What does great CX look like when empowered by messaging apps? More and more, consumers are finding this out. In fact, according to Nielsen, Americans spend five times longer in messaging apps than on voice calls. At our October 4 webinar, our own VP of Solutions and Capabilities, Mandeep Kwatra, shared how to make the most of these newer channels to create a seamless customer experience that improves CSAT and retention.
Our first webinar poll (multiple answers allowed) asked attendees, “What messaging apps do you currently use? In all, 55% of attendees are already using Webchat, Text SMS, and/or Facebook Messenger, with only 10% of attendees reporting use of In-App Messaging.
For our second poll we asked, “What do you use messaging for?” A total 22% of attendees use messaging for automated notifications, with 78% choosing customer service. Sales and coupons are opportunities to track in the future, Mandeep added.
“Have you used bots in messaging?” was the question we asked webinar attendees with our third poll. Clearly, webinar attendees are thinking about and looking for strategy. In fact, we found half of attendees have not started using bots in messaging yet, while 30% of attendees don’t even use messaging yet, with 10% ties for “yes, for FAQs” and “yes for transactions.”
Following our webinar, Mandeep answered some pressing questions from attendees:
Q1: If SMS is the same as Apple Business Chat and Google RCS, then why not use SMS only?
MANDEEP: The difference between SMS and Apple Business Chat/ Google RCS is that Google RCS and Apple Business Chat come with inherent capabilities like payment systems. They have options to share media content, and SMS doesn’t have that as an inherent capability. Therefore, it is a lot more effective if you are managing an end-to-end business transaction using channels like Apple Business Chat or Google RCS. You can still use SMS for lower-value transactions and pilot test whether your customers are happy to talk to you through those channels.
Q2: We are thinking about messaging but we are concerned that customers might begin to get confused with so many channels to contact the brand. Any thoughts about that?
MANDEEP: It can happen that way, right? If you give people too many options, not everybody is going to use all the options. But I think one of the key things for a brand thinking about adopting messaging as a channel of service is: What are the right touchpoints of messaging for you as a brand? Is Facebook the right channel for you? Does your customer demographic tend to use WhatsApp? Does your business compliance permit the use of WhatsApp to talk to customers? Does it provide the right kind of security for your customer information? You need to check all those boxes before you decide on the messaging touchpoints you want to adopt as channels of service.
Q3: How do we know if bots are the best fit for our business strategy?
MANDEEP: You need to look at your customer journey and identify the reasons for which customers contact you. Then look at what part can be automated, keeping in mind the voice of customer, the complexity of the transaction, and also the compliance factor that governs your business or industry area. Map it according to that and do a proof of concept with certain transactions to see how effectively they are being managed using bots.
Q4: What is the best way to deploy chat or messaging as a service option?
MANDEEP: Understand your customer journey first and determine your customer demographics. Then assess the types of conversations you are trying to manage through these channels of service. When you are deploying chat or any other messaging channels, please remember that you are not just looking at it primarily to deflect calls from voice. Instead, you are opening a new channel of service, which will mean that there may be a certain number of contacts that will increase on your contact center or in your customer service division. So prepare for that. Again, with anything that you do, start with a small pilot, conduct A/B testing , and then grow it over a period of time making it available to your customers.