Apr 12, 2021

Business Instant Messaging


Business Instant Messaging

Nearly half of the world's population owns a smartphone. More than two-thirds of people worldwide have some type of mobile device, according to Statista and GSMA real-time intelligence data, making instant messaging for business more important than ever.


With this handheld and instant access to information, companies have a greater need to keep up with a consumers preferred communication forms. Messaging customers across devices can increase marketing return on investment and improve customer service. 


Learn about the benefits of instant messaging in communicating with customers, tips to improve your use of instant messaging, how to choose the best instant messaging software for business, and more.


Benefits of instant messaging to speak with customers


Consumers spend up to 25% of their time on their smartphones using instant messaging apps, giving companies a vast window of opportunity to connect to consumers with a business messaging app. Here's a look at the many benefits of using instant messaging for business. 


Streamlined communication process


Instant messaging services can make companies more efficient in their communication efforts by minimizing the amount of time agents spend moving from one system to another. It also helps to gather basic information, answer frequently asked questions, and schedule appointments. 


Increase agent productivity


Asynchronous communication helps agents get more done. With a business text messaging app, agents don't have to worry about potentially timing out of a conversation, allowing them to focus on quality, accuracy, and problem-solving. 


Instant messaging for business also helps take pressure off agents trying to keep up with a flurry of requests and allows for spreading out the workload rather than overstaffing. 


Automated intelligence helps remove repetitive and mundane tasks from an agents to-do lists, which frees them up to work on more significant issues and increases job satisfaction. 


Reduce costs


The cost per transaction on business messaging apps is significantly less than the cost per transaction on emails and phone calls, per Dimension Data. Agents can only handle one phone call at a time, but with instant messaging software, they can multitask by handling several messages, which can ultimately reduce work time and costs. Automated responses also can speed up resolutions and cut costs. 


Instant messaging apps are also cost-effective for consumers as they allow users to send an unlimited number of messages for free anywhere they can access the Internet or 4G/LTE. 


Reach and retain more customers


Customers want quick resolutions to their questions or concerns. The faster they get a response, the more likely they are to invest in the product they're inquiring about. 


Business messaging apps can provide metrics to evaluate performance to get a sense of where improvements are needed. These apps are an excellent way to get feedback from users through surveys and follow-up questions. 


Allow versatile and dynamic messaging


Business messaging apps aren't strictly limited to traditional text messages. Customers can share an array of messages, including animated GIFs, emojis, and voice messages, allowing users to communicate in a way that's natural for them. Agents have an opportunity to show a side of their personality, so customers feel like they're communicating with a human, not a bot. 


Provide always-on customer service


With instant messaging for business, you don't have to limit your customer service hours to a particular window. Customers can contact you whenever it's most convenient for them. Even if a team member isn't responding to them right away, customers can get an automated message to confirm that someone will address their concern as soon as possible. 


Benefits of asynchronous customer messaging


In contrast to synchronous messaging—like a real-time sequential conversation in a traditional chat— asynchronous customer messaging allows customers to start a conversation whenever it's convenient for them, leave it, and come back to the entire history of the thread at their leisure. The benefits of asynchronous customer messaging include: 

  • Customers prefer it
  • Speed and effectiveness
  • Connection to the customer lifecycle
  • Agent productivity and satisfaction
  • Fewer product returns 


How is instant messaging used to connect with customers?


Text messaging is the most used data service in the world, according to Nielsen. So, business messaging apps allow companies to meet their customers where they are, on their devices.


Businesses can use instant messaging in much the same way they use customer service phone lines to answer questions, resolve issues, handle product returns, and more. But business text messaging apps also allow companies to initiate contact with their customers in a more casual, comfortable manner.


For example, with Facebook Messenger, you can have a chat window automatically pop up with frequently asked questions when a potential or existing customer lands on your Facebook page. Facebook Messenger also can be integrated with [24]7.ai Engagement Cloud™.


