Today’s interview is with Joshua March, Founder and Board Director of Conversocial, a digital care platform for social messaging, and also author of Message Me, a book about the future of customer service in the era of social messaging and artificial intelligence. Joshua joins me today to talk about some recent research that Conversocial just released, the overall state of digital customer care, what the future of messaging and customer care looks like and what we should be doing about it.
This interview follows on from my recent interview – Real competitive advantage in customer experience comes from understanding customers and what drives them away – Interview with David Avrin – and is number 312 in the series of interviews with authors and business leaders that are doing great things, providing valuable insights, helping businesses innovate and delivering great service and experience to both their customers and their employees.
Here’s the highlights of my chat with Joshua:
- A few years ago private messaging really started to accelerate and now asynchronous messaging (e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger etc) on a phone has come to dominate how many people interact.
- It has the potential to replace the phone as the main service channel.
- Asynchronous workflow is more efficient for businesses and easier to automate.
- Recently released a survey called The State of Digital Customer Experience Report 2019, which is like a report card for the industry.
- If you ask a consumer and say, hey, if you could get a quick response and a full resolution of your problem, would you prefer to get that over digital messaging or over the phone or email? A majority of people, 75 percent, will say they’d much prefer to use messaging channels.
- However, the problem today is that most businesses are not yet offering that full level of service in messaging.
- Volaris, one of the biggest airlines in Mexico, have gradually pushed more and more volume into messaging by making it clear to customers on their contacts page how to message them. In the last two years, they’ve gone from 20 percent of the volume being messaging to 80 percent. Live chat and emails are down to a couple of percent and phone calls are now down to 15 percent. Moreover, the NPS on messaging is 10 points higher than on the phone.
- This even works for more traditional brands. One brand we worked with in the UK announced that they were embracing messaging for customer service and they saw a 30 to 40 percent switch of all volume into messaging just by telling people.
- However, before you make the wholesale switch to messaging you must pilot it first so you can gather data about it’s effectiveness, develop internal capabilities and build the business case.
- Conversational marketing is becoming a practice/discipline within customer experience that is being used to think about how to design conversational experiences within messaging that can go between automation of bots and humans.
- Asynchronous messaging also allows for better hand-offs between a bot and a human agent, giving an agent time for them to get up to speed, understand the context, and then be able to actually resolve your issue.
- Conversational customer experience if it is to work well it is forcing different teams, different departments, different functions, whether sales, marketing, service ops etc to talk to each other.
- There are big tech developments on their way from Google and Apple that will have a huge impact on call deflection like when you click on a phone number on your phone and rather than calling you are also presented with an option to message instead.
- Given the rise of messaging, brands are going to have to think very cleverly about how they stand out and differentiate themselves in that channel.
- Josh’s advice about messaging:
- 1. The most important thing is to tell your customers that they can message you.
- 2. But, pilot and learn first. Gather data that allows you to see how many people use the channel versus how many people you show it to, how will you resource this, how does resolution, average handling time and CSAT scores stack up against other channels.
- Josh’s punk word: irreverent.
- Josh’s punk company: Tesco [You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out why].
Joshua March is the Founder and Board Director of Conversocial, a digital care platform for social messaging. Conversocial helps hundreds of major brands transform their customer service by investing into social messaging channels (including Facebook Messenger, Twitter, WeChat etc), enabling them to deliver a better customer experience with decreased service costs. Customers include Google, Hertz, Tesco, Barclaycard, Macy’s, and many more.
Joshua is also the author of Message Me, a book about the future of customer service in the era of social messaging and artificial intelligence, available on Amazon now; and previously founded leading social application company iPlatform, one of the world’s first Facebook Preferred Developers, which was acquired in 2012.
A renowned expert in social media and customer service, Joshua has been featured on Bloomberg, CNBC, Fox Business, and the BBC. Having started his career in London, Joshua now lives New York.
Thanks to Pixabay for the image.