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October 16, 2020

Customer Messaging and the Elevated Customer Experience

What is Customer Messaging? 

Customer messaging on channels like SMS and webchat  have  emerged as a forerunner in the way that customers prefer to communicate with the companies they do business with. It is sometimes referred to as instant messaging, webchat, online chat, texting. This kind of two way messaging allows two or more parties to have a conversation via a common platform. 

Why is Customer Messaging Preferred?

Its Personal

Customers prefer to communicate with real people in real time. Instead of being led through a series of choices using a keypad, customers can ask questions and receive answers in a way that is familiar to them. But even more importantly, customers prefer when another human is on (or perceived to be on) the other end of the conversation.  

Shorter Interaction Time 

Customers don’t want to spend a lot of time trying to work through a problem they are having, get information they need or schedule an appointment. The average attention span of mobile users is short and getting shorter. The less time customers spend on an interaction with a business, the better experience they have. 

It’s Easy to Use

Customer messaging meets customers where they already are. Mobile apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are used by billions of users every day. Messaging is comfortable and commonplace. Customers message in their everyday lives. They send Facebook messages to their friends, text messages to their family, and countless studies have shown that webchat is often preferred to sitting on hold with helplines. With two way messaging, a customer doesn’t need to change platforms to communicate with a business. It is a seamless transition from personal to business communication. 

A Word About Friction and the Customer Experience

All customers, no matter the service or product used, expect high quality customer experiences. But, how do we gauge the quality of a customer’s experience? The amount of friction during an interaction is a good indicator of customer experience. A few key points increase or decrease the amount of friction perceived in an interaction. 

  • Total time spent on interaction – less is more
  • Impersonal/Personal Service – customers prefer a relatable entity
  • How issues are addressed – the more directly, the better
  • Ease of communication – how much effort must be put into this interaction?

Keeping these four markers in mind, let’s consider the three different types of customer messaging: text messaging, live chat and messaging apps.

Types of Customer Messaging

SMS/Text Messaging

Interaction time: Low

Personal: Yes

How Issues are addressed: directly, but with potential delays

Ease of Communication: High

The earliest form of text messaging is, of course, the pager (remember those? Ah, how far we’ve come). It has since evolved into a platform that not only sends text but also links to helpful things like maps and websites. Most customers are completely at ease with this mode of communication. There are an estimated 5.1 billion users of text messages. Today, people do not just send text messages to their family and friends but to businesses as well.

Business messaging is an emerging way that customers interact with businesses. It is a natural extension of everyday text messaging. So much so, that it is being integrated into customer’s devices. Take the Apple family for example. With Apple business chat, a user looking at search results for a business on Safari or Maps can ask for information, schedule an appointment and even make purchases without opening another application. Apple business chat takes a familiar system and utilizes it to improve the customer’s experience in communicating with a business.

Webchat

Interaction time: Low

Personal: Not always

How issues are addressed: Directly and quickly

Ease of Communication: High

Webchat enables users to ask questions and receive answers in real time. The oldest form of webchat  is “Clippy.” In early editions of Word, a small paperclip popped up with helpful information about the document you were writing. Webchat improves upon this idea. When customers visit a website, webchat enables them to resolve issues or questions by using the chat feature. This interaction can seamlessly transition from a chatbot answering questions about item specifications to an agent providing personal recommendations. 

Messaging Apps

Interaction time: Low

Personal: Yes

How issues are addressed: Promptly

Ease of Communication: High

Messaging apps are a close second to text messaging in terms of users worldwide. Every day more than 2 billion users log on and send messages. Giants like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp boast capabilities such as eCommerce, sharing media, and even playing games with friends. Most customers already use messaging apps to communicate with family and friends. Now, like SMS, users of mobile apps can communicate with businesses. Customers can switch between conversations with their friends to conversations with businesses. 

To Message or Not to Message

Customer messaging is a gear shift. Emailand voice calls have been the state of play for businesses for many years. Text messaging has been viewed as informal and too commonplace. But, customers demand high quality customer experiences and text messaging provides just that. It is user friendly, it is familiar, and it is convenient. Customer messaging simply helps to provide a better customer experience. 

About LiveVox

LiveVox is a leading provider of enterprise cloud contact center solutions, managing more than 14+ billion interactions a year across a multichannel environment. With over 15 years of pure cloud expertise, we empower contact center leaders to drive effective engagement strategies on the consumer’s channel of choice. Our leading-edge risk mitigation and security capabilities help clients quickly adapt to a changing business environment. With new features released quarterly, LiveVox remains at the forefront of cloud contact center innovation. Supported by over 450 employees and rapidly growing, we are headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Atlanta, Denver, Bangalore, and Colombia. To learn more, schedule a demo today.

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About LiveVox

LiveVox (Nasdaq: LVOX) is a next-generation contact center platform that powers more than 14 billion interactions a year. By seamlessly integrating omnichannel communications, CRM, AI, and WFO capabilities, the Company’s technology delivers an exceptional agent and customer experience while reducing compliance risk. With 20 years of cloud experience and expertise, LiveVox’s CCaaS 2.0 platform is at the forefront of cloud contact center innovation. The Company has more than 500 global employees and is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Atlanta; Columbus; Denver; New York City; St. Louis; Medellin, Colombia; and Bangalore, India. To stay up to date with everything LiveVox, follow us at @LiveVox or visit livevox.com.

To stay up to date with everything LiveVox, follow us at @LiveVox, visit www.livevox.com or call one of our specialists at (844) 207-6663.

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