instant messaging for business

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Instant messaging is a ubiquitous part of daily life for the majority of consumers. Over 41 million messages are sent out from messaging apps every minute while popular messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are used by nearly 3 billion users.

Naturally, the rapid proliferation of instant messaging over the past decade hasn’t just transformed communication between individuals — it has also had a significant impact on how consumers communicate with businesses. Last year, a study from Juniper Research found that mobile business messaging increased 10% from 2.5 trillion messages to 2.7 trillion while Twilio has found that 9 out of 10 of consumers want to interact with brands through messaging.

The increase in messaging between consumers and businesses has been further accelerated by the pandemic. According to a recent Forreseter report, over 50% of consumers increased their use of third-party messaging and chat to engage with businesses last year while about one in 10 consumers tried mobile chat for the first time.

But how has this shift in consumer behavior affected the relationship between businesses and their customers? Below we’ll highlight some of the most significant impacts of instant messaging’s rapid growth on the business community.

How Instant Messaging Is Changing Business Through Customer Convenience

When engaging businesses, today’s shoppers are migrating from traditional channels like phone and email to instant messaging services due to the unparalleled level of convenience they provide.

Instead of being subjected to long hold times delayed email responses, real-time instant messaging paired with intelligent automation enables brands to address consumers’ concerns and respond to their most common, frequently asked questions with instantaneous feedback. Examples of common inquiries that instant messaging can provide quick responses to include:

  • Hesitancy surrounding shipping details: Potential customers may want more information about shipping related costs and timing to help them commit to making a purchase.
  • Product availability: Customers frequently contact businesses to verify whether a product is in stock and can actually be purchased.
  • Questions about product details: Leads might contact an employee representative with additional questions regarding product features, such as dimensions or materials.
  • Uncertainty about the product’s value: If leads want more information about how the product or service will benefit them, a contact center agent can explain its value.

By providing instantaneous support to these sorts of sales-related questions, brands have seen lifts in conversion rates by as much as 4x when compared to shopping experiences that are unassisted by messaging services.

Instant Messaging’s Impact on Customer Service Team

Instant messaging is a convenient communication method for both the consumer and the contact center supporting them. Through instant message based support, contact center agents are enabled to manage multiple customer inquiries at once rather than assisting shoppers one at a time – greatly increasing agent efficiency.

Additionally, when paired with messaging automation, support teams can provide their customers with self-serve experiences that are better aligned with customer preferences and can substantially reduce the volume of inbound issues that need to be addressed by human agents. By automatically resolving a percentage of inbound issues through automated chat experiences, agents can dedicate a greater percent of time to handling more complex customer inquiries and driving sales.

In the instance that a customer service chatbot is unable to resolve a customer inquiry through self-service, instant message chatbots can still increase agent efficiency by verifying basic customer information, like name or order number, before handing off to the human agent. This seamless handoff process allows human agents to spend more time actually supporting customers instead of capturing routine information.

Additionally, instant messaging-based conversations between consumers and businesses simplifies agents’ processes for following up with shoppers and keeping accurate records of past communication data. All sales or support agents see previous conversations and have the necessary information to tailor and personalized subsequent customer interactions.

Instant messaging makes communications more straightforward for all parties involved. When that convenience influences a consumer’s perception of a brand, they’re more likely to close a deal, renew a service, or make a purchase. In fact, 73% of consumers have indicated that positive and convenient experiences are essential for influencing their brand loyalties.

How Rich Instant Messaging Enhances Customer Support

In addition to its convenience and efficiency, instant messaging between businesses and consumers is also capable of providing superior, more clear support experiences. Providing support through traditional channels like phone can become challenging for both customers and agents, especially if shoppers have trouble describing their needs with words alone.

Rich instant messaging platforms allow consumers to use their smartphone cameras and take photos for support representatives. Rich messaging also enables businesses to embed maps, order tracking information, product catalogs, and more — directly within instant message chat windows.

Explore Instant Messaging Opportunities

Instant messaging represents an evolution in communication methods between individuals and the businesses they shop with. Embracing SMS and third party messaging apps is crucial for businesses to remain competitive and provide the customer experiences that today’s shoppers prefer.

The Quiq Conversational Customer Engagement Platform provides an all-in-one solution for communicating with consumers at their convenience. It enables monitoring and managing conversations, plus keeping buyers interested with images, videos, emojis, and exclusive offers. 

Contact us now to learn more about how instant messaging enhances communications. Trying a product demo is an excellent way to see firsthand how Quiq saves time and money.

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