Tech giants, digital platforms and enterprises like Amazon to shop, KLM to book a flight, Booking.com to book a hotel or Takeaway to order food are examples that lead the way. Start-ups follow fast and the rest are transforming, trying to catch up. No wonder 81% of customers say they are annoyed because they cannot easily contact businesses for support. On a global scale, Conversational Commerce will capture 54% of e-commerce by 2021. Innovations to support this are available and will evolve rapidly with Data and AI. The window of opportunity is open for all businesses. Do not miss it.
Be where your customers are
Like anyone in China, other consumers around the globe are expecting to contact businesses from the channel which is most convenient for them. They want to be able to search and shop from their mobile phone and are less likely to stay loyal if the experience is less than great. Whether you are in a store or on your mobile device, Conversational Commerce is the continuous, consistent interaction via the right channel at the right time. Moreover, consumers nowadays prefer communicating via social messaging channels, think WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or iMessage: imagine the convenience of checking where your package is, or the possibility to reschedule the delivery time or location – it’s all easier via the messaging channels they use daily. And this applies to any business. Nearly everyone has a smartphone with access to messaging channels. Communicating one-on-one with clients is already possible. Via Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp alone already 100 billion messages per day are sent. You no longer need to bother a client to download your company app, to register an account, or call to a specific phone number. You can communicate within the channels your customers use daily. So start rich conversation within their preferred channel.
What do the messaging channels have to offer?
A means to get questions answered quickly? Yes. For one. But they offer so much more. WhatsApp for Business, Apple Messages for Business, Facebook Messenger, Viber and RCS (on its way to become the ‘next SMS') offer rich features your clients expect. Helping customers within one messaging channel. If you know which channels your customers prefer to use, you can guide them from contact and scheduling appointments, to giving them a list of product options to choose from. No need to guide them to a separate website because it is all possible within these messaging channels. Valuable for any business since you can start with one step and eliminate more and more conversion killers in the next steps by adding on new possibilities that help your customers best.
With data tools, or better known as a Customer Data Platforms, you can easily start to see where your customers need support most. For example, when you notice frequently asked questions, you can integrate bot features to answer them quickly. Ease of use, good support and personalization thanks to available data are unavoidable in the client communication of today.
From Conversation to Conversion
This is where China is way ahead of the rest of the world: 90% of 1.1 Billion WeChat users use WeChat for social chats and business chats, to payments and more. That’s because most businesses are available on WeChat.
When you want to go on a holiday, you can chat to airlines like KLM directly via their WeChat channel, you search for the ticket you want, pay with your finger print and you’re ready to go. No website, e-reader, or pop-up. Go to a local Chinese food market: scan the QR code and again you can pay instantly.
Since WeChat with WePay is not as common in other parts of the world, businesses can use the messaging channels and payment solutions applicable to their region to make the above described scenarios possible too. It is wonderful to see the conversations from more and more of our clients start from anywhere. At festivals using a QR-code to order and pay for drinks - no tokens needed. Getting an alert with the location of the driver that will deliver the food within the next few minutes showing how close he or she is. You can imagine the possibilities for the future are endless of all kind of devices communicating with your mobile as well to improve your customer experience and create opportunities to convert more.
How to start?
It sounds overwhelming for some. But a good place to start is via the messaging channels, then add on payments and data later to further optimize for your particular business. Take the window of opportunity to new ways of doing marketing, service and sales.
Be where your customers are today and be ready for the future. Start the Conversation now.