Conversational Messaging is a Customer Loyalty Pathway for Regional SMBs – News

Manich Mishra. — Photo provided

By Manish Mishra

Published: Thu 18 August 2022, 17:42

In the GCC, where digital transformation has essentially become a mandate across all industries and at all scales, SMEs and B2C start-ups have started turning to more advanced technologies to help them be competitive and disruptive. Now that they live, of necessity, in the cloud, they are adjacent to a digital marketplace of tools and platforms that can enable them to go beyond simple business continuity and find ways to captivate consumers and build lasting brand loyalty.

Modern-day customers are not characterized by patience. They want what they want, and they want it now. And brands want to give it to them. A Freshworks review of 107 million customer interactions found that speed was the consumer’s top priority. But in the wake of the Great Resignation, this escalation in demand poses a problem that only automation can solve. Small businesses need to think bigger and turn to AI, chatbots, and smart workflows to drive the transformation that will set them apart in their markets.

When businesses use messaging software to interact with customers, we call it “conversational messaging.” Live chat, chatbots, and messaging channels are all part of conversational messaging. Research indicates that up to 79% of customers prefer live chat for instant answers. Indeed, these systems allow to individualize the customer experience thanks to recorded histories which allow agents to continue where a colleague left off during a previous contact, thus demonstrating to the customer that they are understood and appreciated. .

Empowered employees

Meanwhile, in a world where talent retention and quality of employee experience have both been linked to positive customer outcomes, agents are empowered by conversational platforms that allow them to manage multiple interactions simultaneously. while showing genuine empathy in each of them. And the problems they deal with will no longer be monotonous, because smart chatbots will have already solved all standard queries. The workflow capabilities of modern platforms even allow agents to more effectively manage expectations on issues such as wait times and office hours, which also leads to an improved customer experience.

For the business as a whole, today’s messaging platforms increase efficiency by introducing concurrency to the customer service function while simultaneously improving the quality of conversations. Relatively small support teams can now cope with high contact volumes with flying colors, thanks to multilingual support, so customers get the support they need immediately from anywhere in the world. Additionally, the nature of technology allows for advanced analytics, leading to a range of potential improvements, not only for customer service, but also for products, services, workflows, billing, marketing , etc.

Such tools currently live on the clouds to which SMEs in the region migrated at the start of the pandemic. Scalable software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings are particularly beneficial for cost-conscious SMBs, as companies can test their digital experiences against KPIs such as latency and workflow complexity to ensure that in a production environment, customers will not be disappointed.

Reconciling demand and capacity

SaaS platforms have become increasingly popular with the onset of the hybrid working era. When acquiring digital capabilities, it’s hard to argue with the ease of use, agility, flexibility, and value for money associated with SaaS. This is the obvious route to take to enable future scaling.

Many SMBs in the region are looking at cloud-native conversational messaging as a way to match market demands with internal capacity. Adopters are quickly discovering that their digital workflows live up to consumer satisfaction and that all of their business functions (management, marketing, warehousing, IT, etc.) are unified on CX. Conversational messaging makes these one-voice cultures possible and ensures that the customer experience is driven by brand policy and not by the service that customer is conversing with. This is customer individualization in action.

Implementing conversational messaging starts with live chat, as it will be the heart of the solution. Once this functionality is embedded and employees become familiar with it and are able to leverage it to delight customers, the organization can begin to become more innovative by designing and implementing custom chatbot workflows. As we have already seen, chatbots are going to become the first point of contact in a conversational messaging platform. It is now a proven technology – an emerging must-have for businesses in the post-pandemic digital economy. It can be deployed easily and quickly become an effective replacement for agents in routine conversations. And its multi-threading capabilities allow it to scale to handle a virtually unlimited number of simultaneous contacts.

A new ecosystem

Next comes the integration of messaging apps. This will give customers the freedom to choose their channel of interaction, be it WhatsApp, iMessage, Facebook Messenger or other. The popularity of these apps varies from region to region, so it’s wise to determine which platforms are used the most, avoid unnecessary sourcing, and ensure that the organization follows the rules. authorization applied by each application.

Once the new messaging ecosystem progresses and adds value, the marketing function can get involved, strategically using proactive communication to enhance the already strong relationships that have been established. Updates and reminders are best received by customers who already have a warm relationship with a brand, and businesses can use triggered messages to campaign to customers based on their recent activity.

Conversational messaging is one of the most valuable digital transformations for a fledgling B2C business. It can make a difference in a market where competitors are traditionally considered interchangeable. It can help you stand out. It can help you be competitive. It can help you disrupt.

Manish Mishra, Head of MEA Business at Freshworks. The opinions expressed are his own and do not reflect the policy of the newspaper.

Joseph P. Harris