Need Seasonal Support? Your Worries Are Over

Is Your Customer Support Team Getting the Message?

Email, phone, live chat, and social media may not be enough anymore when it comes to customer service. As messaging apps surpass social networking apps in total monthly active users, brands need to consider the value of providing prompt, high quality support via apps like Messenger, WhatsApp, Kik, and more.

According to eMarketer, by 2019, more than a quarter of the world’s population will be using mobile messaging apps. A report by Gartner states that by 2019, consumers will make more support requests via mobile messaging apps than through traditional social channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. As if those aren’t reasons enough to start developing your messaging support plan now, here are a few others:

Messaging apps are familiar

When we discuss social media strategy with brands to determine which social channels they should be present on, we often say, “go where your customers are.” The same is true for customer service — if your customers are using messaging apps, it makes sense that you should be, too.

It’s convenient for customers to be able to get their questions answered via the same apps they use to chat with their friends and family. By providing that level of convenience, you’re already increasing your customers’ satisfaction level with the interaction, because they don’t feel they had to go out of their way to get help.

Help is conveniently accessible

Similar to email, messaging lets the customer continue the conversation when it’s convenient for them. Messaging is perfect for customers who want the speed and casual nature that live chat offers but don’t have the time to commit to an ongoing conversation with an agent. Through messaging apps, a customer can submit their request and any follow-up responses when it’s convenient for them.

In addition, chat logs are preserved for both the customer and agent to review. Unlike session-based live chat, messaging provides a full history of previous conversations. That means faster resolutions and more contextual responses. It also allows multiple agents to handle the same customer’s inquiry without having to ask them to re-explain their situation.

Messaging costs less than other channels

The same convenience from which customers benefit also applies to the agent handling the inquiry. An agent doesn’t need to focus his or her attention on an ongoing live chat and can instead handle multiple messages in quick succession. According to Sparkcentral and a study by McKinsey, message support costs as little as one-fifth what live chat does, and as little as one-tenth of phone support costs.

Don’t get us wrong. Live chat is an extremely effective support channel for online companies, and with the proper support staffing plan, you can ensure agents are at the ready to reply almost immediately. For brands that already provide live chat, adding support via messaging is a low-cost convenience customers will appreciate. For brands with smaller budgets or for which live chat isn’t necessary, messaging provides the same benefits as live chat, and then some.

Chatbots increase first-contact resolution

Another perk that messaging apps provide is the ability for brands to integrate chatbots. Chatbots can serve a wide range of customer needs, anything from providing store hours and directions to helping customers select and purchase a new outfit, and more. Airlines can set up chatbots to provide flight status information and check-in services; e-commerce brands can give updates about order tracking and product availability; the options are limitless and require no actual human interaction.

A properly configured chatbot can answer a wide range of customer questions and then can escalate complicated or sensitive issues to a live agent.

As the holidays approach and demand for support increases, allow your customers the convenience of reaching you through the messaging apps they already use. If you don’t have the staff to handle those support requests internally, consult an outsource partner that can provide the same thoughtful, high quality responses.

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