Why Conversational Channels?
Delivering a frictionless, simple experience for your customers should be priority number one. If they have an issue, seeing it resolved rapidly means they are more likely to do business with you again, so it makes sense to ensure your customer service teams are available on whichever channels your customers prefer.
When you consider that 5bn people can receive SMS notifications on their mobile devices, 2.8bn use mobile messaging apps and tools, and there 60+bn messages exchanged each day on WhatsApp alone, the potential for conversational channels as a sales and service tool becomes abundantly apparent.
It’s also important to note that customers are channel agnostic and will shift between channels depending on a variety of factors, such as where they are, which device they’re using, and what time of day it is.
All of that means that an omnichannel approach to customer engagement is the most effective way to communicate with your customers in order to reliably keep track of conversations and ensure you’re on top of the status of their issues.
Consider that 75% of consumers prefer to communicate with businesses via messaging channels rather than traditional channels and you’ll begin to understand how important conversational channels are.
How Do I Get My Customers To Use Conversational Channels?
Allowing your customers to start conversations with you using the platforms they use to communicate with friends and family positions your business as more than just a commercial entity. Consumers are looking for the fastest way from point A to point B in every element of their busy lives and that includes resolving issues as a customer. It’s estimated that up to 96% of customers who have a bad experience don’t complain, they just move on to your competitors. Making it easy for them to resolve issues is key to earning their trust as repeat customers and key to that is giving your customers ‘entry points’.
Those entry points should be available across websites, in-app, social media, emails, search engines, and offline to give customers a range of ways to contact you easily, meaning you can deliver on-the-go customer support.
It’s not all about customer complaint resolution either. Enabling conversations with customers – and prospective customers – means you have the opportunity to engage with them and drive them towards a conversion using conversational channels, delivering real, measurable ROI for your omnichannel activity.
How Do I Set Up Entry Points?
There are numerous ways to get your customers talking on conversational channels. Here are just a few examples:
You can start conversations using Google Business Messages in both Google Search and Maps
You can also start conversations in Apple Messages for Business, Apple Maps, and iOS Search
You can encourage users to scan a QR code to open WhatsApp Business and converse with your team
Downloading an app via SMS is a great way to push people to interact with your brand
Instagram Messaging allows consumers to message businesses via their Instagram Business profile, shop, and stories
Facebook allows businesses to create Click-to-Messenger ads which give customers one-click access to your profile on Facebook Messenger.
Conversational Channels In Action
Case study: Hello Paisa
Hello Paisa uses the Mobile Service Cloud and WhatsApp for business to engage its consumers. Using conversational commerce by enabling consumers to use WhatsApp as a simple means to send money abroad as conveniently as texting a friend.
Together with creating a seamless customer journey via a WhatsApp chatbot. The Mobile Service Cloud solution is used to address incoming support queries from Hello Paisa and Malaicha.com consumers.
Case study: Business and Arts South Africa
Business and Arts South Africa connects young artists with opportunities through WhatsApp, despite challenging pandemic conditions. The WhatsApp Business chatbot provided a guided conversation to help applicants with their entries. Entrants started the guided conversation by saying “Hi” to the chatbot and then following instructions to upload a one-minute video application. If at any point, someone needed more help than the chatbot or FAQ could provide, they could start a breakout conversation with a human agent.
With entry points, you can start conversations with consumers that can lead directly to sales but you need the right technology to turn those conversations into conversions.