If you’re new to messaging, follow these guidelines to create the seamless experiences your customers expect.
Business messaging: Start with Discovery
The first step is to decide which messaging apps to use and where in your customer journeys to offer them. Look to your customer data for insights. Are more of your customers using iOS devices or Android? Which channels or messaging platforms are they using the most? For example, if more queries come through your native mobile app than your website, start by offering in-app messaging. If more are from iOS devices, start with Apple Messages for Business.
Next, ask yourself these questions: Where can we resolve issues immediately? Where can we improve processes? Where can we add value? Pinpoint where in your customer journeys people are asking for help or running into roadblocks, and offer messaging support at these pain points. It’s all about making it easier to connect. Once you’re up and running, be sure to run an awareness campaign to spread the word.
Business messaging: Define Your Goals
Success starts with strategy—so decide what you want to achieve. Is your goal to divert traffic from higher cost channels? Improve agent efficiency and increase volume? Bring in new traffic and boost sales? Cost savings is always top of mind, but consider other key metrics you want to move the needle on, too.
Clearly defining your goals can also help to determine the best entry points on common customer journeys. Start with the queries you can easily solve, such as FAQs or simple account inquiries. A partner like 7.ai can help guide you in the right direction if you’re struggling to identify or prioritize your goals.
Business messaging: Design Your Experiences
Don’t just add messaging for the sake of it—create satisfying experiences and solve the problems that matter for your customers. Open every conversation with an intelligent AI chatbot that can predict intent, authenticate users, and collect basic information using natural language processing. Ensure seamless escalation with the full conversational context so agents can pick up right where the bot left off.
Keep text content brief, clear, and accurate, and use visual aids wherever you can—including images, videos, and interactive forms. Quick replies let users on both sides save time by tapping instead of typing. Bear in mind that every messaging platform has unique UI elements. Centralizing messaging content into a single orchestration platform allows you to re-use content across channels, increasing efficiency. 7.ai has the added advantage of automatically adapting content for each platform.
Train Your Team
Synchronous chat and asynchronous messaging use many of the same technologies, but the experience is different. Mindset is key, so be sure to prepare your contact center team for this new approach before you deploy. Update your agent console to support asynchronous communication and provide new skills training—make sure agents can multi-task, prioritize, and are familiar with the platforms you’re deploying.
Be sure to set performance goals and adjust KPIs for this new mode of communication, too. You may need to change the way you measure average handle time, or look at the number of concurrent chats or resolved chats per hour instead. It’s also important to monitor performance and provide ongoing support and training. We suggest starting with minimal traffic while your team ramps up and increasing volume once you’ve ironed out any wrinkles.