The hidden opportunities with messaging apps

The hidden opportunities with messaging apps in customer service

Messaging apps opportunities in CX

Welcome to part three of the messaging and the chatbot revolution where we explore the hidden opportunities with messaging apps.

So we’ve established globally and locally we are spending more time in, and using messaging apps.

How can the customer service industry take advantage of this?

The simplest way is to begin using Facebook Messenger as a service channel.

That’s what Hyatt hotels did.

Hyatt began testing Facebook Messenger as a service channel in October 2015.

An example of an actual query asked was, a Chicago traveler gave the address of his meeting and asked for the address of a hotel booking nearby on Messenger, he was assisted.

Soon there were more queries, then even more.

Within twelve weeks Messenger had morphed into a 1800 number for Hyatt’s digital customers and a quick way to get any question answered.

The messages Hyatt received on the Messenger platform increased twenty-fold.

Interestingly, Hyatt did nothing to promote this new service.

Customers found it themselves.

Dan Moriaty, Hyatt’s Director of Digital Strategy and Activation had this to say.

“[Messaging] leads to better, more authentic and productive conversations between contact centres and customers.”

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Rogers Toronto in Canada, and Sprint in the US are two other companies that have tested promoting Messenger as a service channel also with positive results.

Messages sent to Facebook Messenger increased, as did efficiency and internal customer satisfaction.

This hints strongly that, consumers want to converse over Messenger.

But the game changer was Facebook.

Facebook Messenger bots

In April 2016 they launched a bot platform for Messenger.

Facebook believes Messenger can evolve into the primary channel for businesses to interact with their customers and they may be onto something.

Think about it.

What will be the long-term effect on customer service when businesses can communicate with customers like their loved ones do?

It’s likely to be a stronger, more intimate bond with the brand.

Let’s come back to bots for a moment and explore why they are so important.

Bots (an interaction engine programmed to behave a certain way) can be developed with artificial intelligence which allows them to converse naturally with humans and understand a range of expressions.

They can also remember your preferences, just like when you type an address in Google maps to a place you’ve already been and it comes up after the first two characters.

This leads to a highly personalised interaction.

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Notifications are also a big plus for messaging apps as 70% of people leave them on.

This means that bots can start conversations with your customers and notify them about important updates, a new product, a survey or a new promotion.

Bots have actually been around for a while.

But there are two reasons why chatbots, bots that emulate human conversations, have entered the spotlight recently.

Two key reasons for chatbot growth in customer service

First, artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP), two technologies that lend a human-like intelligence to bots are more accessible to developers than ever before.

Second, with smartphone users facing app fatigue, chatbots offer an easier user interface via messaging apps that most people already have and use on their phones, taking away the need to download multiple apps.

Combine the findings that customers are ready and want to talk with us on Messaging apps, with the capabilities of chatbots and a real opportunity is presented.

Customers today want an always-on personal digital experience, chatbots bring an effective level of automation aimed at making things faster, easier, and more personalised.

In the next part of the messaging era and the chatbot evolution, we’’ll go into more detail about what bots can do and how they can make a difference in the customer service industry.

Next Steps

If some of those chatbot functions look appealing to you its time to find a supplier!

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Kwame Aforo-Addo
About Kwame Aforo-Addo 8 Articles
Kwame Aforo-Addo is an experienced senior manager in the customer service industry having held roles at iiNet, Amaysim and OnMessage. He is now Business Development Manager for Yellowfin BI.

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