Messaging: The Next Generation of Customer Support


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In the last decade, brands have begun adopting digital channels beyond email to better interact and communicate with their customers. As social media and messaging apps have matured into platforms that are used by consumers to communicate with each other on a daily basis, a challenge for large organizations has been keeping up with digital innovations at scale and in a way that is smart and engaging. With over 80 billion messages sent each day, messaging is the preferred means of communication between individuals, so it’s a natural progression for brands providing customer support. Let’s discuss how and why brands are getting smart with their digital messaging efforts to provide better customer service and engagement.

Leverage artificial intelligence for improved customer experiences

Bots and AI have recently taken much of the spotlight in the world of digital customer service, but their usefulness is dependent on their implementation, accessibility, and helpfulness. Customer-centric brands that have begun utilizing bots and AI for customer support have found the most success when there is a smooth hand-off from bot to agent back to bot; a recent example of this is Western Union’s new Messenger bot. The key to the leveraging a bot for digital customer service is dependent on exploring what your customers need, how they want to interact, what tasks are most important for them to complete seamlessly. Since, according to Forrester Research, 55% of people say they are very likely to abandon their online purchase if they cannot find a quick answer to their question, it is important that your front-line are prepared and optimized to assist customers.

Increase CSAT by showing customers their time is valued

Another advantage of digital messaging is the real-time aspect of providing customer service. Brands with a digital messaging program can assist customers with purchases in real-time, as well as quickly resolve any customer complaints or questions. Forrester Research shows that 77% of people say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service. By implementing a digital care strategy with an effortless customer experience in mind, you are showing your customers that you care.

Give customers a record of and control of the conversation

When on a customer support phone call, customers are often reminded that the call is being recorded for quality assurance and training purposes. However, this does not provide them with access to the conversation. In online chats that are session-based, customer-facing records are often erased at the end of a session. When providing customer support over digital messaging channels, consumers and brands both have a record of the conversation. Furthermore, due to the asynchronous nature of messaging, customers are able to control the pace of the conversation, instead of being held hostage to a call or chat session.

Provide smarter service by focusing on messaging metrics that matter

Long gone are the days where customer support teams focus on marketing metrics such as ‘followers’ and ‘reach’ on social and messaging applications. With a smart digital servicing approach, brands can focus on what matters the most – the customer experience. As companies move from a traditional contact center to a smarter digital approach to customer care, the areas of focus become reducing agent handling time, integrating with existing platforms like CRMs, and gathering data needed to prepare for the future and continually scale.

While the leap to digital customer service can seem daunting at first, the results speak for themselves. Your customers are already mobile and social – it is time to leverage that. McKinsey & Co reports that by transitioning from traditional contact center channels to digital messaging for customer service, brands can increase customer satisfaction and reduce the cost of servicing customers by 30% without additional spend. Additionally, companies that use messaging achieve 2.9x greater annual increase in Net Promoter Score and 25% greater annual growth in revenue than those who do not, a recent report by Aberdeen found. The results of providing smart, real-time digital communication and messaging for support are more engaged and satisfied customers decreased costs of servicing, and increased customer lifetime value.

Image: Sparkcentral

Krysta Gahagen
Krysta is a Product Marketer at Sparkcentral, the leading digital care platform for issue resolution. Krysta currently works with customer-centric brands to develop and strengthen successful social and mobile service strategies based on industry trends and proven results.


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