Messaging apps are endemic. Approximately 5 billion users use WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger or Telegram on a daily basis. More than 100 billion WhatsApp messages are sent each day in 2020. But they come with risks. The information communicated on these apps sit outside of corporate walls. Not visible to business-critical applications like CRM systems, analytics tools or governance processes.
Some industries, particularly the banking industry, ban the use of these messaging applications. Simply put, having conversations that sit outside of corporate walls and that are invisible to business-critical applications is not an acceptable risk for a lot of industries.
This is not a necessary step. There are ways to embrace consumer messaging to communicate with customers without losing visibility or regulatory oversight. To be successful companies need a clear strategy for rolling out B2C messaging.
There are five key questions to ask when defining a strategy for and deploying a B2C messaging platform.
How will messaging apps connect with business-critical apps?
To prevent the conversations from being invisible companies need to be clear about what business-critical applications need to interconnect with messaging apps. What information do you need to track and where does it need to go? They need to consider what business critical applications they have internally that contain customer information. Do they have APIs to get client information from internal systems? To truly activate the information contained in these conversations, interconnection is key.
What Business processes are impacted and what new ones are needed?
Companies need to review their business processes. What are their current business processes around client data? For example, can an employee add a client manually to a system, adding or amending their contact information directly? Perhaps bypassing any Know Your Customer systems or processes? Is that data accessible by multiple employees and departments?
There are regulatory differences across different geographies. So if the business operates in more than one jurisdiction, what considerations are there for data locality (data residency)? Where does your company store client communications and what impact does that have on your regulatory and governance requirements? What requirements do you have for customer disclaimers and notifications that need to be sent for conversations on messaging apps? Do they change depending on a location or department?
It is also important to review employee offboarding. What is the process when an employee leaves either the company or a team? How would you manage their created group chats or customer conversations?
What are the Roles and responsibilities?
To ensure further structural security, businesses need to review the roles of employees in customer communications. Are there specific roles for employees when conversing on messaging apps? Can all employees reach out to customers or only specific individuals, perhaps by rank, title or department? What happens when those individuals are unavailable – maybe on vacation or out sick or leave the company?
One important area to consider is any requirements around limiting conversations – for example if there are multiple customers present but only one employee, then no conversations can take place or that an employee of certain seniority must be present for a conversation to take place. This could be particularly important for some industries like Law firms.
Admins also need to be clear on who has visibility of the communication history between employees and clients? Do managers see all communications made by their team or a project lead or specific data governance teams?
What kinds of Permissions are needed?
Managing the kinds and levels of information that can be shared is also vital. What is the company’s information confidentiality policy? What different types of documents or different levels of information like “restricted” or “internal only” can be shared? Are permissions on who can send what kind of information or messages needed? Are there regulatory requirements?
Also, important to consider is what actions a particular employee can take. For example, can all employees invite external parties to a group chat or create a group conversation? Can multiple messengers’ applications communicate in the same conversation?
Perhaps the device is important – will mobile conversations have the same level of permissions as ones conducted on desktops? For example, an employee can share a document on a desktop-based conversation but not in a mobile conversation.
Who can have conversations with who on messaging apps?
Finally, businesses need to decide what forms of conversations they will support and who can have them. Considerations include whether group chats between single or multiple customers and employees are enabled? Or between employees from different departments? Are multiple external parties like suppliers or partners allowed in chats with customers? Are multiple geographies involved requiring different processes or different regulatory requirements?
Answering these questions before implementing a B2C messaging system ensures that your company can roll out a solution that works as an integrated part of your business and not as a stand-alone channel.
Enabling client communications that are visible to companies is a cornerstone of LeapXpert’s Federated Messaging Orchestration Platform. LeapXpert is helping organizations around the world communicate securely over consumer messaging applications.
Talk to one of our team about how we can help you with your B2C messaging and customer communication system roll-out.
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