Customer Service via Mobile Messenger Part 2: Success Factors
A smartphone without messaging app? Unthinkable – Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and other messaging apps continue to dominate most popular app store downloads. It is therefore an obvious strategy to use these apps as a channel for customer communication. However, there are a few things to consider. We will explain what these are in this second part of our series on “Customer Service via Mobile Messenger”.
Speed as a success factor
Speed is a crucial factor. While communication via messengers is asynchronous, as described in Part 1 of our series, the messages are transmitted in real time – and when submitting service-related queries via this channel, customers expect virtually an immediate response. You should therefore set your response time threshold to a near real-time target: we recommend that your customers should not have to wait more than 10 minutes for a response.
First Response Time is also one of the most important KPIs of this communication channel. Other important KPIs are Resolution Time and Customer Satisfaction.
The team as a success factor
The path to successful customer service using messaging apps starts with the selection of the right talent for your team. Look out for the following skills and competencies:
- They should be good at multi-tasking. This is because unlike in customer service via telephone, where one dialogue follows another, there are usually several interactions taking place in parallel on a messaging app.
- An above-average typing speed and excellent written language skills are important to be able to ensure high quality in conjunction with short response times.
- The team members should have a creative flair. This is because messaging app communication not only involves text but also visual elements such as emojis, GIFs, photos, videos, etc. Only if these are used appropriately will messaging apps develop their full potential for customer service.
- Consequently, the staff should be familiar with all the functions typical for the particular platform (Facebook Messenger vs WhatsApp)
Training as a success factor
When the above-mentioned prerequisites are in place, the customer service staff can become champions of messenger communication, given the right training. The training should:
- convey the communication style typical for messaging apps, which tends towards colloquial conversations and involves the use of visual elements,
- train on managing multiple conversations in parallel which is easier in a messaging app than in live chat as the interval between the messages can be longer,
- demonstrate the correct use of emojis and memes and, importantly, sensitize the staff to the fact that visual elements can have different connotations in different cultures,
- teach efficient use of the knowledge base incl. online troubleshooting, useful help articles and how-to-videos (the relevant items should be in mobile-friendly formats),
- make the staff aware that the interaction with customers could be made public at any time via screenshots being posted – in the worst-case scenario to draw attention to poor service, in the best-case scenario to publicly give praise for brilliant service.
Technology as a success factor
Finally, selecting the right technology will help the team provide good customer service via messaging apps. The system should enable the following:
- Grouping of all messages belonging to the same conversation in one thread
- Sending and receiving visual elements (emojis, videos, etc.)
- Messengers include a visual check to let users know their messages have been sent and read by the recipient. The system must be able to show the right status at the right time, or else your customers might think you have already read their message whilst in reality it is still in a queue. If not set right, this can have a negative impact on customer expectations.
- (Visual) alerts when response time is in danger of exceeding threshold
- Automatic dispatch of surveys to record customer satisfaction and obtain Net Promoter Score
- Integration of additional services the company offers (online shop, shipment tracking, etc.)
Would you like to find out more about why WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are increasing in popularity? Check out Part 1 of our series to find out what customers like about messaging apps. A practical application example will follow in Part 3.
Author: Editorial team Future. Customer.
Image: © dolphfyn / Adobe Stock