Social Messaging, an emerging channel in Customer Relationship ?
The quality of Customer Relations is a key issue today. This is taken for granted for many organizations. Gartner estimates that almost 90% of businesses will focus on customer experience this year.
More and more companies try to put customers at the center of their strategy. A huge number of projects are being set up: customer loyalty recognition, deployment of tools to personalize offers, customer voice measurement, customer data management, etc., and a redesign of Customer Relation tools.
Among the current lines of thought, the choice of channels offered to customers to interact with a brand is essential.
It is indeed necessary to:
- Follow the evolution of customers’ expectations and behaviors to offer them suitable channels
- Manage efficiently these new interactions and integrate them into existing flows, in an omnichannel solution.
The rise of smartphones and social networks
According to IDC, 1.4 billion smartphones were sold worldwide in 2018. And in France, according to Statista, 98% of
18-24 years old and 95% of 25-39 years old had a smartphone in 2019. This massive penetration rate has created new behaviors, which has first led to the emergence of social networks (Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, etc.), and then of social messaging.
First used by companies for their institutional and promotional communication, social networks also brought about social commerce, which has grown thanks to Brand Content, social ads and other sponsored posts… as well as the rise of social media influencers.
The audience for these social networks is huge: Facebook has 2.5 billion active users worldwide, WhatsApp 1.6 billion, Instagram 1 billion and Twitter 320 million.
Interactions between companies and their customers on social networks were firstly handled by community managers, who acted as intermediaries between the company and its community. This mission of animation and promotional management for some, brand management for others has changed. Quite quickly, they were led to answer after-sales service-type questions from customers who considered this media as a new interaction channel for 2 essential reasons:
- It is an easy way to get in touch with a brand (low customer effort: smartphone always at hand, direct contact without calling a specific number, no authentication required),
- Social messaging has been seen as a back-up channel for responses that customers did not obtain through more conventional channels.
The age of Reason
With the growth of these incoming interactions, many companies have adjusted their strategy. In fact, community managers were overwhelmed by these requests they were not trained to handle and were very often unable to answer, generating customers’ growing misunderstanding and dissatisfaction. How many times have they asked customers if they had tried to reach Customer Service first? It has been estimated that just over 3 years ago, one in two companies did not even answer customer questions on social media…
These failures have only worsened customers’ perception; they wholeheartedly enjoy using Twitter for example as a sounding board for their dissatisfaction, with devastating effects for brands.
Contact center teams have thus entered the loop. Customer Service private messaging accounts have been created to specifically manage this new interaction channel. Twitter, with its Direct Message function, allows consumers to get in touch with brands privately and exchange views on Customer Relations issues. The other networks are not to be outdone: (Facebook) Messenger for Business (with soon to come, Direct, Instagram messaging), WhatsApp Business Solution, WeChat… Even Apple has launched its own chat tool for businesses, integrated into iOS, which offers an excellent user experience.
Messaging has strongly developed in Customer Relations (according to BVA, this channel is twice as used by 25-34 years-old as it was 3 years ago) because it matches consumers’ expectations and uses. It is natural for users who exchange with their loved ones several times a day via Social Networks to interact with brands in the same way. Especially since this media has a lot of advantages:
- The tone is more direct, more user-friendly and creates noticeable proximity,
- It has advanced features: sharing of photos taken via the smartphone (broken product, breakdown, etc.), geolocation (the retailer in your city answers you),
- It is an asynchronous media, allowing a delay between responses, as with text messages and unlike live chat, which requires staying logged in to continue exchanging and wait for an answer,
- 30 seconds are needed to send a request to customer service … while the duration of a call is measured in minutes (without taking into account the waiting time)
These strengths explain why, according to a 2019 study “CCW Market Study | Contact Center 2025 “, 67% of Customer Relations specialists surveyed believe that social messaging will have an increasing role in the management of customer experience.
Silo ? Don’t be silly !
How can companies effectively integrate this channel into their customer interaction management system?
The first mistake to avoid: choose a social messaging interaction management solution independent of your customer interaction management tool. It would be harmful to create a new silo in your processes.
Customers see their relationship with a brand as an ongoing conversation. It is therefore essential to opt for a natively omnichannel solution that allows your advisers to access all of the exchanges, no matter which channel is used, in order to be effective. It means that they should be able to read the email sent by the customer 8 days ago, email left unanswered, while exchanging via social messaging.
Our experience has taught us that by deploying dedicated solutions (one to manage incoming calls, another to answer emails and yet another to answer messages on social networks…) that are difficult to interconnect, you take risks. In fact:
- You do not provide to your teams the tools to be efficient (low Once & Done rate, loss of time when going from one application to another, your advisers’ expertise will be undervalued by your customers… )
- You create dissatisfaction with your customers (High Customer Effort Score)
- You manage your activity with difficulty (no integrated reporting) and do not have reliable KPIs on which you can progress.
Finally, it is important to size your teams correctly. It emerges from the 2019 Customer Services Observatory that 62% of respondents want an answer in less than 30 minutes. They were half as likely to express this speed in 2015. At a time of immediacy and instantaneity, organizations must adapt to quickly respond to their customers.
Kiamo provides Customer Relations experts with native omnichannel interaction management and enables them to improve the effectiveness of their advisers thanks to a 360° view of customer history, coupled with an intelligent engine for task distribution. Kiamo easily interfaces with social messaging and let you integrate this channel among your existing interaction streams. We already support major players in Customer Relations: Société Générale, BNP Paribas, La Banque Postale, Europe Assistance, MAAF, Arkea, Boulanger, Carrefour, Butagaz, Rue du Commerce, Maisons du Monde …
Want to know more? Contact us for a product demo!