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Conversational Commerce

Apps are dead: invest in Business Messaging

These days, communication between companies and customers primarily takes place via the smartphone. Your customers can directly reach your company via communication channels they already use every day. And vice versa! Just how convenient is that? We’ll tell you!

Europe has the highest level of mobile user engagement. This can be explained by the maturity of the mobile market, with a ubiquitous 4G coverage and smartphone adoption of 70% at the beginning of 2018. The GMEI (Global Mobile Engagement Index) shows that customers use their smartphone to access any kind internet services. The mobile device is used to check your company webpage, purchase products from your web shop, pay outstanding invoices, text with your service desk, and so on.

As many as 85% of all customers spend their time in the top 5 chat apps, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Viber and WeChat. This means that you can reach your customers, visitors or fans directly on their smartphone, and they can reach you just the same. By using these communication channels for conversational messaging, you will turn any conversation into a successful purchase from a satisfied customer.

What is conversational messaging?

Conversational messaging starts with companies using existing communication channels. Via these channels, service-oriented questions can be asked and answered, including information about products, orders or payments. At the core, these conversations are personal and interactive.

Customers want to have answers to their questions as quickly and easily as possible. 65% of customers expect a response to customer service, marketing or sales questions within just 30 seconds. It is therefore important for companies to provide fast service that fits seamlessly and manage this expectation.

To illustrate how conversational messaging works, I will take you on customer journey, literally. 

Imagine you are enjoying your long-expected and well-prepared trip around the world. You arrive at the other side of the world late at night. You are exhausted and tired from the long flight, and jetlagged. You are waiting for your luggage to arrive at the luggage claim, but it never does.  

At the lost-and-found service desk, you learn your luggage appears to be untraceable. Your last energy fades away and your ‘happy holiday feeling’ is gone completely. But thank god, you always have your mobile phone!

The airline offers the possibility to communicate via your favorite chat app, WhatsApp. “Help! My suitcase is lost. I’m desperate, afraid, alone and don’t know what to do? #needhelp #desperate”

Your scream for help is immediately answered. The service employee knows who you are and immediately informs you about the situation. Via WhatsApp, updates are sent, and the location of your luggage is eventually found. From the moment the conversation starts within your familiar, trusted and active chat environment, the holiday feeling slowly comes back. There is high involvement and you will be kept informed.

But then you realize the hotel that you will stay in for the first nights is probably lacking a good and stable mobile internet connection. Immediately, your stress levels are going back through the roof and you’re thinking of cancelling your hotel. But then, the service employee at the other side of the world informs you that they also support SMS to continue the dialogue when your suitcase has arrived! 

This is just one example in which 'conversational messaging' is cleverly used. But there are countless situations where high customer engagement is expected and required on your end. Retailers and service providers use conversational commerce to offer immediate assistance in the event of incorrect delivery, order changes and product questions.

Conversational messaging: How to

When conversational messaging is used correctly, your company can go beyond the expectations of your customer. These are the main ingredients you need for successful conversational messaging:

1. Multi-channel: support all channels so that the recipient can use his or her favourite way of communication.

2. Conversational: communication is two-way. With conversational messaging, you can immediately act, react and interact. When doing this right, you will exceed the expectations of your customer.

3. Relevant communication: the customer reaches you where and when they want it and in the right context for a seamless conversation.

4. Scalability: ultimately you want chat bots supporting you based on internal and external data.

The outcome of this customer engagement, through direct, interactive and relevant communication, increases customer loyalty.

Integrate conversational messaging into your service strategy

Although a smartphone is universal in its use, the type of messaging apps can differ per customer. Among all challenges that come with implementing conversational messaging, supporting and managing all channels your customers are using is one of them. This allows customers to communicate with you via their trusted and favourite messaging apps.

Luckily, companies can easily integrate conversational messaging through a single API for all messaging apps or use a single communication dashboard with CM’s Customer Contact solution. With this, all communication is centrally managed to be directly connected. Always, everywhere and for everyone.

Curious about how you can exceed your customer expectations with conversational messaging? specializes in the development of innovative (payment and) communication solutions. We are happy to think along how business messaging fits to your needs.

Jan-Willem van Vugt is our Strategic Partner Manager. He explores enterprise software landscapes and builds bridges between business applications and CM solutions. In the weekends, he prefers to explore the landscape of golf courses instead.

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