Messaging apps are on the rise with no signs of slowing down. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Skype and Twitter are the main culprits.
The numbers are clear about this: according to Facebook, WhatsApp users send roughly 65 billion messages daily. WhatsApp, Facebook and Facebook messenger are the three most downloaded apps of all the time. Mobile devices are the preferred medium for texting: 95% of Facebook visits are made on smartphones and tablets.  
It’s no wonder or novelty that this has shaped customer experience in different ways; it keeps shaping. In the customer support and contact center industry, the proportion of inbound messages from texting apps keeps growing, but addressing this issue is an on-going task.
At the end of the day, understanding the communication habits and preferences of the audience must be a priority.
But how does this affect customer experience?
Proximity and Engagement equals…. satisfaction 😊
A guy takes a phone from his pocket, dials a customer service number, listens to dull music for five minutes and talks with an agent for 10.
Boring, right? The worst part is that he hangs up and the mobile phone tells him he just spent 50 cents. Even if the issue got solved, this guy feels like he lost 15 minutes and 50 cents. He will avoid contacting the company in the future.
If the interaction was on Facebook Messenger, the same issue could be solved with some messages. This guy could send and reply during his free time, with no need to reserve a 15-minute slot for a call. On a little, narrow window, the agent quickly resolves customer concerns, driving up satisfaction and loyalty. This would be a pleasant, professional, helpful interaction. This guy feels positive and recommends this company to his friends.
From the user’s viewpoint, contacting through text messages is both free and convenient. Let’s face it, we’re online all day and it’s good to know that customer service is a click away.
On the Customer Experience side, this is an opportunity to grow a closer relationship with the audience. It’s about being present where the audience is, understanding its preferences, being available and approachable.
Bots are cool 😎
A great thing about apps is the possibility to automate customer care through chatbots.
Creating and teaching a bot for messaging apps is getting easier, it’s not expensive and the outcomes are great. They are so popular nowadays that when someone chats with a company on a chat window they expect an immediate bot answer. Thanks to artificial intelligence, they can learn about user behavior and easily adapt their messages. If the chatbot can’t handle an issue there are two main options:
- The bot sends the user a link for a FAQ, or asks the user to contact the company in another way (by email, for instance)
- An agent pops in the conversation (ideal). This is possible only if the company has a Contact Center software with bot integration.
Chatbots can answer a bunch of user questions whenever immediately, and that is a massive plus for any customer. That is also time-saving for the customer support agents.
Lead Generation 📈
Facebook offers great remarketing tools that can be displayed on apps (like Facebook messenger, push notifications and etc). But we must look beyond paid marketing campaigns.
When customer service works based on phone lines, website forms and emails, customers and users will reach out only if they really need it. Making a call takes a lot of work, forms and emails usually take a long time to be answered. That’s not compliant with the ease and rapidity of today’s communications.
On the other hand, when a company is present on social networks and apps, users feel free to interact even if they don’t have pending issues. For instance, asking for prices, discount codes, fares, delivery or just show appreciation.
If users are heard by a brand, they fell appreciated and grow a deep connection with it. They will turn into loyal, returning users.