The Flexibility of Messaging for Customer Service

    The Flexibility of Messaging for Customer Service

    Credit: Twenty20

    Customer service of the highest quality and customer service of the same standard has now narrowed down to key factors, choice and convenience. Achieving this is done through communication and how customers engage with your business. Giving customers the option to contact you on their preferred channel is better than creating a barrier if they are not comfortable with a phone call or using the channel you only operate.

    Meeting customer needs and expectations are criteria that will set you apart from your competitors. The channels on which you communicate with users is where the battle will be won or lost, and developing a high standard here will stand to your company’s image.

    One area where customers desire to contact brands is messaging, which hosts a variety of different channels with many similar but yet subtle nuances. Hitting the right note here regarding availability on the channels of your client’s preference is one huge barrier to jump through but making it simplified for both them and your agents can be rather tricky.

    Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Apple Business Chat are examples of channels frequently used by today’s customers, and each appeals to varying demographics. Whether it is through search and maps to contact via Google Business Messages or even reaching out via Facebook Messenger to a brand, one thing is sure; they want convenience.

    man_on_phone_outside

    Credit: Twenty20

    Every message matters

    Executing a multiple channel strategy is excellent, but providing a unified experience over each one of them is one step further. Live-chat is limited to website-based sessions, where the conversational threads become squandered but many customers prefer it over a phone call if in a busy area and it is faster than an email.

    As is so often the case with the best user experience design and features, this shift from synchronous to asynchronous communications will likely go unnoticed for those contacting you as long as you are where they need you to be. Brands for whom customer experience is vital, should not be so intimidated by a switch from this sort of channel to another asynchronous one such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Even using a tool that can consolidate all of these channels would be the ultimate solution to achieving it without upsetting the balance for agents.

    Website messaging

    Credit: RingCentral

    Engaging with customers easily

    Live-chat is a standard channel, but due to the temporary nature of the website-based sessions, conversational threads are lost. The choice of chatting with a customer service agent provides consumers with instantaneous support, quick answers, allowing them to avoid phone conversations, and is faster than email. But, even live-chat falls short in certain situations.

    Because live-chat is a synchronous channel that demands agents and customers to be online at the same time, you can encounter time-zone difference as a pain point. Also, there is no capability to switch from web to mobile. If you get disconnected, you lose your chat session. That can be frustrating.

    In this instance, considering asynchronous communication (such as messaging) may be further adapted to customers’ habits and preferences. Unlike live-chat, messaging can be done when and where customers are. There is no wait-time and no obligation to remain focused on the conversation like with traditional channels such as phone—conversational without the hold music, issue tracking without the complexity, web presence without the annoyance.

    always-connected-young-person-mobile-cellphone

    Credit: Twenty20

    Offering these type of channels with similar immediacy to live-chat coupled with the fluidity and flexibility of messaging channels can mean delivering the best of both worlds.

    It is also essential to use unified tools to manage these multiple channels and give agents the best opportunity to be efficient. Ensuring a full-history of customer interactions and providing highly personalised services.

    Why is it essential to invest in a platform that can do this if I already have the right channels? Well, Adobe recently found that companies with the most robust omni-channel customer engagement strategies enjoy a 10% year-on-year growth, a 10% increase in average order value and a 25% increase in close rates. It seems like a no brainer to finance this initiative.

    Conclusion

    The next era of service puts the customer and prospect at the preference. That indicates an openness to the customer’s satisfaction and the customer’s choice. Putting those two things foremost is impossible without a new era of communications platforms.

    That way, customers only need to have one, streamlined conversation, and they are much more likely to feel valued and rate the business more positively in the context of customer service.

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