Most businesses rely on phone numbers, email, and contact forms to communicate with their customers. Others chat with their customers directly on conversational platforms, such as WhatsApp Business Platform or Facebook Messenger. While all of these platforms allow you to engage directly with customers, are you really providing the best customer experience?
You should ask yourself what makes customer engagement "good"? Are you sure you are reaching your target audience? And is your communication strategy optimized for your personal goals?
Customer Engagement & Customer Experience
More than two-thirds of companies compete primarily based on their customer experience. A good customer experience comes from minimizing friction, maximizing speed, and efficiency, combined with a human touch.
The same applies to customer engagement. Customers want to feel heard, seen and appreciated. You can enhance customer experience by having a presence on your customer's preferred messaging platforms.
When asked if they can choose where to make a purchase, 68% of consumers are more likely to go with the business with convenient communications - Forrester, 2020.
That being said, adding multiple messaging channels doesn't always mean offering the best customer experience. The question you need to ask yourself is: Who am I trying to reach?
How to Reach Your Target Audience?
Slapping an email address or telephone number on your contact page is not enough. Even your presence on WhatsApp - one of the most popular messaging channels today - may not be reaching the right audience. Different channels have different benefits and limitations, so even if you reached your target audience, are you able to communicate the right way?
What works for your business is highly dependent on your target audience and your situation. You need to ask yourself three questions:
Who do I want to reach or engage with?
What do I want to achieve with the engagement?
Am I using the correct channels to do so?
Let's look at some use cases.
WhatsApp Business and Facebook Messenger for US Millennials
Emma has a business in the United States that specializes in baby products. She's looking to sell her products locally and wants to both market her products and get in touch with customers to provide service. One service she wants to offer is order confirmation and tracking. She can create tracking links in order confirmations; she just needs to get those messages to her customers. So what communication channels would genuinely benefit her business?
Most Popular Channels in the US
Considering Emma is in the baby business, her target audience is people that are currently starting their families: the Millennials. Looking at that generation's most popular conversational messaging apps, we see that Facebook Messenger ranks number one, followed by Instagram Direct Messenger and WhatsApp.
Best Messaging Channels for Millennials - Gen Y
But before deciding on a channel, it is also essential that Emma can achieve the right type of communication. As mentioned above, Emma wants to market her products and provide customer service by sending order confirmations and tracking information.
With its extensive reach in Emma's target audience, Facebook Messenger is an excellent tool for marketing her products, enabling her to chat with her customers and provide service. The order confirmations and tracking links can best be sent via WhatsApp notifications. It's safe to conclude that Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are MUST-HAVES in the communication strategy of Emma's baby business.
Instagram Messaging for Zoomers
John has an online business selling contemporary gadgets and goods to the younger generations in the United States. John, a Millennial himself, has already added Facebook Messenger to his customer service strategy. It's the channel he most frequently uses, and therefore thought it was a good fit. But he isn't reaching his preferred customers: Gen Z.
Let's look at the most popular conversational channels in the United States and find out how John can optimize his strategy. Based on the stats below, Facebook Messenger certainly seems like a valuable asset, as it is the most popular channel in the USA. In addition, Facebook Messenger is also optimized for customer service use cases, so why would John be struggle to reach his audience?
Let's look at the most popular conversational channels among Gen Z. While Facebook Messenger is mentioned in the top 5, it is significantly less popular among Gen Z than Instagram Messaging.
Best Messaging Channels for Gen Z
Considering that Gen Z's most popular conversational channel is Instagram Messages, combined with the fact that Instagram Messages also ranks as the second most popular messaging app in the USA, makes it a very valuable asset to John's business.
WhatsApp Business for Boomers
Paul finished his IT studies in Texas and has just set up his own IT consulting business to help the local 50+ generation - the Boomers- with their computer troubles. He wants to promote his business online and connect with his customers on their familiar channels.
According to the statistics below, Boomers are mostly found on WhatsApp, with Facebook Messenger and Instagram Messaging closing the top 3.
Best Messaging Channels for Boomers
Based on what we now know about Paul's target audience, combined with the fact that he wants to both market and connect with his customers, we can conclude the following: His business would benefit from customer engagement over WhatsApp Business. At the same time, while he may also promote his services via advertisements on Instagram.
Choose the Right Messaging Channels for Your Business
Understanding your target audience and identifying their preferred communication channels will help optimize the customer experience you offer to them. Engage with your customers where and when it provides the most value to them, on the right channels to get your message across, and you'll be able to differentiate your business and grow.
We often help our customers define which communication channels are the perfect fit for their business, and we can do the same for you. Check out our Communication Channel Advisor and see what works for your target audience and personal goals, or contact us for personalized advice.