Most businesses allow their customers to contact them via phone or an email contact form on their service page, others will chat with their customers on conversational messaging channels such as WhatsApp Business Platform or Facebook Messenger. That means their customers can engage with them, and thus resulting in a good customer experience, right? So why bother investing in more channels?
But what makes customer engagement 'good'? Are you sure you are reaching your target audience? And is your communication strategy optimised for your personal goals? Let's discuss.
Customer Engagement & Customer Experience
Today, more than two-thirds of companies compete primarily based on customer experience. A good customer experience comes from minimised friction, maximised speed, and efficiency, combined with a human touch.
These values also hold true during customer engagement. It is important that customers feel heard, seen, and appreciated. New technologies - and communication channels - can optimise the customer experience you offer during customer engagement. How? By being present and approachable on the channels that your customers frequently use.
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 big 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 also have different benefits and limitations, so even if the target audience is reached, 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?
If you can answer the first two questions, we can help you answer the third!
Let's look at some use cases.
Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp Business for the South African Millennials
Palesa has a business located in South Africa, that specialises 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 really wants to offer is order confirmation and tracking. She can create tracking links in her order confirmations; she just needs to get those messages to her customers. What communication channels would truly benefit her business?
Looking at the most popular communication channels in her target country, we can see that both Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp truly reign supreme among the conversational messaging apps in South Africa,
WhatsApp is the most popular social media in South Africa. As of the third quarter of 2021, some 95% of internet users in the country used the messaging app. Facebook Messager and Instagram followed, with a penetration rate of around 87% and 73% respectively. The potential audience of Facebook that can be reached with advertisements amounted to 24.2 million.
Most Popular Channels in South Africa
Considering Palesa is in the baby product business, her target audience is people that are currently starting their families: the Millenials. Looking at the most popular conversational messaging apps of that generation, we see that Facebook Messenger ranks on top, with WhatsApp Business and Instagram Messages on shared second place.
Best Messaging Channels for Millenials - Gen Y
But before deciding on a channel, it is also essential that Palesa can achieve the right type of communication. As mentioned above, Palesa wants to both market her products and provide customer service by sending order confirmations and tracking information.
WhatsApp, with its large reach in Palesa's target audience, is a great tool to market her products, and it'll also enable her to chat with her customers and provide service. The order confirmations and tracking links can best be sent via WhatsApp notifications (with SMS as a fallback to ensure that all customers receive their tracking info). It's safe to conclude that Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are MUST-HAVES in the communication strategy of Palesa's baby business.
Instagram Messaging for Zoomers in the USA
John has an online business selling contemporary gadgets and goods to the younger generations in the United States. John, being a millennial himself, 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 have a look at the most popular conversational channels in the United States and find out how John can optimise 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. Facebook Messenger is also optimised for customer service use cases, so why would John be struggling to reach his audience?
Most Popular Channels in the USA
Let's have a 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 for example 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 in Turkey
Deniz finished his IT studies in Ankara and has just set up his own IT consultancy business to help the local 50+ generation - the Boomers- with their PC troubles. He wants to promote his business online and connect with his customers on the channels they are familiar with.
The most popular messaging channels in Turkey are as seen below. But are these also the channels that his target audience feels comfortable with?
Most Popular Channels in Turkey
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 Deniz' target audience, combined with the fact that he wishes to both market and connect with his customers, we can conclude the following: His business would benefit from customer engagement over WhatsApp Business, 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 optimise 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 personalised advice.