By Pinder Takhar, Director of Marketing, mGage
2020 was a significant year for business messaging as we saw an upward trend in its usage. It quickly became an indispensable communication channel for brands to stay connected with their customers, keeping them engaged, informed and updated.
Along with an increase in two-way messaging, more businesses started to deploy mobile chat services and automation in line with consumer demands. It proved vital for enterprises to send key and relevant messages to their audience, enabling them to provide a better customer experience during the pandemic.
Taking our learnings from both business communications and consumer behaviours, we found that there were three significant areas of change that are likely to stick in 2021 and something all organisations need to think about.
- People shopping online (no surprise here)
- More cost-conscious consumers
- Digital product discovery
Thinking about the changes, it raises the question what should brands consider in 2021?
- Being multi-channel
We know that the use of mobile messaging for one-way and two-way interaction has increased, however there are many more channels out there like Rich Messaging (RCS), WhatsApp for Business and Apple Business Chat, that brands can adopt to make themselves more available to their customers. Allowing consumers to easily reach them or engage in a two-way dialogue, its increasingly important to be where your customers are. According to Edelman, 65 percent of consumers will base their future purchasing decisions on the ways in which a brand communicates with them at this current time. This highlights that customer needs and requirements are more important than ever before.
- Use mobile messaging for customer service
Consumers are looking for convenient ways to engage with brands, as 69 percent[i] of consumers prefer communicating with brands over text messaging rather than traditional phone calls. Many businesses have had to adjust over the last year and adopt mobile chat services, however this is an area that is still largely underutilized for customer support. Enabling mobile messaging channels presents various routes for consumers to effortlessly connect with brands: whether it is to receive product support, request information or to resolve an issue. It empowers mobile users to easily initiate a conversation with businesses and provides a customer first approach.
- Consumer reach – best time to send messages
It is important to highlight that people’s routines have changed significantly and they are not the same as they were a year ago. Working patterns have changed considerably, flexible hours are more of a norm, socializing has shifted online and many of us are no longer commuting. Before the pandemic, the best times to engage were typical commuting hours and lunch times. However, recent research has shown that there are now spikes around 9am, after lunch between 2-6pm, with engagement then seeming to decrease until the following day. So, it’s important for businesses to review data and try different times if you have not already done so.
- Convenience and transparency
Make it simpler for your customers to engage with you, to navigate and find information. With services such as click and collect provide customers with clear instructions, as to where they can collect this from. Set expectations, if there will be delays, be open and honest and make it effortless to change appointments or delivery times. Customers today expect fast and timely responses to their enquiries and a delayed response can often be the basis for a negative review or cancelled service. A report from Forrester Research found that 63 percent of customers will leave a company after just one poor experience and almost two-thirds will wait no more than two minutes for assistance.
To learn more about the emerging new technologies and use cases for mobile messaging, watch our webinar recording to pick up some key insights.