There is now little that separates one company from another. Margins have decreased and competing products can be purchased from multiple vendors, diminishing the opportunity to build brand loyalty. It is estimated that by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. How are brands investing in their customers’ experience to differentiate their company from the competition?
Within a couple of years, 3.6 billion people will have a messaging app installed. Today’s consumers increasingly prefer social messaging apps to other forms of traditional and digital media. It’s fast; it’s fun, and it’s the future. If your customers are there, your customer service team needs to be there to greet them. This is the technology that will move brands closer to their vision for company and customer interactions.
According to Gartner, by 2019, requests for customer support through consumer mobile messaging apps will exceed requests for customer support through traditional social media. Messaging provides the on-demand, one-on-one interactions customers want, while improving the efficiency of customer service representatives. For consumers under 55 years old, mobile apps are one of the top three preferred methods to connect with customer service. Research by Aspect revealed that 38% of users would rather use mobile messaging apps to interact with brands than traditional voice calls. Customers love responsive brands that can handle their inquiries quickly with relevant information without having to switch channels.
How Best to Utilize Bots and Agents
The beauty of messaging apps is they are flexible and personal, providing customer service teams the ability to build a hybrid approach to servicing customers. By combining live agents with automated chatbots, contact centers are instantly more scalable without having to add human resources as the company grows.
Automating customer service workflows in an enterprise case management platform can reduce as much as 60% of an agent’s workload, freeing them up to focus on more strategic tasks and have more compassionate conversations with customers. Customer service representatives can be more responsive and efficient while driving faster resolutions.
A report from myclever Agency revealed, 46% of consumers believe chatbots are a quick solution and provide immediacy and convenience. Don’t let automation fool you. Chatbots still provide the instantaneous, one-on-one interactions customers want. Gartner predicts that by 2020, a customer will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. Why? Customers don’t care if they are chatting with a bot, a human or using self-service, as long as their needs are met and issues are quickly resolved.
Chatbots are ideal to answer common questions, such as: store locations, hours of operation, billing inquiries, product information, and much more. In fact, 33% of consumers use messaging apps to inquire about store hours, location or stock. However, research by Aspect disclosed that 75 percent of app users want the ability to talk to a live person when needed.
When questions exceed a chatbot’s capacity, such as discussing more complicated issues, the call can be automatically routed to a live agent who has all of the notes in front of them. Instead of the consumer having to retell their story, a top 10 customer complaint, the live agent can quickly pick up where the chatbot left off.
The Impact of Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger is a valuable option for organizations committed to differentiating themselves from the rest of the pack. It provides a modern, optimized customer service model that brings rich rewards for those who do it right.
Consumers will reward responsive brands with higher satisfaction scores and greater loyalty.
Customer service teams gain efficiencies by automating tasks, such as issue identification across channels, tagging conversations, performing triage to quickly route or escalate priority cases.
Organizations can handle customer service inquiries at scale and more efficiently by using the best of agents and bots.
If you’re not integrating messaging into your customer service strategy, you are missing the future of customer communication and are putting your organization at greater risk for customer defection. Investing in the future of customer service requires Messenger.
Business need to be ready to engage with customers on Messenger because consumers are changing their behavior, dictating for brands to follow them in their favorite messaging channel. Customer service organizations need to implement the tools to enable them to be where their customers are and respond quickly.
Customer service organizations must be able to handle the large volume of incoming messages that will increasingly come across mobile and social platforms. Embracing new technologies, strategies, and smart automation is the only way to stay relevant and responsive. Transformation must happen now because the risk of inaction is too great.
Every business will have problems and make mistakes; it’s how the company solves these customer issues that determines customer satisfaction and how many brand advocates are gained. Gartner believes the customer experience “is the new battlefield” and 89 percent of businesses will soon compete mainly on customer experience. Will your customer experience stand out and win customer loyalty?
Jason Kapler is Vice President of Marketing for LiveWorld