Your FAQs Answered: What You Need to Know about Conversational Messaging

We live in an omnichannel world, and customers expect the convenience and ease of conversational messaging to be part of their experience. We’ve been working with clients that understand how important messaging is to their customers and are incorporating the technology into their services. Ready to embark on your own conversational messaging journey? Here’s everything companies need to know to make conversational messaging an integral part of their customer experience.

1. How is messaging different than live chat?

Chat is a dedicated interaction session where users must wait with the window open for the agent to respond, and if anyone closes the window, the session is canceled along with the interaction history (meaning users would have to start from square one again).

Messaging, on the other hand, allows for asynchronous, personal, and immediate communication between a customer and associate via a mobile phone SMS platform like Apple’s Messages app, Facebook Messenger, or WhatsApp. This allows for an always-on connection to a brand, where previous conversations are saved and current conversations can happen as easily as a text message to a friend.

2. What are the customer behaviours/expectations that make messaging compelling?

Messaging is fast, personal, and easy to use. And it’s not a surprise that adoption rates have been skyrocketing: In 2019, 2.5 billion mobile phone users worldwide communicated through messaging apps. This figure is projected to grow to three billion users in 2022, according to eMarketer.

Companies who added messaging to their channel mix have seen:
20% higher CSAT than voice
95% channel retention
50% decrease in associate attrition

Through messaging, customers can have a conversation with company associates, get personalised customer support, read reviews, and click to purchase all from within messaging apps. Throughout the experience, the consumer engages with a human representative, chatbot, or a mix of both. Simply put, messaging exists and thrives throughout the entire customer journey–from discovery to sale to service to re-purchase and loyalty-building.

3. What efficiencies should brands expect when redirecting volume to messaging?

Companies recognise that by improving response rates for support issues and operational efficiencies for customer service workflows, the buyer’s journey will irrevocably improve. It is a real-time, enterprise conversational platform that can understand consumer intent, route consumers to the right agent (bot or human), manage agent workload, queue consumers, understand conversational sentiment and uncover trending topics. It is quickly adopted by consumers, with client results showing 50%+ coming back after the initial conversation.

For instance, Humanify Messaging delivers quick time to value. One of the easiest and fastest ways to get business results from the application is by shifting Interactive Voice Response (IVR) calls to messaging. Companies who have added messaging to their channel mix have seen a 20% higher CSAT than voice; 95% channel retention, and a 50% decrease in associate attrition.

4. What are the potential messaging missteps that we should be aware of?

Messaging is no doubt a powerful tool to interact with your consumers. However, there are a couple of things you want to keep in mind as you begin your journey. First, from an operational side messaging is much different than voice—which means your team of messaging agents must understand the differences before engaging with your customers especially if they are coming from a voice environment.

Many brands implement automation(bots) before they ever understand their customers’ intent. Having an automation strategy or understanding your customer’s intent before introducing automation will have a significant effect on the overall customer experience.

5. How long does it take to introduce messaging into your multi/omni channel ecosystem?

There’s really no finite timeframe for introducing messaging. It all depends on your strategy and what solutions you’re looking to implement. Some solutions can be spun up fairly quickly while others that require some back-end integrations will take slightly longer. It’s important to understand that getting messaging into the hands of your consumers is one thing but doing it right from the start will have a positive impact on your customer’s journey with you.

Like any channel or service, the key to messaging success is understanding and meeting your customers’ needs. The company that leads with customer experience strategy and design before technology will reap the rewards in today’s digital-first landscape.