There are many ways to provide customer service, including email, telephone and live chat. Though each of these channels offers unique benefits, the most recent trend is messaging apps. Also called chat apps, these networking tools have become widely popular thanks to their quick, convenient capabilities. Some have developed into independent platforms, such as Facebook Messenger that was separated from Facebook’s main app in 2014.
Studies have proven for years that people spend more time messaging than social networking. Back in 2015, the world’s top four messaging apps (WhatsApp, Messenger, WeChat and Viber) surpassed the top four social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+) in terms of active users.
Knowing how important messaging apps are, more businesses are using them to provide better experiences for their customers. As you look to supplement customer service on social media, here are the top three benefits to expect with messaging apps.
1. Messaging apps provide one seamless channel.
Customer inquiries can be addressed on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, but the options are limited. For example, you must keep your answers fairly short, especially on Twitter where characters are limited. Plus, people aren’t likely to share specific information that can help you serve them, such as order numbers and credit card information.
Messaging apps, on the other hand, provide seamless communications on one easy channel. Customers can send photos, share account information and more. You can also fix situations through a messaging app, such as by sending a return label. This eliminates the need to communicate over several channels.
2. Conversations are private on chat apps.
Another problem with social media is that the conversation is visible for everyone to see. While there are times when this works to your advantage, this is rarely the case when handling customer service needs. Customers expect privacy when sharing personal information.
Make sure that the chat app you use sends information securely and privately. Many messaging apps offer end-to-end encryption and data protection so you can help customers with no worries. Plus, if a customer is unsatisfied, this gives you the chance to fix the situation before it becomes public.
3. Handle customer inquiries quickly and efficiently.
Customers on social media expect speedy responses. If you can answer their question and clear up confusion right away, a person is more likely to follow through with the action. This is hard to do on social media, however, as it takes time to sort through posts and comment on each one. Messaging apps makes this is a lot easier.
Apps like Messenger are built for speedy communication. They alert you when you’ve received a message, and all comments from a single customer are contained in one message. This makes it easy to follow the conversation and keep an eye on your progress.
To save time, you can use chatbots to offer the first layer of support, which might include automated responses to general questions. Employees won’t have to keep typing the same answers, and instead, they can use their time and energy to handle more detailed requests.
Messaging apps are powerful communication tools that can streamline communications, improve customer relationships and protect your brand image. To check out some of the hottest messaging apps for business, check out this article on PCMag. For more information on adding a chat app to your customer service tools, connect with WSI Internet Partners today.