Contact At Once! Blog

What Is Messaging? Connecting with Customers Beyond Chat

In today’s customer service landscape, consumers have an array of different channels at their fingertips to reach businesses. Most people think of these common options: 1-800 number (if you’re desperate), email (if you want to wait) and live chat. Chat—the ability to send real-time communications via a website or mobile platform—certainly has its advantages. But it isn’t the only avenue customers could use to get a hold of you and your business quickly and conveniently.

In other words, automotive brands, dealerships and other companies need to embrace messaging, not just live chat.

Customer Communication: Preferences Are Changing

Years ago, simply having a contact center through which customers could place service calls or inquiries was sufficient. Shoppers have drastically changed their communication preferences, however. In fact, 67% of consumers reported hanging up the phone after making a call to contact a business, terminating the connection after being frustrated that they could not reach a real person.

Plus, talking just isn’t the preferred interaction for many. Customers now prefer digital messaging capabilities over traditional telephone calls, per this IDC InfoBrief. Not supporting these channels could end up costing your company considerably—one study from Lee Resources found that over 90% of shoppers would not do business with a company again if they weren’t happy with their experience the first time.

Messaging Is Now an Essential: What Does This Mean for Business?

In this way, providing more complete messaging capabilities is now a requirement for communications across industries. Whether a consumer is seeking information about an upcoming car purchase or vehicle service need, he or she must be able to use the communication channel that best suits his or her tastes.

But what does messaging actually entail? Today’s retailers and service providers must have a more holistic messaging solution in place that encompasses all of the top communication channels, including:

  • Chat: Even with a wide variety of other options available, live chat is still one of the most-preferred communication avenues today. In fact, 44% of shoppers noted that one of the most critical features a company can provide is a live chat specialist to help facilitate online purchases.
  • Text: Text messaging is incredibly popular among all age groups today—global mobile device users send more than 18 million texts every single day. A powerful way to capture customers is enabling them to text you using their own native text application, providing a familiar and easy-to-use platform for customer service communication.
  • In-app messaging: While many brands and large groups now have their own mobile apps or owners’ apps, not all of these support in-application messaging. If they did, customers would be able to communicate with the company without having to leave the app and that can boost customer satisfaction (a major telecoms carrier saw a 4-point increase in 2 months).
  • Facebook Messenger (& Marketplace): Now that social media plays such an important role in marketing and customer outreach efforts, it’s imperative that consumers be able to connect with your business through this route as well.
  • Apple Business Chat: In order to remain on the cutting edge of customer service and communication, brands need to look forward to emerging channels as well. Apple Business Chat could represent the next big thing here, and will be released in 2018. Auto manufacturers need to be working on a strategy now.

Messaging doesn’t just include live chat, but a whole host of other messaging platforms that your customers are currently using. Your company needs a system that will help it easily integrate and manage these channels from a single, streamlined portal.

This is where the Contact At Once! messaging network comes into play. It supports all of these communication channels, and allows customer service reps to connect with customers and take part in conversations across an array of platforms.

To find out more, check out our infographic or message us below!

Written by: Angela Wijesinghe on December 11 2017