The Rise of Messaging

Over 2.3 billion people use messaging as a way to communicate via mobile devices, apps, and computers. Messaging has become the most popular channel for both personal and business interactions. This trend has spiked because there is a need for real-time, easily accessible information. 

With the exponential rise in usage of messaging channels - whether that’s live chat or messaging apps like Apple Messenger and Whatsapp - businesses are realizing that it’s a critical channel to connect with customers. So how do businesses leverage messaging as a medium? And how can it aid in providing great customer experiences?

Messaging Software vs Messaging Platforms

For businesses to get started with messaging, there are two parts to consider - the messaging platform, where you set up your workflows and processes in the back end; and the messaging software - where you set up the interface on which your customers will interact. These two should go hand-in-hand to provide high-quality messaging services that can effortlessly help users. 

Let’s look at each in detail and see how businesses can benefit from both.

 

Messaging software

Messaging software is the user-facing side, that helps people instantly chat with each other using text or media. It is commonly found as applications on mobile devices such as Whatsapp, iMessage and Facebook Messenger, or as live chat widgets often found in the bottom right corner on websites.

Messaging platforms

A messaging platform is the back-end, internal interface that enables instant communication and allows you to use one or more messaging software. Often, customer messaging platforms also offer front-end capabilities, similar to a messaging software (website live chat, chatbots) or they can be integrated with external messaging apps (Whatsapp, etc.) under one domain.

Can you use messaging software without a messaging platform? 

Yes, messaging software apps can work independently without messaging platforms to manage it. However, if you decide to offer messaging on more than one software without a single platform to simultaneously manage all the incoming conversations, it can become a tedious and time-consuming task. In the case of website messaging, most providers offer a platform to help you manage and deploy services such as live chat or chatbots along with software capabilities. 

But, should you use messaging software without a platform?

The answer is no. Not only do messaging platforms bring all your channels together, they also provide additional features that can help you manage productivity.

 

Some features include:
  • Send out bulk messages to groups of customers
  • Trigger journeys based on customer actions
  • Manage multiple agents and track their conversations
  • Gain insight into your conversations and measure satisfaction
  • Deploy chatbots that automate routine interactions

How customers benefit from messaging software

Better customer experience

Messaging is an easy access channel that can be positioned on every web page/app to help the user. It can be a single point of all communication between you and the customer. Once the customer starts a conversation on chat, they’ll be able to get all the answers from within the widget.

Faster resolutions for customers

Resolution time is as low as 2 minutes, as compared to email at 48 hours. No matter what the customer’s questions maybe, they’ll be able to get answers instantly from the right person. This brings wait time to a minimum and increases customer satisfaction.

More informed customers

You’ll be able to reach out to customers with product launches and updates on the go. In terms of outreach, messaging is a fast way to reach customers, educate them and also open up opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell products that they might benefit from.

Available 24*7

Offer round the clock service within minutes across geographies and languages. No matter where your customers are you’ll be able to answer them with the help of multi-lingual support that is available at all times. 

How your business will benefit from messaging software

Generate leads faster

A website/app without messaging channels converts an average of 1.5% of its visitors into leads. However, live chat messaging has the ability to bring in far more leads because of its interactive nature.

Your agents have the ability to get the conversation started with every visitor and turn it into a sale.

Nurture high-quality leads

You can share engaging content that informs the customer about the benefits of your product. Chat messaging allows you to talk to your leads over a period of time.

Based on the way they engage with you, you can customize their journey towards a purchase decision.

Affordable communication channel

Chat is low cost, allows your team to multitask, and requires little-to-no technical expertise to set-up. With most messaging software you can get started for free. All you have to do is sign-up and follow the onboarding process and you can launch the channel.

It’s simple and doesn’t require any technical support.

How your business can get started with messaging

For both small businesses and large ones, the transition from traditional channels like phone and email to chat is crucial. The seamless adoption of messaging can make or break your communication with customers. To ensure you are not losing customers in this process, here’s how you can move to real-time interactions.

 

Identify your customer persona

By identifying your ideal customer you’ll be able to highlight their pain-points. Ask questions like, “what does my ideal customer struggle with when reaching out to me?”. This will let you know where the loopholes are in your current communication channels. To find out where your customer best feels comfortable in reaching out, ask - “On which channel are my customer personas spending most of their time interacting?”. With a clear picture, you'll be able to tell whether messaging is a channel suitable for your customers. 

 

Find their choice of messaging software

There are a couple of factors that determine why your persona may be active on a particular messaging software. Geography plays an important role. Some apps are more popular in countries than others. Whatsapp highly dominates South-East Asian and Latin American markets. Whereas, Facebook messenger and Apple Business Chat are popular among North American Regions. Demography is also a factor. Millennials are more likely to use Whatsapp and Gen X is more prominent on Facebook. Considering these statistics will help you make a decision on which messaging software you’ll need to get on board with. 

 

Integrate your software choice with the right customer messaging platform

The right customer messaging platform for you should ease your transition from using multiple messaging channels to a unified platform. If you have data that needs to be migrated, find a messaging platform that smoothly transfers data without losing information. The biggest users of your platform are going to be your agents. This platform should be easy for them to access and should give them insights that they can learn and improve from.

 

Target your ideal customers seamlessly

Let your customers know that you now offer real-time chat support. Add the chat widget to every webpage so that your customers can reach you without entering your support portal. Learn more about how you can integrate live chat with your business here. On the other hand, if you’ve chosen to offer support via Whatsapp or Apple Business Chat, you can send out a bulk notifications that your customers can reach out to you on those apps as well. Find out more about how you can benefit from WhatsApp here.

Freshchat for messaging

Messaging software has become a necessity for businesses as billions of people are communicating over messaging channels. However, it’s tedious to individually use each messaging software or channel. This calls for a messaging platform that lets you perform frictionless business. Freshchat is a customer messaging software with a state-of-the-art messaging platform to integrate across applications and websites. Find out more about Freshchat here.