Given their proliferation in recent years, messaging apps may seem like an ordinary communication method meant exclusively for person-to-person use, but make no mistake: These apps are big business, and your customers actually expect you to use them, too. Indeed, people are using this form of communication at such a growing rate that, according to eMarketer, around 2.48 billion people are expected to be messaging via apps by 2021.
Any company that wants to reach its customers where they spend their time should consider taking advantage of omnichannel messaging, in which businesses engage their customers directly within popular messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat. Here’s why messaging apps are kind of a big deal right now and how they can help you win customer loyalty.
Winning Customer Loyalty
Today’s customers, particularly digital natives, place a high premium on an excellent customer experience. They expect personalized, timely service in the setting they find most convenient. In fact, they prize top-notch customer service so much that they are even willing to pay for it in some cases. Businesses that meet or exceed their customers’ expectations gain measurable advantages, including the chance to earn more of their customers’ business. Businesses in competitive markets—particularly verticals in which their products and services could be seen as commodities—are realizing that high-quality customer service is a powerful differentiator.
That’s why omnichannel messaging, with its great potential to enhance the customer experience, is worth checking out. By reaching customers in real time through the channels they prefer, businesses can tap into the mobile apps people use on a daily basis, sending more engaging, visually dynamic messages that encourage interaction. Everyone wins: The customer receives a fun, interactive message, while the business builds customer loyalty.
WhatsApp with Messaging?
Customers especially value speed and convenience, and rich messaging apps are expressly designed to provide both. They are perfectly suited to our mobile era, allowing customers to communicate with a company when it’s most convenient for them, wherever they happen to be. By reaching customers in an environment they find intuitive and familiar, businesses stand a far better chance of creating a positive impression in the customer’s mind.
Compared to SMS messages, which rely only on text and can be easily dismissed, apps can provide more dynamic experiences for customers. Within a messaging app like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, customers can receive instant visual feedback, such as typing indicators and status updates that tell them whether their message has been sent, read, or delivered. Emoticons and stickers enliven the visual experience, creating a more natural ambiance in which customers can converse with a brand just as they would with their friends and family. This lends a personal touch to customer interactions that, until recently, was hard to achieve using traditional communication channels.
Thanks to omnichannel messaging, customers can enjoy a satisfying, frictionless experience with rapid service on demand, every time. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the company with which they’re conversing can rest assured that its business requirements are being fulfilled. A solid omnichannel platform expertly addresses concerns surrounding compliance, reliability, and scalability, empowering companies to focus on their top priority: improving the customer experience. It provides cross-platform flexibility, as well, seamlessly connecting with customers on their device of choice—whether that’s iPhone or Android.
Loyalty Is Just a Chat Session Away
Using omnichannel messaging, businesses can connect with their customers in a variety of powerful ways. They can extend the range of customer channels available in contact centers and online marketplaces, enabling agents to give consistently high-quality service to customers wherever they may be. Agents can message customers directly to resolve outstanding issues, for example, and customers can securely message one another for community support within an online marketplace.
Smooth customer communication is certainly beneficial on its own, but the advantages don’t end there. In-app messaging retains the context of the conversation, helping contact center agents provide peerless, personalized support at the instant it’s needed. This is critical because customers regard their interactions with a company as an ongoing conversation rather than an isolated transaction. Contextual information surrounding a purchase or a particular service also helps companies tailor their omnichannel customer experience even further, boosting customer loyalty and revenue over the long term.
Businesses that engage with their customers via messaging apps are signaling that they want to be helpful and available in a mobile setting as well as on the traditional channels like customer support phone extensions and email. With an omnichannel platform, companies have a golden opportunity to integrate all of their digital communication with a given customer, providing a unified experience that enables quicker resolution and personalized service on demand. In today’s competitive market, that’s a game-changing advantage that no business should overlook.