It’s a platitude to say that communication is the soul of business. But the reality is that without ways to communicate, businesses would be lost. The days of phone and fax as the sole way to communicate are long gone and while email isn’t going anywhere soon, for conversational messages, consumer messaging applications have stormed onto the scene and taken over.
This has been happening for a while. Messaging applications overtook social platforms in terms of active uses in 2015. But for business use? The use of messaging applications in our business day-to-day world is increasing.
Messaging applications are a simple way to communicate with customers. Customers and employees both are comfortable with them and chances are they are already using them in their personal lives.
But what are the pros and cons when employees embrace these applications? What impacts are there to businesses?
Messaging applications offer a platform for more conversational style interactions. Rather than the stilted back and forth that email offers, messaging applications deliver an actual conversation that takes place in “real-time”.
AI and bots have their time and place but sometimes a customer needs to speak to a person. More holistic based conversations (what would this look like if) rather than the transactional nature of a bot (question – rote answer) require a more human engagement. Consumer messaging offers this ability.
Anywhere, anytime messaging
Employees and clients can converse anywhere and anytime. While this is true of email (assuming your work email is on your phone), the ability to have a business conversation in real-time – perhaps with your insurance agent, while standing on the side of the road with a crashed car – means that customers can receive the help and service they need when they want it, from a person.
Easy and accessible
First it is easy to quickly send a short message on a messaging app. The information is there – the phone number pre-filled; your previous conversations are there. You don’t need to search for an email or input the address. Second, customers and employees are likely to use it. The barrier to entry is low as the app is probably on their phone already. This is a pro and a con. The downside however is the ease at which both customers and employees can implement these tools outside of corporate walls.
Consent, GDPR, Terms and Conditions
Because messaging applications are so ubiquitous in our lives, it is easy to forget that it is a business conversation. It is important to ensure that customers understand their rights, any terms and conditions and sign up to these. From the first conversation.
Connecting to business-critical applications
Businesses also need to make sure messaging applications integrate to their business-critical applications. For example, linked to CRM systems to track customer engagement. Or compliance tools to ensure that conversations on messaging applications are following compliance and governance guidelines. For some businesses, the issue is ensuring that messaging applications are linked into time tracking systems so employees can bill for the time they spend with customers on these conversations – businesses shouldn’t have to lose revenue in unbilled conversations.
Employers need to be able to manage customer expectations in the always-on world. Clients looking for a response need to know if an employee leaves – either the company or the role – or perhaps is simply on vacation. They receive this on email, they expect it on all communications. Some industries have regulations on how many employees there can be in a chat room before a customer can be included and what kinds of employees (seniority, geographic location, department). This is hard to manage on standard messaging applications.
It is easy to make mistakes, especially when your business conversation is sitting next to your personal conversation. We have all sent a message to the wrong person – that cat video was meant for your sister not for your client. The ease and speed at which we can send on messaging apps is not always a positive.
Finding the Solution
LeapXpert empowers businesses to resolve these challenges.
With LeapXpert’s Federated Messaging Orchestration Platform, customers are asked for consent before the first conversation is initiated. Companies have a clear record that can be logged of the customers’ consent. Because LeapXpert is interoperable, businesses can record, monitor and integrate conversations on messaging applications into their compliance, billing, CRM and other business-critical applications. Companies will have a full record of their customer interactions to use not only for compliance purposes but for AI driven analytics.
LeapXpert’s FMOP has many flexible features to manage regulatory and governance requirements as well as day-to-day management. For example, companies can control which employees can participate in group or other chats. FMOP has many features that enable companies to comply with regulatory and governance requirements such as the ability to control which employees are authorized to participate in group or other chats. Additionally admin settings give managers and system admins options to reflect employee absences, departures or changes and ensure customers do not see a change in service or communication levels.
Businesses can set enforceable rules around the types of documents sent over messengers – for example, rules stating images or videos are shareable only by a designated team, or a specific classification of document only by a certain level of employee. This gives businesses more control over the types of content shared over messages.
Consumer Messengers are easy ways to have person-to-person conversations between employees and clients, companies just need to think about how they fit into the broader picture of doing business.
Talk to one of our team about how LeapXpert can help you embrace consumer messaging in your business.
Want to know more about using messengers in the workplace, read our blog on employee privacy and the problem of personal devices at work.