is it they want from this channel?
Many people enjoy instant messaging for its conversational style. For this same reason, customers expect an easygoing and natural dialogue with brands when communicating through messaging platforms. Whether a customer connects with a chatbot or an agent, the language should be professional yet friendly. This makes customers feel at ease and better able to communicate with the brand. Depending on the brand’s tone and language, it may even be appropriate to use emojis in conversations to establish a friendly rapport.
A conversational style also allows for more personalized service, as agents can make specific recommendations to customers just as friends or family might do during a conversation. This close and personal dialogue provides the human touch that many customers still look for when interacting with brands.
Today’s customers have no time to waste and want answers fast. Since they expect quick responses from brands, many messaging platforms post badges indicating how quickly companies typically respond to messages. Companies that make the effort to respond quickly therefore tend to earn more customer loyalty. While brands may use chatbots to offer faster self-service, they should also strive to make agents available as much as possible in case a chatbot cannot answer a customer’s question.
The best way to serve customers fast is to offer them proactive service. Companies should use messaging channels to reach out to customers with important information such as order updates, new invoice information, and reservation reminders. This approach allows brands to maintain an ongoing conversation with customers that can lead to long-term loyalty.
As with friends and family, customers do not always expect to communicate with brands in real time. They may leave a conversation to do something else, or they may juggle several tasks while waiting for a company’s response. The asynchronous nature of messaging is a major benefit for both customers and companies, as these apps allow for customer interactions to remain within a single channel for continuous conversation. Customers can pick up a conversation where they left it, so brands should be ready to respond when needed.
Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of companies will have abandoned native mobile apps in favor of messaging for a better customer experience. Messaging channels offer many specific benefits for companies as well. These channels are easy for agents to use, enabling them to handle multiple cases at once and be more efficient. Messaging channels are also less costly than other channels such as voice and reduce the higher costs associated with switching channels during a customer interaction. Messaging channels may also be easily integrated with a robust contact center solution to offer greater customer service. When companies integrate messaging into their omnichannel strategy, they can offer seamless customer experiences that win long-term loyalty.
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