The past 12+ months have compelled consumers around the world to work, shop and connect remotely. Consumers have reinvented how, when and where they interact with their favourite brands. At Conversocial, our platform alone saw an 87% increase in volume of conversations on private messaging channels in 2020 compared to the previous year.
With this digital reckoning happening across the planet, brands need to reconsider their customer engagement strategies. If habits have shifted, so must the attitudes of marketers, customer experience managers and contact centers. Private messaging channels have to be at the forefront of modern CX plans. It’s where brands’ customers are and it’s where they expect to be able to communicate.
A radical adjustment needs a radical approach. New plays and strategies that lean into the power of modern engagement channels, able to form long-lasting brand/consumer relationships across the customer lifecycle.
The Customer Acquisition Play
With three of the world’s leading messaging channels under the Facebook umbrella (Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp) the platform’s advertising infrastructure is a marketer’s best friend. All three appeal to different demographics, age groups and geographical locations, but Facebook advertising allows brands to use CTM adverts in conjunction with all three channels for customer acquisition.
Here’s the play:
Click-to-Messenger Adverts (CTM)
Why it works
Lower spend with better ROI: Lego’s Christmas Campaign achieved 31% cheaper conversion with CTM ads and 6x return on spend vs other conversion-based approaches on Facebook.
The Customer Engagement Play
After a successful acquisition play, there’s no time to sit back and congratulate yourself on a job well done. Repeat customers have a higher lifetime value and are cheaper to retain than attracting new ones, so maintaining engagement with exceptional conversational experiences will help to cement the customer/brand relationship.
Our State of CX 2021 report found 81% of consumers expect businesses to offer engagement over private messaging channels, so it’s up to brands to innovate and find ways to engage outside of a customer care situation and generate revenue beyond in-store shoppers. Offering virtual appointments on Apple Business Chat (ABC) provides convenience for customers and, if done correctly, can be a new revenue-generating avenue.
Why it works
Single-channel engagement: 98% of website visitors leave without converting. Offering rich and engaging in-channel experiences, using ABC’s tools such as Augmented Reality and Apple Pay during the appointment can create exceptional shopping experiences in the comfort of the customer’s home.
Post-appointment engagement: Once the initial conversation takes place in a messaging channel, the relationship can continue with bespoke re-engagement based on previous interactions. Notifications encouraging future appointments or products and discounts at the consumer’s convenience can build loyalty and a long CLV.
The Customer Care Play
After a consumer becomes a customer and has been successfully engaged using conversational experiences, there’s bound to be bumps along the way. Inevitably, the customer will need to speak to customer service, and how that issue is handled can either end or hugely strengthen the relationship.
The WISMO (where is my order) period post-purchase probably can’t go so wrong that a brand loses a customer, but a seamless and efficient process will likely inspire repeat business. No matter what you think about Amazon, there’s a lot to be said for their WISMO experience: next day delivery, messages to keep you updated at every stage of delivery and a map to show how many stops your driver is away.
Why it works
Repeat custom: 80% of customers want brands to communicate with them directly after a sale, during the ‘experience gap’ after a purchase has been made. With existing customers 70% more likely to buy from a brand again, it’s up to the business to make this period of increased engagement count.
Efficiency for brands and consumers: Contact centers see the same requests every day. It doesn’t make them unimportant but they can be handled without human intervention. By employing bots to handle the order tracking process customers get a far more efficient experience and human agents are free to handle more complicated issues.
These examples are just the tip of the iceberg when considering how to revamp your CX strategy using private messaging channels. There’s a world of engagement possible that suits modern consumer needs and attitudes that can result in a stronger relationship between consumer and brand. By offering interactions across the lifecycle on private messaging apps you can meet consumers on their preferred channels and provide personalised and automated conversations that breed loyalty and satisfaction.