In today’s opinion piece, Adam Clark, regional vice president of sales at Zendesk Australia and New Zealand, talks about how brands can use messaging to get closer to the consumer.
Facebook launched the business use of its Messenger platform last year, opening new opportunities for Australian businesses to interact with their customers at home and around the world. Consumers can communicate and engage with businesses within the messaging app they already use every day, on their own terms.
Now with more 800 million active monthly users[i], the growth and popularity of Facebook Messenger has signalled a calling point for organisations to consider messaging as much more than simply an ‘add-on’ or ‘nice to have’ form of communication.
As always, what underpins this trend is the customer journey and customer experience; making things easier for customers so they will reward your organisation with brand loyalty.
In core customer service we think a lot about how to reduce customer effort; understanding who your customers are and thinking about their journey.
Customers are now attuned to using instant messaging in their personal lives, but also through Live Chat on websites. Facebook Messenger for Business offers a combination of these communication tools for organisations to make their customers’ journey easier and better.
Messaging has completely changed the way that brands interact with their customer base. As people become increasingly demanding of businesses to deliver customer service in a way that is both personalised and convenient, we are moving towards a model of ‘conversational commerce.’
By moving help and assistance to messaging, organisations are putting customers’ conversations alongside messages with their friends and family; people they have genuine connections with on Facebook.
This starts to establish a long running one-to-one connection between organisation and customer. It moves from a traditional transactional discussion between brand and consumer, to a more personal relationship. The customer always has a way to speak to the brand, and the brand has a personal voice. This is an incredibly powerful tool.
Convenience and speed
Customers increasingly expect their questions and queries solved quickly so value the ease messaging platforms bring. Unlike email or phone interactions, business messaging is almost instant. This demand for swift, on-the-spot engagement will only continue to grow.
Unlike more traditional forms of customer communication such as phone or email systems, messaging provides organisations with the ability to widen the reach they have not just in accessing their customers, but having customers access them.
Organisations can deliver automated customer support, e-commerce guidance, content and interactive experiences through message platforms, all across different devices.
Since messaging interactions tend to occur in short bursts, businesses need to be able to move quickly from one conversation to the next, all the while keeping it easy to assign, own and progress conversations.
This means that any customer issues will be solved as soon as possible, resulting not only in a satisfied customer, but freeing up valuable time for customer service teams to assist others.
The future of customer relationships
Messaging will be critical to building the next wave of businesses. What is going to differentiate organisations in the coming decade is not their ability to scale or do logistics; many companies have already nailed that. The most important thing you need to do is establish a brand personality.
Messaging is a fantastic, scalable way to build one-on-one relationships with customers, and the flexibility it offers will have a significant impact on customer interactions and how businesses stay competitive.
Adam Clark is regional vice president of sales for Australia and New Zealand at Zendesk, the designers of Relate Live, a conference to help improve customer engagement. Relate Live will be held in Sydney from 14-15 July 2016.