There was a time when customers would not touch a product with a ten-foot pole unless they could assess it in person. Availing online services and purchasing products from a digital store was viewed with staunch scepticism. But how tables have turned!
Over the past two decades, the virtual walls of communication have been pulled down, ushering in a new era of communication that offers brands and customers more channels to connect.
From getting their groceries and food delivered within minutes, to streaming newly released movies on their favourite OTT apps on mobile from the comfort of their home, people have evolved with the changing times, and so has the way they choose to communicate with the businesses.
Today, customers expect businesses to know their profile, preferences, and requirements even before their initiate contact with them. It is also expected off these businesses to be accessible on the messaging channels that the customers already use to interact with their family and friends.
What is Business messaging?
Business messaging is the way businesses communicate with their customers across various messaging channels. Unlike advertisements or announcements, business messaging involves two-way conversations, where customers and businesses can interact with each other.
We have well over 5 billion internet users worldwide, that is 63% of the global population. Over 93% of these users are using social media channels to engage with each other and their favourite brands, especially when they are making purchase decisions. In fact, customers are looking for more direct and consistent experiences, that advanced tools like web widgets with smart conversational capability can drastically improve.
Customers want to be able to choose how they can communicate with businesses. Back in 2006, forward-thinking businesses had anticipated this change and were keeping a keen eye on their customers’ adoption to two newly launched social media platforms that year – Facebook and Twitter.
Even back then, cracks had already started forming in the traditional form of business messaging and engaging with customers. Back then, most businesses were messaging at their customers, instead of engaging with them in a dialogue. Personalised business messaging became a key part of driving customer experience only at the turn of the previous decade.
Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Google’s Business Messaging, Webchat, SMS, Emails, are some of the most popular business messaging channels.
Gone are the days when businesses had to engage with their customers on individual channels. Today, businesses are putting their weight behind omnichannel communication platforms like CINNOX, to build rich and personalised engagement experiences for their customers.
Benefits of Business Messaging
Businesses are not only using business messaging channels to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction, but also to improve their internal communication channels to match their organisation and team’s style.
Businesses are leaving no stones unturned to be present on the channels frequented by their customers, be it social media, apps, in-store, mobile, or website. Heeding to the transformational needs of the time we live in, some businesses have gone beyond using these messaging platforms only for interactions with their customers. They have created experiences that enable their customers to transact, raise enquiries, automate FAQs with conversational AI, and more.
Here are some advantages of business messaging platforms:
Unlike earlier times, customers do not have to wait for office hours to resume to share their enquiries. Today, customers can reach out to most businesses out there, anytime of the day, throughout the year, using their preferred medium of communication.
Business messaging has empowered customers to interact with businesses at their own pace, and it has enabled businesses to create an always-on experience by bridging online and offline channels, wherein the customers can interact across various touchpoints by accessing enquiry chat link via SMS, or enquiry chat QR code that redirects to dedicated support staff.
Unlike phone calls or text messages, business messaging services support the exchange of rich content like audio, video, images, and other forms of documents.
The real-time, interactive and intuitive nature of business messaging helps to improve customer’s experience with your business
It is easy to streamline the business messaging channels using omnichannel communication solutions like CINNOX. By unifying all your digital and telecom channels seamlessly, your service teams can recognize customers who move between channels and deliver personalised customer experience that exceeds expectations.
Being available on the channels where your customers are present, goes a long way in discovering new customers, uncovering new revenue streams, and scaling your business beyond boundaries.
Types of Business Messaging Channels
Even with businesses exploring new avenues for communication, phone calls are here to stay. It is still one of the best mediums to offer a humanising connection to the customers. A study shows that over 76% of customers prefer phone calls to reach customer support representatives.
Businesses even have the flexibility to create an engagement binding between a customer and a staff member who called them earlier using a virtual number, in CINNOX. The next time the customer calls using the same number, they will be directly routed to the same staff member again.
SMS or Text Messaging
There is no arguing the fact that SMS or text messaging makes customer support efforts more efficient for businesses. Businesses can share key updates and alerts, send reminders, and share order details with their customers effortlessly via SMS.
Within CINNOX, businesses can add quick links to weblinks and phone numbers of their staff members to build customer loyalty and boost conversions.
