As the go-to app for day-to-day communications, consumers love messaging. It’s convenient, familiar, and efficient. They can use it to jump in or out of a conversation anytime, anywhere. And they are—more than five billion people around the world are using messaging apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, and FaceBook Messenger. Businesses can extend these same benefits to your customers by adding messaging to your customer support strategy.
What is asynchronous messaging?
Unlike traditional chat, which takes place in real-time, messaging conversations can take place over time when an immediate response is not required.
For many companies, the idea of adding another channel to your support stack sets off alarm bells around the potential expense and effort involved. But messaging has the potential to deliver considerable business benefits. In fact, when done right, messaging can make the kind of impact on your bottom line that far outweighs the cost involved. And with the right platform, messaging is really an extension of your chat channel – don’t think of it as adding a whole new channel. Instead, think of it as improving one you already have. Let’s look at how messaging can make an economic impact on your business.
Lowering cost per interaction
Both traditional chat and voice interactions require customers and agents to stay in the conversation from start to finish. For customers, this means they have to set aside time to get something done. If they start a chat and get distracted, they may find they’ve timed out when they return to the conversation—which means they have to start over. Agents also have to dedicate their time to working with one customer until their issue is resolved. Experienced chat agents may be able to juggle more than one conversation at once, but this might slow the conversation down, which can have a negative impact on CX.
Asynchronous messaging increases efficiency on both sides. Customers can return to the conversation at their convenience and agents can manage their time better. According to a recent McKinsey study, companies that are able to move to a 100% asynchronous mode will cut their cost per interaction to 20% of the cost incurred on either voice or traditional chat channels.1
Companies moving to 100% asynchronous mode will reduce the cost per contact to 1/5 the cost incurred on voice or traditional chat channels
Driving digital transformation
When it comes to customer service, most companies are still focused on phone calls. We estimate that voice agents account for around 90% of the contact center workforce around the world. While voice agents are essential for some high-value customer journeys, you don't need them handling every single inquiry. It’s expensive and inefficient. With somewhere between 60 and 80% of customer support calls starting from the web, adding a “Message Us” option to organic search results and company websites is a simple way drive a large percentage of contacts through this lower-cost channel. Deflecting calls to messaging significantly and immediately reduces operational costs.
According to a recent report, 75% of consumers would prefer to use messaging channels for service if given the choice. That’s why making messaging your first point of contact for service and support increases CSAT and NPS scores, which boosts customer loyalty. And by front-ending conversations with an intelligent chatbot, you can also increase self-service rates. Not only does this improve efficiency and lower costs, it’s often preferred by today’s digital savvy consumers.
We’ve even seen messaging impact channel switching—when consumers use messaging to get things done, they’re less likely to call back later for additional support. It all adds up to happier customers, which increases conversions and drives long-term revenue.
75% of consumers would prefer to use messaging channels for service
While every messaging app is different, with the right platform you can enable a consistent experience across all your channels—from native apps, web, and SMS, to consumer favorites like Apple iMessage and FaceBook Messenger. Simpler platforms may require companies to rewrite the content for each messaging channel. But with 7.ai, the underlying framework is omnichannel. That means you can build your messaging content once and easily deploy it across any channel. 7.ai will adapt the content and leverage the native capabilities for each platform. This includes the big players we’ve already partnered with (Apple, Facebook, and Google) as well as any other messaging apps your customers are using. Putting 7.ai on the back-end also reduces IT dependency and boosts business agility.
Move the dial
The time to add messaging to your customer support lineup is now. Not only will your customers thank you, when the C-suite sees the impact it has on the bottom line, they’ll be singing your praises too. 7.ai has the operational experience, technological expertise, and strategic partnerships to enable a successful roll out, and produce measurable results. To learn more or get started, contact us today.