Conversation is More Than A Message: The Impact of Chat Platform

Communicating with customers is at the top of many a businesses lists of things to do right. The point of contact between a business and a customer can make or break a company, so setting up easy and quick engagement strategies is a key principle. However, many companies are said to still be relying on emails or telephone as their main contact strategy, even though messaging has been proven to be much more preferred by billions of people. According to a Facebook IQ survey, 59 percent of people use messaging apps more now than they did two years ago, and 56 percent are expected to use messaging even more over the next two years.

While many may assume that messaging is only for chatting with friends, take note: while 59 percent of respondents to the Nielsen survey said they use messaging apps to connect with friends and family, 67 percent said they expected to use messaging more for communicating with businesses over the next two years. It makes the competition to attract customers much higher than before. With this significant change in customer needs, businesses should be aware and prepare to be resistant. Based on many examples we encountered, there are some important points you can consider in preparing to reach out to your target customers:

1)The Work Culture Must be Easy to Reach

For many companies, email is still the main mode of communication with employees. Through email, the conversation tends to be formal and cumbersome to read. This is because of conflicting amounts of incoming corporate emails and those from others. Using chat platform is then an alternative choice to make employees more connected with the company on a more personal level. It will them make the relationship between the company and its employees and customers more productive, too. Indirectly, a chat platform as another path in the business process will change the company’s work culture. Based on that, will the email era come to an end? Of course not. Although email overload is a common phenomenon in many companies, email is still necessary. However, email is no longer the only path to connect online. You do not want important messages unreadable because your employee has more incoming emails to read.

2) It is not Enough to Reach Your Customers Through Texts and Emails

They don’t want to quit and change the platform because they have already sunk in too deep. They also want to discuss or report about something that can’t be expressed through texts or emails. You can also minimize missed communication which will greatly benefit your business. Combining text messages and voice-calling, your team and your customers can express more details that are often tough to describe with text only. If the conversation volume gets bigger, you will need more time and effort to specifically analyze issues. There will also be returning feedback coming from users and whoever who uses your business.

3) Consider a Simple Custom View Chat

A business is a place where a seller meets customers, who have different personalities and various needs. The seller’s duty is to provide what is needed and fulfill the customer’s needs. As a business, you are always dealing with consumers who have various needs because every customer is different. One of the interesting needs that your customers may have is to chat and make calls, either voice or video, in one screen of any chat room to communicate better with you. Creating a customised chat platform can increase customer satisfaction because when your business is different from others, you increase the level of business appeal for the customer. However, do not forget to always make sure that it is simple and easy to use. The customer will be more engaged with your business.

4) Is Your Business Ready to Face Digital Disruption?

Digital disruption is the change that occurs when new digital technologies and business models affect the value proposition of existing goods and services (Rouse, 2017) and is one of the effects of digitization. The adoption of technology is expected to make business operations more efficient. With the advancement of information and communication technology (ICT), competition is accelerated to deliver goods and services according to market demand and deliver them at competitive prices. Many companies do not prepare for this and fail to realize that the customer experience is important. It will be hard to produce something innovative that responses to consumer demands but clearly very necessary.

5) Accelerating Digitization in Businesses

The impact of digitization these days is inevitable and many businesses have definitely taken advantage of it. A 2015 MIT Sloan Management study found that companies that had 50% or more of their revenues from digital ecosystems (and above average customer understanding) had 32% higher revenue growth and 27% higher profit margins than their competitors. According to McKinsey, digitizing selected stages of the customer experience may increase efficiency in specific areas of the process and address some burning customer issues, but it will never deliver a truly seamless experience, and as a result, may leave significant potential on the table. Digitization has profoundly changed the underlying conditions in companies as the conventional methods that companies used could not grant customer expectations.

Nowadays, customers have been expecting companies to perform endless amounts of tasks with immediate demand through digitization, and they expect companies to have everything in one place: intuitive interfaces, 24/7 availability, real-time services with more personalized service, no errors and global consistency (Shahar Markovitch and Paul Willinot, 2014). Companies that digitize processes can improve their bottom lines and delight customers. The value at stake depends on the business model and starting point but can be estimated by allocating costs to end-to-end processes and benchmarking against peers. Thus, to fulfill all of their demands, it is inevitable that businesses have to accelerate the digitization of their processes.

In fact, moving quickly isn’t always easy. It is a business decision-making through IT development. Digitization helps an organization to be more alert to changing business values, customize products and responses with clients on a personal level, and to automate all processes so that workers can focus on things that really matter most in business. That’s why digitization programs need strong support from the project team to align all the stakeholders. You will see an incredible variety of experiences that are literally defining a new creative medium and new paths to purchase. You have a wealth of uncharted opportunities since messaging offers more personal and powerful ways to drive awareness, drive sales, enhance customer service or add functionality on top of your existing app.

6) Sophisticated Conversational Commerce

Conversational commerce is a real-time customer communication system that functions through various messenger applications and bots. Since customers are now savvier and influenced by infinite amounts of data, they are expected to be more selective about the brands and products they want to purchase, especially in today’s context where WhatsApp, Skype, and other apps have made it really easy to have real-time consultations. Look to more sophisticated messaging markets for inspiration around what’s possible and look into providing people accustomed to the simpler side of messaging with inspiration of your own around the many possibilities of messaging.

For brands who can do it well, conversational commerce is becoming an integral and powerful part of the customer’s journey. Conversational commerce will impact the customer. Based on the marketing platform for User-Generated Content (UGC) and reviews, Yotpo, there are five distinct steps in the customer purchase journey:

  1. Awareness: The first and most important stage of the buying process,
  2. Research: Customers want to find out their options.
  3. Consideration: This is the stage when a customer is comparing options to make the best choice.
  4. Purchasing decision: During this stage, buying behavior turns into action.
  5. Re-purchase: After making a purchase, consumers consider whether it was worth it, whether they will recommend the product/service/brand to others, and what feedback they would give.

My work has been published in another blog