Omnichannel Customer Support in Messaging Apps: What the Smart Brands are Doing

In order to deliver positive customer interactions, customer service practices have had to evolve to meet rising customer expectations. One of the practices that has become compulsory is for customer service to be available on multiple communication channels. While social media marketing and email marketing were hailed as the holy grail of modern customer support – in 2019, more people are using customer support in messaging apps compared to news feed broadcasting, probably because they prefer real-time interactive conversations. 

Messaging apps like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat have become the ultimate platforms for fast efficient and personalized support and engagement. A study conducted by Vanson Bourne for Twilio surveyed 6,000 consumers in Europe, Asia and North America and found that nine out of ten consumers would like to be able to use a messaging platform to talk to businesses. However, there are countless messaging platforms available today. 

With so many messaging apps on which to communicate with customers, it can be an administrative nightmare to manage seamless cross-channel communication with customers. So how can a support team manage their omnichannel messaging? 

Well, you can assign agents to manage all the communications across apps or assign a dedicated agent to manage each individual app – however, both these options have their own limitations.

When one person is running social media customer support, that agent can quickly become overwhelmed with the duties of being the point of contact for all inquiries. On the other hand,  hiring one individual per social media platform can be expensive for a small to medium enterprise, especially when the volume of interaction does not justify such costs.

Introducing Сustomer Support via Instant Messaging

Omnichannel customer support in messaging apps is the solution that smart brands use to overcome these challenges. An omnichannel customer support platform is scalable to suit the needs of any sized company. It consolidates all the communications into one single application for ease of reference and day-to-day management.

Messaging apps in customer support have the ability to simplify customer engagement with brands while at the same time enhancing the customer experience. With limited time to spend looking for products or solutions, customers are constantly on the hunt for quicker, more efficient ways to find answers. 

When we think about good customer service, two important factors stand out: personalized service and quick resolutions.  

The clear leaders among messaging apps include WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and WeChat, and in the next two or so years, we should see more companies adopt and integrate messaging apps into their campaigns and digital marketing strategies. According to Mo Agency, more than 2.5 billion people use messaging apps in their daily lives.  

In fact, messaging app customer service – or omnichannel messaging support – has been hailed “the biggest shift in customer service since the 1-800-number” by the Washington Post. In fact, the biggest brands are already using messaging apps as their main channel for customer support, communication and care. In 2018, we saw the launch of the Apple Business Chat app, and the WhatsApp Business API, which provided businesses with tools to deliver customer support on the channels that their consumers use all day, every day. 

But why is customer support in messaging apps so effective?

  • It fits into the consumer’s lifestyle – Today, people do almost everything on their smartphones. Messaging apps have a higher engagement and quicker response rate than email on smartphones, probably because users are already busy on these apps. That’s why consumers will find it extremely easy to reach out for support when the need arises.
  • It’s more personal – While email can slow people down, messaging apps enable one-on-one communication between the customer support rep and the customer, which strengthens their relationship. By connecting your messaging platforms to your helpdesk, not only can agents immediately reply to a customer, but they also have easy access to the customer’s history and are able to provide more contextual support. The use of GIFs and emojis can also relay emotion in order to eliminate misunderstandings – a common issue with email communication.
  • It’s quicker and easier to share files – Need to send documents, PDF files, photos or videos to help answer a question or explain something? It’s quick and easy to do via messaging apps. With messenger apps, you can provide much faster responses within minutes or hours, rather than days.
  • It’s flexible – With instant messaging, expectations are better managed. It removes the expectation of immediacy and exchanges it for flexibility. While resolving an issue could be over in minutes, or it can take days, both agents and customers have the option to send and request daily updates until the query is resolved. You can simply pick up right where you left off. For example, with the help of Omnichannel and Freshdesk integration, a direct connection is established with customers in messaging apps, and the messages are converted into Freshdesk tickets. The customer responds to the messages when it’s convenient for him, as there is no concern of leaving the page like in the example with online-chat, while the support agents manage the tickets in Freshdesk interface as per their SLA requirements.

In Conclusion

Customer support via social media is nothing new. It has dominated the way in which companies interact with customers ranging from millennials to baby boomers and everyone in between. It provides a way for businesses to engage with customers who need support on-the-go on a platform with which they are comfortable.

With the Omnichannel integration for Freshdesk, agents will receive messages from all the supported apps directly in Freshdesk, enabling a single team member or several agents to manage social customer support in one place, saving time, admin and money. If you want your company to be recognized as one that offers fantastic customer support, it is time to embrace offering customer support in messaging apps and social networks. 

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