Live Web Chat
Customers wish to have fast and convenient means of engagement with businesses, and that’s where Live web chat comes in. It is the best messaging medium to deliver on-the-go customer support. Having a live chat widget on your website can go a long way in establishing transactional confidence for your customers.
Businesses need to realise that Live web chat is not just a support channel, but also an opportunity for them to grow their revenue. Over 80% of businesses have seen increased sales, revenue, and customer loyalty after making live chat support available for their customers.
Businesses can gain competitive advantage with CINNOX by including web links or QR codes for their live chat support in their email messages or marketing communications to offer personalised engagement to their customers.
Email remains the OG of customer support and business messaging even with the advent of new communication channels coming into play every other year. It remains one of the most widely used written communication channels.
Email channel ensures businesses can keep track of all outgoing and incoming communication, and it also provides incredible marketing opportunities. By end of the 2022, the number of email users is predicted to sit at 4.3 billion. That is well over half of the current world population.
Instead of isolating the channel, Businesses can now bring over their email channel to CINNOX to effectively manage customer emails as omnichannel enquiries.
Social Media Platforms and Instant Messaging
Be there or be square. Millennials and Gen-Z have made it quite clear for businesses that are seeking ways to communicate with them. It is not surprising to see some businesses loosen their tie and rolling up their sleeves when communicating on these social channels. Afterall, they are expected to speak their customers’ language.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok rule the roost when it comes to engagement on social media platforms. It is common to see businesses competing on these channels to market their products and services.
When it comes to Instant Messaging, WhatsApp, Telegram, and WeChat are the top three apps used by customers worldwide. Information flows more freely on this channel and it is easy to establish better relationship with customers and improve their experience.
You can easily enable your staff members to manage your customer enquiries from CINNOX workspace by connecting all social media and instant messaging channels to the platform.
The benefits of video conferencing are manifold, but inarguably some of the key advantages that add depth to the list were realised during the pandemic. Video conferencing allows teams to break communication barriers and connect with teams working remotely. It helps to streamline collaboration and drives members of team to work efficiently by saving time wasted in email exchanges.
Covid-19 pandemic propelled the adaptation of video conferencing like never before. Video conferencing has been a boon for the teams working remotely to stay connected and share data and information in real-time with one another. It has played a key role in helping teams build and maintain personal connection with one another.
Teams can seamlessly connect internally and present key information using screen sharing feature using CINNOX. It is easier to connect with colleagues or customers on a 1-to-1 conference call, and when required even invite more team members to join the call.
Business Messaging Examples and Use Cases
Let us look at some interesting ways in which businesses can use messaging channels to engage with their customers.
1-1 human-like Conversations
If customers are interacting with an intent of scheduling an appointment with your business, there is no point in keeping them in queue to speak to a customer support executive. Instead, deploy a chatbot and automate the process. The conversational agent can be set up to not only help customers schedule appointment, but also answer related FAQs in real-time.
Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Instead of guesstimating, it is best to ask your customers for their feedback about their experience with your business. It not only helps you gauge your customers’ satisfaction level, but also helps you take quick action, wherever necessary, to make amends and win over an irked customer.
The process you put in place to communicate key updates or vital information to your customers can make or break your business. Timely alert notifications on SMS or emails can go a long way in establishing trust and building loyalty.
[Stay Alert] Dear Customer, our bank representatives will never ask for your confidential account details such as your Card PIN, CVV, or OTP. Please call your relationship manager to report any such issues.
It is imperative to alert your customers about any upcoming subscription renewals and other transactional updates that may require their attention.
Customer Service Updates
SMS or text messaging is the most efficient way to reach customers who are already expecting key updates from your business. Proactive communication helps to improve the quality of customer service.
Dear Customer, we received your car at our workshop at 09:15 am. Your vehicle inspection is now complete, and you can view our findings here, or contact our chief mechanic here.
Irrespective of how you choose to use these messaging channels, it is important to remember to not take your customers for granted. Do not spam them. Ideally, you should be prudent in your communication with your customers for such things as notifications, alerts, and announcements.
Take your business messaging to the next level with CINNOX
Everything said and done, managing communication on multiple channels can be daunting. Do not even get us started on keeping track of these communications in silos. But it does not have to be so overwhelming. You can engage with your customers from across multiple channels – social media, SMS, emails, live web chat, voice calls, video calls, and more, on a single omni-channel communication platform – CINNOX.