With brands facing increasing competition for the attention of consumers, providing the best possible customer service has never been more important. Not only is it vital to keep customers informed, but it is also critical that businesses make it as easy as possible for consumers to reach them. Nick Millward, VP Europe at mGage, now part of Kaleyra explains.
Recent research from Edelman suggests 65 percent of customers are now basing their future purchasing decisions on the ways in which a brand keeps in touch with them. As high streets start to reopen, it is imperative that consumers are kept updated and their demands are listened to if companies wish to remain successful.
It seems that this change has not gone unnoticed, as according to Accenture, 87 percent of organisations agree that traditional experiences no longer satisfy customers. As the world has now shifted towards a more digital approach, it is clear that mobile messaging is a great alternative to create an effective dialogue. In fact, it has been highlighted that globally, 70 percent of internet users are using their smartphones more as a direct result of the coronavirus outbreak, for instance using mobile banking apps to handle daily finances or ordering prescriptions via a messaging service.
Consumers are looking for simple and convenient ways to engage with brands, with 69 percent preferring to communicate via mobile messaging rather than traditional calls. Additionally, a study from mGage reveals that around 60 percent of millennials shy away from picking up the phone and will happily send a message instead.
With many brands experiencing large call volumes and call centre resourcing shortages, it is becoming challenging for them to provide the same customer service as before. Therefore, to provide the service consumers expect, it is essential for businesses to deploy mobile messaging. This channel has quickly become a crucial part of the customer service function for businesses already utilising this tool. In fact, at mGage we saw a real growth in enterprise mobile messaging volumes during 2020, highlighting that businesses are taking this trend seriously.
Boosting the customer experience
For companies to succeed, customer loyalty is a vital ingredient. Failing to retain customers can often be the difference between success or failure. To keep the consumer interest, organisations must adopt an approach that puts them first, enhancing the customer experience to increase loyalty, for the future of the business.
As part of this, customers expect fast responses to any enquiries or questions they may have, and a delayed response often leads to a negative review or cancelled service. Forrester Research reports that 63 percent of customers will often leave a company after just one bad experience, while two-thirds will wait no longer than two minutes for assistance.
By implementing an automated chat service via mobile messaging, brands are able to provide instant support. This will not only improve customer perception of a business but will drastically improve the overall experience by eliminating long call waits. A study by Chatbot Magazine highlights this trend with almost 70 percent of consumers preferring chatbots over traditional phone calls, due to their quick replies to simple questions. It also allows for businesses to reallocate agent resources elsewhere for more complex, sensitive cases where certain situations are not appropriate for automation.
Chatting the right way
To truly engage with consumers, it is important brands use the right channel for the message they are wanting to send. With mobile users now having access to a range of different platforms such as SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Rich Communication Services (RCS), among others, there are a range of choices for businesses to use. Being smart about their messaging will lead to achieving the ultimate customer satisfaction.
The development of new technologies such as RCS means organisations can now create interactive and engaging chat flows, supporting a multitude of customer service applications. Whether it is requesting customer feedback, tracking order updates or the ability to make account changes, the rich media and interactive nature of RCS offers a unique opportunity for consumers to communicate with businesses in a completely new way. Allowing for exceptional customer service and loyalty reward programmes, the benefits of mobile messaging are not to be underestimated.
There are two options, automated and live chat, with brands able to select the service best suited to them. Designed to work through channels like RCS, WhatsApp or Apple Business Chat, support can be offered 24/7 fitting in with customer demands for convenience and simplicity.
With no need to wait in long queues or wait for certain opening hours, text chat provides a great opportunity to efficiently deal with frequently asked questions, shipping enquiries, order information and specific product or service options. The decision trees built into automated chat solutions enables requests to be handled more effectively, allowing the majority of customer enquiries to be met with ease. When a problem becomes more complex, the automated chat can be replaced by a live agent, handling a number of enquiries.
The business benefit
When brands utilise chat solutions in particular, not only do they increase customer loyalty, but also efficiency, with much-needed savings and the ability to redirect resources elsewhere. With 80 percent of customer questions able to be handled by a chat service, businesses can expect to see around a 30 percent reduction in operational costs. At the same time, the average call costs approximately £4.00 in the UK according to the Benchmarking Study of UK Customer Contact Operations, which again emphasises that organisations will be better off focusing more of their customer service onto mobile messaging and chat services, instead of call centres.
Not only do companies benefit from reduced costs, they also can take advantage of higher revenues as a result of increased loyalty. With many people becoming more dependent on mobile phones, customers are more likely to engage with a specific message if addressed to them via SMS, RCS or other forms of mobile messaging. By making the customer journey more engaging, income also rises with almost two-thirds saying they are more likely to spend more after having a positive experience.
With consumer behaviour changing towards more mobile focused communication, it is important businesses explore and implement the different channels available. This will make it easy for consumers to initiate conversations and receive a quicker response, which ultimately provides the best possible customer experience. By making interaction more seamless, customers will view businesses in a better light and will feel happier due to the greater convenience and simplicity.
Mobile messaging services are a great way of enabling this and will in turn increase loyalty, revenue and greater operational efficiency at a time when it is most needed. Not only that, but brands will be remembered as caring about its customers and their demands which will only serve to improve the company’s reputation.
About the Author
As Vice President of Europe at mGage (part of Kaleyra), Nick Millward currently oversees commercial, marketing and products. He is based in London, UK, and has a strong background within the digital and mobile eco-system.
With over 20 years’ experience in telecommunications, Nick has previously held several senior positions at Vodafone, EE and the Daily Mail. He has also co-founded various small enterprises on the global stage. In 2020, Nick was appointed board member for the Association for Interactive Media and Micropayments (AIMM), for his extensive expertise of mobile messaging and in 2021 was voted onto the board for the Mobile Ecosystem Forum.
Having recently launched the world’s first Mobile Payments within RCS messaging solution at mGage, Nick is passionate about improving the security around mobile transactions and the customer experience. By working closely with UK mobile network operators, technology providers (namely Google) and the Phone-paid services authority (PSA), Nick has played a key role in delivering a secure payment solution that provides brand verification.
Looking ahead, Nick wants further enhancement of brand to consumer interaction through mobile messaging. With channels like RCS, Apple Business Chat and WhatsApp, Nick sees significant opportunities for enterprises to improve the customer experience & increase its revenues through mobile engagement.