Many consumers needing customer support, especially younger ones, want to interact with businesses through private social messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Twitter Messenger. This is one of many things we discovered while conducting research for the 2019 NICE inContact Customer Experience (CX) Benchmark.
Private social messaging apps are wildly popular. In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review "six of the top 10 global apps are messaging apps." Further, Business Insider reports that "the combined user base of the top four chat apps is larger than the combined user base of the top four social networks." WhatsApp has 1.5 billion users worldwide, with Facebook Messenger not far behind.
In other words, private social messaging is huge.
Businesses have been busy figuring out how to leverage the capabilities of messaging apps and tap into the large customer base. Although initial efforts focused on marketing, organizations are increasingly incorporating private social messaging into their service delivery models.
This is timely, because customers want and value this. According to our research, roughly 4 out of 10 consumers have used messaging apps for customer service. Drilling down by age group tells a more interesting story - 58% of Generation Z and 59% of Millennials report using private social messaging for customer service. Additionally, these younger consumers are much more likely to say that they want businesses to offer this service channel and that it makes it faster and easier to get their issues resolved.
If that isn't enough to convince businesses to adopt private social messaging as a service channel, perhaps the benefits will. Compared to public social media, these benefits include:
- Privacy - Private social messaging is superior to trying to resolve issues, for example, on a public Twitter feed. It allows the customer to share confidential information, such as account numbers, as well as attach photos. Further, it lets organizations avoid the embarrassment of publicly airing dirty laundry for everyone, including the media, to see.
- Data Security - Private social messaging is also more secure than public social media. In fact, data is typically encrypted and isn't subject to being used like information posted on public social media.
- Better Contact Management - Organizing, tracking, and managing private social messaging conversations is easier than trying to keep track of public social media comments, making it less likely for contacts to fall through the cracks.
- Chatbots - Some messaging apps allow businesses to deploy chatbots, which can increase the timeliness and efficiency of delivering customer service.
The case for including private social messaging as a support channel is compelling - messaging apps have a large, global user base, customers want to interact with businesses this way, and it has features that make it superior to public social media. Businesses that want to stay relevant in the experience economy should assess how private social messaging fits into their service models within their contact centers. NICE inContact’s CXone includes native support for private social messaging. This allows agents to easily engage with customers on a variety of social platforms while never having to leave their agent dashboard.
As advanced contact center technologies have evolved and matured, leveraging them to their fullest extent is the difference maker between market leaders and market laggards. Forcing customers who may be experiencing a difficulty or have a service-related question, automatically puts them at a state of inconvenience. Allowing them to contact your organization on the channels they most frequent enforces the idea that your business puts the customer first.
In short, if you want to improve CX, allow your customers to contact you on private social channels. Many will make the mistake to call their contact center digital because they’ve implemented email and webchat. But there is so much more to a digital first contact center and delivering digital leadership to your customers. Innovators are looking for ways to enable seamless contextually aware channel hopping where customers can start an engagement on one channel and move to another without any trouble and the context of their conversation remains intact, even if they’re switching to a new agent. There are a considerable number of variables to consider when pushing your contact center through a digital evolution. Check out NICE inContact’s Innovator’s Guide to the Digital First Contact Center. This guide provides a blueprint for contact center leaders to follow in identifying what technology to implement and also delivers those looking to build the business case for these improvements the data they need to show the shift to digital, I highly recommend it.
Want to find out more about consumer attitudes toward private social messaging and connecting digitally with your business? Download our complimentary eBook, The Power of Emotion in Customer Service. It's full of insights on how digital channels, especially private social messaging, have influenced customer behavior and why adopting those channels within the contact center is not a ‘nice to have,’ it’s a must.In addition, we’ve developed a checklist that proposes the best measures to fix common problems in the contact center, including, consistency, slow response time and lack of personalization. As you’re exploring solutions for driving improvements to your contact center, this checklist will be a useful tool.