Remember when using acronyms like LOL, BRB, and BTW were the only way to express yourself on a text message? For a clever few, with a little time on their hands, the use of textual characters morphed into a new form of art to help convey a message. Who knew everyone would use it to communicate visually ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Fast forward a few short years and you’ll find the insurgence of rich messaging has us sharing the kind of rich media we could only dream about back then.
Rich messaging allows companies and customers to exchange hi-res images, videos, gifs, and even complete sales transactions all within a text messaging conversation. Rich messaging, aside from providing a more modern messaging experience, has the power to change the expectations of your customers. In this post, we’ll look at 5 ways rich messaging is transforming customer expectations for customer service.
Rich Messaging Basics
Although we’ve provided a pretty in-depth primer on rich messaging in a previous post, we wanted to remind you of the basics before we dive too deep into how this new way of messaging is changing the way customers are engaging with companies. Here’s what you need to know.
First, rich messaging is a new standard of text messaging that’s already been adopted by Apple and Google, plus a lot of well-known brands like Overstock.com and Brinks Homes Security. Much like SMS, which is the simple text message limited to 160 characters that most people are used to, rich messaging provides customers and companies a way to exchange concise messages over mobile devices. That’s the messaging part. Unlike SMS, rich messaging allows messages over 160 characters, high-resolution images, videos, and a whole suite of other features that make it a better experience than a simple SMS message.
Rich messaging isn’t just about images though. Rich messaging is really about meeting customers’ expectations of convenience. High-resolution images and videos help to convey a message, but that’s only part of the story. The ability to complete transactions within a message or present customers with suggested responses, enabling them to reply to an agent with a tap of a button, adds elements of speed and ease to interactions that consumers expect.
As customer expectations of service continue to increase, rich messaging will help shape their expectations. Here are 5 ways rich messaging for customer service will change customer expectations.
5 Transformative Ways to use Rich for Customer Service
1. Provide responses better and faster than phone and email
There is no doubt that today’s consumer is busier and on-the-go more than customers were even a decade ago. They expect rapid responses and want to communicate one-to-one with businesses – all on their terms. We can thank the digitization of everything from media to services for shaping consumers’ on-demand expectations.
By leveraging rich messaging, businesses can provide their customers with the same type of on-demand support that on-demand products deliver by removing some of the friction around engaging with a company. For example, if a customer searches for a company on their iPhone that has implemented Apple Business Chat, they can immediately start a messaging conversation simply by tapping a “message” icon in the search results. No need to call the company. The customer can simply message what they have to say.
2. Share media that tells a story
Rich messaging isn’t just a pretty face, or GIF rather. The ability to share videos, recordings, hi-res images and yes, even GIFS has been a gamechanger. The ability to share rich media, up to 10MB per message to be exact, makes it easier for agents and customers to help with purchases or troubleshoot issues.
For instance, customers who want to shop around for a new security system can send a picture of their current hardware to see if it’s compatible with the prospective company’s monitoring or if they’ll need to purchase new hardware. This eliminates the need to schedule an appointment for a technician to come to their home to see their current setup, which means less time and hassle for the customer.
3. Allow customers to complete transactions
Rich messaging is all about making the entire experience with your business as convenient as possible for your customers. There are a plethora of use cases and industries where the value is evident, but none so much as retail.
From browsing for a product to buy to completing transactions, rich messaging can help companies support customers through their entire purchase lifecycle. Helping customers navigate a site or find options within a product assortment can easily happen without the customer switching channels.
With rich messaging, customers never have to leave the messaging channel to complete their transaction. Instead of shoppers clicking around to check out, agents can send transaction cards, where customers purchase through a secure cart.
4. Enable customers to make reservations
It’s not just retailers selling tangible goods that can benefit from rich messaging. Services, consulting, travel and hospitality, or any industry where booking an appointment or making a reservation is important should be interested in using rich messaging.
For example, a hotel can a send reservation card to prospective guests allowing them to make an instant booking. The key word being instant. According to Statista, online travel sales are expected to hit a staggering 755.94 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, with mobile travel sales making up 95 billion U.S. dollars.
Going to travel agencies and booking by phone has become a memory only a dwindling few can recall. Travel and hospitality have set the precedence for making reservations. After all, if you can book a houseboat in Bali for 6 months from now from your phone, shouldn’t you be able to schedule your local lawn service next week with the same amount of ease? Making online reservations, with a focus on mobile reservations, a feature is more crucial than ever for companies that care about increasing revenue.
5. Give customers peace of mind with identity verification
Robo-callers with scam offers and bulk SMS messages from shortcodes that can’t be identified are becoming more commonplace. Consumers are becoming more aware and wary of such behavior and won’t hesitate to block numbers or type “Stop” to avoid receiving further communication.
Rich messaging gives your customers peace of mind that they are talking to the trusted brand they intended to engage with. With rich messaging, companies go through a rigorous verification process. Once verified, the company can use their official brand name, colors, logo and font in their messages.
Rich messaging adds another layer of trust to customer service communications. Regardless if the customer receives an outbound message from your company on their Android device promoting a new product or they send in a text message to troubleshoot an issue with a product on their iPhone, they’ll have the confidence that the information they share is private, secure, and going to the right place.
Rich Messaging Behind the Scenes
In addition to all of the features mentioned above that make rich messaging a better experience for your customer, the ability to understand how your messages perform allows companies to understand and improve engagement behind the scenes. Quiq’s messaging platform gives you key metrics for messages that were sent, delivered, failed, and responded to
Rich messaging doesn’t have to be limited to text messages either. Clients using Quiq are able to provide rich experiences to users across chat and other business messaging channels as well. This means that companies can provide content-rich, personalized experiences across SMS/text business messaging, web chat, social, and even within their own app when using Quiq. Ready to take transform your customer service with rich messaging? Schedule a demo to see Quiq’s messaging platform in action.