B2C communication is both a science and an art. Technology platforms have evolved impressively over the past two decades, from newspaper advertising/flyers/billboards to TV, radio, internet, and mobile (correspondingly adopting mediums like search, social, SEM and SMS). These mediums are a boon for a marketer, both because of the unprecedented reach and data-driven capabilities they offer. But conversely, this has also brought in several pain points.
Customer engagement is central to business success. With everything going online nowadays, customers have come to expect fast, easy, and secure digital experiences. Customers no longer want to respond to emails, download apps, subscribe to pages, or like a page on Instagram / Facebook. Instead, they just want to buy a product, make the payment and carry on. This leaves businesses in a lurch as they have less interaction, reduced engagement and fewer opportunities to exactly understand the future needs of customers.
In such frictional scenarios, conversational messaging, powered by conversational AI, can play a vital role by utilizing the available information faster, automate communication and help deliver an enriched customer experience as well as gain a powerful competitive advantage.
“Connecting with customers in a valuable, relevant manner is as old as marketing itself. But we’ve seen a shift recently in how, exactly, customers want to connect with brands. Strong brand connections are about whether or not the brand helps customers present themselves in a way that’s consistent with their own value.”
Every kind of business ultimately comes down to two main stakeholders: the provider (company or brand) and the customer (buyer). As they do business and engage in transactions, companies and customers often communicate with each other. In the olden days, this happened via phone or snail mail, and later via email and voice-based call centres. But today, the world of brand-customer-brand communications has opened up to include many more channels than ever before – thanks to conversational communications messaging.
If there is anything that marketers and sales support teams of a brand completely agree on, it’s the importance of customer experience management. And a major aspect of that is how brands communicate with every individual customer; before, during, and after a sales transaction. It’s no surprise, therefore, that as businesses have gone digital, so have their customer touch-points.
Customer support used to depend on face-to-face interaction, in-branch, or on-site service. Then came the time of on-call support, IVR, and SMS services to make customer interactions quicker and after-sales customer experience smoother. The mobile nature of customer support has now extended to in-app and WhatsApp engagement.
Businesses are adapting their lead management and service functions to reach millions of customers every day via WhatsApp. So even without returning to the app, customers can still receive the order and service-related notifications of their business. This is a feat that is impossible to achieve without automation, and that’s where WhatsApp Business API comes into play.
The ubiquity of the Internet means that users’ demands regarding Internet-enabled services are also on the rise. In response to these demands, companies are coming up with newer technologies, not to deliver these services, but also to enhance user experiences. In every industry and sector, there is an increasing push towards providing better customer experiences (CX), combined with the realisation that this can be made possible by engaging users in a personalised manner. In fact, the personalisation of user experiences for an “audience of one” has become a major theme in the development and growth of Internet-based services.
Earlier engagement formats such as web and app were structured formats consisting of screens, tabs and buttons – they require humans to behave like computers; conversational interfaces are natural and intuitive – forcing computers to behave like humans. In that sense, conversational interfaces enable the most advanced form of customer engagement.
A conversational app is one that uses conversational messaging to enable a customer to converse with a business seamlessly, across channels that they are comfortable with. The conversational app workflow takes the customer along an omnichannel journey that may start with a website, leading to an SMS, carry on, on a WhatsApp channel where a Whatsapp chatbot could guide the user to the culmination on a mobile app. The workflow could be a commerce workflow or a marketing workflow or a customer support workflow.
Why Conversational Messaging?
Businesses need to engage with their customers in real-time. Customer engagement drives revenues, customer satisfaction and market share growth. Therefore, businesses are always looking for better and newer ways to engage customers. Earlier engagement formats such as web and app were structured formats consisting of screens, tabs and buttons – they require humans to behave like computers; conversational messaging is natural, intuitive and conversational – it forces computers to behave like humans. In that sense, conversational messaging is the most advanced format for engagement.
A key evolution of the brand messaging strategy is that a consumer should be able to communicate with the brand as they do with their friends. Messaging is the key to that. Messaging apps like WhatsApp are the most widely used smartphone apps. It has over 2 billion monthly users worldwide and approx. 459 million active users in India.
Given the rise in Whatsapp for Business accounts around the world, the platform is enabling the creation of conversational experiences delivered via Whatsapp Chatbots. Whatsapp Chatbots allow conversations between brands and consumers through a familiar experience and allow the creation of meaningful experiences. As compared to chatbots on websites, WhatsApp chatbots can aid you in reaching consumers with significantly more flexibility and frequency. This is primarily due to the way most users operate on WhatsApp – they are perpetually active and available to reply most of the time.
Manager- Presales and New Solutions
Dec 30, 2019
WhatsApp as a platform has become a critical and inseparable part of our online lives.
Our constant need for faster, engaging and secure communication that is agnostic to distance between the communicating parties has pushed messaging services to the top of our Smartphone augmented lives.
WhatsApp is at the forefront of this revolution and not undeservedly so. WhatsApp has approached communication to be clutter-free, personal and easy to use. The ease of use has enabled that my 5-year-old nephew to send me voice notes and pictures of the stars he gets on his homework.
He still cannot read or write however is able to regularly broadcast his feelings to everyone he loves without ever sitting down to learn how to use this platform.
There are no advertisements, no constant inflow of ‘publisher content’ and the feeling of individual space (that was missing on Social Media).