Tips to make your business text messaging more impactful


If you want to get your business text messaging app off to a smooth start, consider the following tips: 

  • Figure out where to deploy a business messaging app: Which devices/platforms do your customers primarily use? Where do they tend to ask for help?
  • Define clear goals: Are you trying to divert traffic from other channels? Increase traffic and sales? Improve agent efficiency? Cut costs?
  • Design a user-friendly experience: Don't add a messaging platform without taking stock of how it will benefit your business and customers.
  • Make sure agents are fully trained: Your team members need to know how the platform works to perform to the best of their abilities and understand the nuances between synchronous and asynchronous messaging.


How messaging improves customer service for your business


The customer is always right, right? That's why customer service is one of the most critical elements of your business. Here's how [24]7.ai Engagement Cloud can improve customer service and user experience by: 

  • Improving customer loyalty
  • Reducing turns and re-contacts
  • Helping make managing communications simpler
  • Keeping confidential information secure
  • Pairing with your other communication channels
  • Creating a distinct and personalized brand voice


Best business instant messaging apps and software


There are countless instant messaging apps for business, but some of the best for external business communication include: 

  • WhatsApp is a Facebook-owned, cross-platform messaging tool that allows over 2 billion users worldwide to send text and voice messages, make voice and video calls, and share multimedia content. Many WhatsApp users use the platform instead of their devices' native messaging apps to connect with friends and family in other countries. 
  • WeChat is a Chinese-based messaging and social media app with over 1 billion users and supports text, photo, voice, and video messaging across many platforms. 
  • Facebook Messenger is a free, all-in-one communication app that's available for Facebook and non-Facebook users alike. Facebook Messenger also has [24]7.ai Engagement Cloud integration. 
  • Telegram is a cloud-based messaging service with end-to-end encryption. 
  • Skype, developed by Microsoft, was at the forefront of instant messaging in the early 2000's, allowing users to share text, video, audio, and images on a range of devices. 
  • Apple Business Chat offers a way for businesses to meet Apple's 1.4 billion monthly active users where they are on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch products. Apple Business Chat can integrate with [24]7.ai Engagement Cloud. 


How to choose the best instant messaging platform


When deciding on the best instant messaging platform to employ, you need to remove yourself from the situation. Instead of which instant messaging platform is best for you, think about which platform is best for your customers. 


Your location, or the location of most of your customers, can influence which product is best. WhatsApp is the most popular app worldwide, while Facebook Messenger has become increasingly popular in the U.S. and WeChat is most prevalent in China. 


You can also use a web analytics tool like Google Analytics to analyze data to see what platforms your users are most comfortable with. 


How to integrate instant messaging apps and software with your customer service messaging platform


Many instant messaging apps and software are compatible with CRM systems. Pairing these services helps streamline your team's workflow, allowing them to see customer information alongside the chat, thus eliminating the need to jump from one platform to another. The [24]7.ai Engagement Cloud platform can be integrated with Salesforce, one of the most popular CRMs globally. 


Implementing [24]7.ai Engagement Cloud allows you to leverage your existing data and tools, with the ability to add new channels without having to start from scratch. You can extend the value of your investment by integrating an existing chatbot service with an API. 


Instant messaging FAQs


Have more questions about instant messaging apps for business? Get answers to frequently asked questions about instant messaging for business. 


What is business messaging software?


Business instant messaging software refers to internal communication systems companies use to cut down on the number of emails sent back and forth. These platforms facilitate both one-on-one and group conversations to address straightforward problems. Popular examples include Microsoft Teams and Slack. 


Who uses business messaging software?


Business messaging software is typically used in a wide range of industries, including marketing, technology, finance, and media. These services are commonly utilized company-wide to allow all employees to connect across departments. It is especially helpful for remote employees to communicate with teammates located on-site. 


Is instant messaging good for customer communication?


Yes, instant messaging is a great way to communicate with customers. It allows both agents and customers to get quick resolutions in a simple, user-friendly way. Instant messaging for business also allows companies to record the history of the chat easily. 


What is chatbot software?


Chatbot software is an automated computer program that communicates with customers in a human-like fashion without a live agent.


Can [24]7.ai Engagement Cloud integrate with our chatbot software?


Technology platform partners of [24]7.ai include Apple, Google, Facebook, IBM Watson, and Microsoft. 


Contact [24]7.ai to learn how [24]7.ai Engagement Cloud can benefit your customer service needs today.