Why Messaging is the Only Support Channel that Aligns with Today’s On-the-Go Lifestyle

Communicating with brands should match the rest of today’s on-the-go lifestyle; it should be convenient, effortless and efficient. Yet there’s only one support channel that actually achieves this: messaging.

It’s not just millennials who prefer communicating via mobile messaging today. More than five billion people around the world spend their time on messaging apps like Whatsapp, WeChat, and Facebook Messenger. The public today wants to be able to communicate with friends, colleagues, and family simultaneously — while also looking at social media profiles, checking email, and playing mobile games. Being able to multitask is important, as is being able to pick up conversations and interactions wherever they left off.

Because consumers are fully accustomed to this prominent mode of communication, it makes sense that they want to communicate with brands in the same way. There is therefore a need to cater to those expectations of efficiency and convenience. That being said, consumers appreciate messaging as a support channel because it adequately addresses the six behaviors below that other channels do not.

  1. No one has time to wait on hold or in a browser window. According to a recent survey, 44 percent of Americans would rather scrub a toilet than call customer support, with “long waits and hold times” accounting for 60 percent of that subset. Having to wait around just to be connected with a human is a completely avoidable waste of time, as messaging allows users to simply leave a message and go on about their day, and receive a notification when there is a response waiting.
  2. When given the opportunity, people prefer to help themselves. Consumers today are self-sufficient. They don’t want to speak with a human for the sake of making conversation, they just want an answer to whatever issue they are experiencing. Self-service is most accessible through messaging because of capabilities such as native, easily searchable FAQs and chatbots that guide users to the answers and solutions they are looking for.
  3. People hate repeating themselves. When forced to call customer service or start a live chat, customers usually have to relay their problem from scratch — regardless of how many times they’ve already contacted support or the number of transfers between agents. With messaging, conversation history and agent notes are saved within the ticket so that agents can quickly get up to speed and not have to subject customers to these redundancies.
  4. People want to get straight to the point, and not have to fill out a lengthy form. Sending an email or filling out a form with all the details necessary to get an issue resolved in one attempt is a time consuming process. And if all the details aren’t provided in advance, resolving an issue will become an even more cumbersome process considering the delays associated with multiple email exchanges. With messaging, customers can respond quickly with the necessary details, embed helpful images, and get the answers they are looking for much more efficiently.
  5. Though few and far between, dead zones exist. Whether consumers are traveling and hit a dead zone, or their wifi cuts out — they still want to be able to reach support. With messaging, knowledge articles can be cached so self-service is available 24/7. Users can also send messages and receive the responses later when they have reception, surpassing the need for a continuous connection in order to make progress towards a solution.
  6. No one wants to navigate clunky automated menus. While some consumers are still hesitant to converse with chatbots, the chatbots of the messaging world are infinitely more user-friendly than those IVR phone menus that result in the consumer yelling “representative” over and over into the receiver. In fact, three-quarters (76 percent) of Americans say chat-based messaging would be their preferred support channel if they knew they would get an immediate response.

These consumer behaviors indicate that a messaging-based support channel is a no-brainer when it comes to increasing customer satisfaction. Yet it is also important to consider the benefits of messaging from an operational perspective: messaging is a far more cost-effective, agent-friendly channel as well. It’s highly scalable, and can benefit the most from the AI-powered and chatbot-based automations available on the market today.

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