Messaging apps have become a new marketing lever for businesses as our digital interactions are becoming unlimited and increasingly more complex. These interactions are not simple texts anymore, they have become more complex thanks to the appearance of rich content such as emojis, gifs or product pages and notifications!
Messaging apps allow brands to initiate the conversation with users (just like when they talk to their friends and family) via engaging tools for marketers and customer service agents, including notifications for order confirmations, emojis to add a personal touch, chatbots to answer queries more quickly or product pages to steer customers more easily, etc.
“Brands must engage in conversation and make eCommerce conversational: conversations are the richest, most sincere and natural experience. They can multiply conversion rate by ten, reaching a 20% conversion rate and, above all, conversations turn out to be the most powerful lever for loyalty and word of mouth. A visitor who buys an item for the first time on an eCommerce website will buy 2.5 times more in the 3 following months if they have an interaction with a representative of the brand.”
Julien Hervouët, CEO and co-founder of iAdvize
Matthieu Dixte, Engagement Specialist at iAdvize, gives us some tips to use messaging apps within your online marketing strategy:
First, why should brands integrate messaging apps within their digital strategy?
Consumers use them on a daily basis and they are an essential part of every day life. Why? They offer familiarity and an enhanced user experience consumers have already tested for their interactions with their private circle (friends, family, colleagues, etc.).
Indirectly, you have the brand at your disposal at any time right in your pocket :) You can leave messages at any time of the day without waiting for an answer. You don’t need to check your email inbox several times a day, you can be responsive as you receive a notification on your smartphone. Each respondent can be available asynchronously while going back to the conversation in real-time.
Furthermore, there is transparency about the quality of the customer service of a brand via messaging. You know when the brand is available, its average response time, if it has seen your message, you have the history of past exchanges, you can easily recontact it via a simple research, etc. All these arguments can reassure web users.
What is the response time that brands should adhere to on messaging apps?
Naturally, I invite all brands to respond as quickly as possible. The quicker interactions are, the more quickly you can solve customers’ problems. And this improves customer satisfaction and the production of your agents enabling them to focus on other consumers afterwards.
That’s why, at iAdvize, we recommend you to prioritise reactive customers (without disadvantaging those who have longer response times). A web user’s responsiveness can also show the importance of difficulties they encounter.
However, it is impossible to handle all incoming messages within minutes due to the number of conversations you can receive and the number of respondents you have. Therefore, I would say that, ideally, you should respond within 3 hours as 41% of web users expect an answer within 6 hours. It is important to clearly state to consumers the response time frame you can adhere to (display your availability in your biography, send automatic responses, create welcome messages, etc.).
Last tip: make web users wait if you don’t have an immediate answer. Avoid redirecting web users towards another touch point (if they choose to contact you via messaging, it is for a good reason).
Chatbots are the current trend, especially on messenger, when would you recommend brands to use a bot on Messenger?
The objective of bots is not to replace customer service agents. Their objective is to save them some time. Bots and customer service agents can share the workload in terms of responses.
Thus, a bot can intervene to welcome users, pre-qualify a need in order to optimise the analysis and responses for human agents. These situations are opportunities to give knowledge to the bot so that it can respond to simple and recurring questions autonomously. It is a simple way to help customers without the mandatory intervention of a human agent.
Finally, bots can offer a more playful experience to help customers perform a final action (requests for information, purchasing act, questions about the availability of products, etc).
Do you have any recommendations for brands which add Messenger and / or WhatsApp to the other touch points of their digital strategy?
The conversational approach is very similar to other touch points such as the live chat even if instantaneous messages include some technical nuances. Using Messenger or WhatsApp is an opportunity that complements other touch points.
It’s an opportunity for visitors: they have the possibility to contact brands whenever they want even if the respondent is not available at this exact moment, they can contact brands with their favourite means of communication, etc. But it is also an advantage for agents: it optimises their productivity (flexibility of asynchronous messages, handling of social messages during slow periods of the day, etc.) especially on a conversational marketing platform.