Messaging has changed the way we communicate in our day-to-day lives. It also plays a critical role in the way organizations are building their customer service strategies to meet demand and, more importantly, be available when and where they are expected to.
Messaging strategy and channels have now evolved and introduced apps and features for businesses. WhatsApp launched WhatsApp Business Solution as an API integration for customer care. Facebook Messenger has a customer care channel and its Messenger Customer Chat plugin. Then there is Apple Business Chat, built-in to the ecosystem for iOS devices within the Messages app. Plus In-app messaging, which encompasses many of these features with the application of a brand.
There are a lot more features to these channels covered in our infographic and this article.
What challenges are telcos encountering?
For telecom operators, the evolution of the contact center to meet demand is crucial. As the advent of digital transformation is ever-present, these operators are focusing on bringing communications to the next level of digital innovation both internally and for customer service. Customers are using multiple touchpoints to communicate with organizations, and 72% of them expect to use their favorite channel to engage with brands.
The goal is to make the customer journey shorter, better, and painless for clients. But in terms of digital channels, companies need to scale up so they can offer better customer care on the channels of choice.
Not to forget that younger generations are increasingly averse to using email and phone calls now that they have grown up with the evolution of messaging by their side and in their hands. Plus, to contact a telecom over digital channels is an essential criterion for customers.
Why messaging should be considered?
Asynchronous app-based communications are trending, and platforms are creating business versions of popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp Business Solution, Facebook Messenger for Business, and Apple Business Chat.
Companies wishing to improve the customer experience can do so by utilizing these channels in a portfolio. Among those, both Facebook and WhatsApp compete for the top spot in terms of personal communication channels, giving you an extensive reach of users. Then there is Apple Business Chat, which is available to anyone with an iOS device, of which there are 1.4 billion. If your company has an application, then a must-have is in-app messaging, which can be integrated within and gives customers even more reason to keep your app installed.
Each of these channels can enhance the customer experience, primarily since they are used by a large number of customers worldwide. Through these channels, telecoms can offer maximum engagement and opportunities for conversion.
Which channels are customers using, and how?
Facebook Messenger has paved the way for customers to contact telecom companies directly. There are around 20 billion messages sent on the platform between people and businesses every month, plus 300,000 active Messenger bots on the platform; it certainly has a considerable reach.
The platform can be utilized to offer communications on the go to users who are already engaged via the Facebook page. Before, customers used to ask questions in public mode on Facebook, which was not convenient to share personal details. Now they can use Messenger for 1-to-1 conversation
Apple Business Chat
There are a variety of entry points for Apple Business Chat that can benefit customers to connect with Telcos. One useful feature is the built-in list picker, which can allow customers to schedule appointments or choose an option within the Apple Business Chat.
Apple built native features making the customer experience better on this channel, such as choosing options (color and size of the mobile device) or complete secured payments via Apple Pay.
WhatsApp Business Solution
WhatsApp has 1.6 billion users worldwide, sending 65 billion messages daily via the app. WhatsApp allows users to send a variety of media: text, photos, videos, documents, location, and voice messages, which can be innovative for a telecom operator to use with consumers.
The app ensures confidentiality: all messages are secured with encrypted end-to-end, meaning that no third party can access it. This is useful for resolving issues with customer accounts and data usage.
A significant benefit for in-app is access to customers’ profiles: as they are logged in on the app, agents can directly access their details (customer ID, services subscribed) without asking them.
Unlike external messaging apps, the interface can be customized by the brand (visual identity, identification with customer account), and users do not have to leave an operator’s app if they are checking data usage or their sim plan. Plus, by integrating messaging within your app, you have complete control over the customer data and can securely answer account-related questions.
Managing multiple channels can be done much easier by using a digital interaction platform that can accommodate the growth of channels, large volumes of messages, and maintaining them easier within your team with less friction. After all, you want to develop the digital customer experience strategy to deliver the best in class and highly personalized.
This could also hold a notable influence on customer satisfaction. Such as expanding your potential customer reach, developing deliverability, handling support expenses, boosting conversions, intensifying security, and delivering additional valuable company KPIs.
Beneficial for companies who want to upskill employees with digital tools. It can help to enable them from a traditional, single-channel focus on a multi-channel approach and improve resolution times and increase engagement. This, in turn, helps improve the customer experience, which is now the main differentiator for choosing a provider over price.
Originally published Dec 20, 2019, updated Apr 18, 2021