In a world where consumers don’t answer the phone because it may be a cold call and where email communication is increasingly crowded, brands are turning to conversational solutions like consumer messaging applications to engage with customers. The need to have a channel for real conversations – interactive, real-time engagement with customers – is driving this. Essentially consumer messengers are growing into the space previously occupied by email and calls but combining the engagement of both. Consumer messengers deliver real-time conversations with the ability to instantly share documents and other kinds of files.
Conversational vs one-way
Customers are looking for this form of omnichannel, conversational interaction – more human and less scripted, more digital-first. The 2018 Nielsen Facebook Messaging Survey indicated 64% of consumers would prefer to message a business rather than call them. Additionally 60% are open to receiving messages from companies over their personal messengers.
All sectors are impacted. For example in the banking sector, traditional methods of communications are becoming ineffectual for reaching out to consumer clients. Simply there is too much noise in these channels. By communicating over messaging applications a bank can cut through this noise via a channel that customers are already familiar and engaged with. The bank can unlock new value in greater efficiency and improved customer lifetime value. A McKinsey survey of US retail banking customers found that of the banks surveyed, the ones with the highest degree of customer satisfaction saw deposits grow 84% faster than the banks that were at the bottom of the satisfaction survey.
Clearly for businesses there are many benefits.
Value creation across portfolios and product groups
Conversations are more likely to lead to holistic engagement. Discussions about “whats”, “whys” and “ifs” are more likely to resolve into a sale than in a more Q&A, one-way interaction in for example in a bot. A live human engagement has the ability to offer up suggestions or solutions.
Embracing conversational solutions like messaging apps leads to closer relationships between an advisor and a client. If an employee repeatedly offers value through a channel that a customer trusts, is comfortable with, a valued relationship evolves. This leads to a greater opportunity for engagement and potentially revenue.
Most customers want to be talked to like they are special and human. Customers are more likely to stay with a business that engages with them in a way that is interactive, personal and engaging. Conversational solutions offer a low barrier of entry for customers, so deliver an easier mechanism for customers to engage. They are therefore less likely to churn to a competitor or simply stop interacting. A customer is four times more likely to stop using a business over poor communications than they are over poor performance.
Conversational solutions help businesses to grow the customer comfort and confidence. Digital doesn’t mean that you have to dilute empathy and the human touch. A company that embraces messaging applications can deliver a high-touch, human and efficient way of engaging with customers.
Interoperability – keep an eye on data
Currently though, many of these conversations lack the visibility of email. Conversations on messaging applications are invisible to business-critical corporate tools like CRM, regulatory and analytics tools. Sales and marketing systems can’t measure the effectiveness of a conversation on consumer messaging applications because they can’t “see” them.
This poses an issue for businesses who want to embrace these convenient tools. Creating a separate channel of communication, however efficient that sits outside of the rest of the application stack potentially creates more issues than it resolves. Not integrating with CRM applications, auditing, billing or governance tools means that a wealth of insight, interactions and information cannot be considered, audited or recalled if needed.
Companies need to be able to bring consumer messaging tools into the corporate application stake and integrate if these conversations are to ultimately useful. Indeed in many industries and jurisdictions if they are to be legal for customer and client interactions.
Finding the solution
With LeapXpert’s Federated Messaging Orchestration Platform (FMOP), companies can integrate these conversational channels with their business-critical applications. They maintain the ease-of-use, conversational style and low barriers of deployment for customers. At the same time they can deliver the high-human touch that their customers want, while ensuring that they meet their regulatory requirements. All while interconnecting the conversations to the customer engagement tools that the company uses. By connecting these conversations to business-driven analytics tools, businesses can use the information gathered in them to make better customers, business and strategic decisions.
To find out how your business can deliver conversational solutions for your customers, talk to one of our team today.
Interested in this, read our blog on 7 ways messenger platforms help strengthen client relations.