Keeping customers happy is still the number one goal for most businesses, no matter what the product or service, or indeed, sector.

Retention is more important than ever before, but despite this, many organisations provide clunky and inadequate customer service. Whilst email and telephone are still the most commonly used customer service tools, we are now starting to see the inclusion of live web chats and support through more personal messaging channels.

The predictions for the next two to five years are stating that messaging apps will become mainstream platforms for customer service and interaction. It’s likely that these will be a mix of genuine human interaction with customer service advisors, but increasingly through the use of chatbots.

Messenger apps are the perfect solution to increase customer satisfaction, loyalty and if managed correctly, increase sales and decrease resources. Many businesses now build a highly engaging strategy around their top 10 FAQ’s and deploy these via intelligent chatbot strategies.

Chatbots remain high on the prediction list of marketing trends for 2019 along with things we’ve already talked about this year such as live video and local influencers.

So why would you start to invest in a customer service strategy that utilises messenger apps?

Since the advent of social media organisations have been faced with various customer service challenges: how do we offer fast, high-quality service and keep our customer base happy and loyal?

It’s of course in the organisation’s best interest to use the most streamlined processes possible, using fewer employees, budgets and time.

With over 1.5 billion users globally, apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are now the global leaders in direct messaging.

Within the past 2 years, WhatsApp has grown its user base by 20% and now almost reaches 70% of the British population. This incredible rise is especially impressive when looking at the slight decrease of YouTube and the very minimal increase of Facebook users.

Indeed, our own experience at Crowd Media offering insights and service through messenger apps has shown us that most of our own client base prefer to use WhatsApp to engage with us.

We’ve had great success with setting up private client group chats through WhatsApp that allows our clients and their teams to access us on the go, in real time, and receive support on their terms.

This has not replaced email or face to face meetings, but it does mean our clients know they can reach us via the messaging platforms they prefer to use. Being allowed to communicate with a customer contact through these more intimate and personal channels, tells us we have secured a level of trust that is meaningful to both parties. Ultimately, it’s about choice and ease, and we’ve been using this as one part of a successful comms strategy to enhance our key client relationships for several years now.

It makes sense that your customers are going to migrate business conversations through these familiar apps and tools, you just need to ensure that as a business you are ready to meet them there.

What do you think? What has been your own personal experience of customer service through live chat, or messenger? And what about regulated industries like financial services? How can they look at how to harness the power of artificial intelligence and chatbots to build closer relationships whilst remaining compliant?

We’ll be looking at some of these questions in our next few posts, so feel free to message us with your comments or questions, especially if you are working in finance services!

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