One in three Britons would prefer to contact customer service via SMS or WhatsApp, new research shows, highlighting the need for businesses to employ a fully omnichannel presence.
Although call centers are a traditional means of communication between brands and their customers, it is now the preference of less than half of the UK population (43%), according to a survey of 1,000 Britons carried out by the telecommunications provider Esendex.
– Commercial –
Similarly, 79% of consumers would consider buying a product from a company as a result of a marketing message received via text message or WhatsApp, with notifications of a sale, one-time discount, or alert that the item they wanted is back in stock. sale. stock, you will most likely attract them.
The results of the survey have been published in a report which aims to provide companies with a better understanding of customer expectations, along with practical advice to improve response times.
Laura Brown, Director of Demand Generation at Esendex, comments: “We wanted to dig deeper into today’s customer, post-pandemic. At the heart of what we found is a major shift in customer expectations and communication preferences, with more than half of Britons admitting they feel frustrated if they have to wait more than five hours for a service response. customer service.
“When companies expand their methods of communication beyond the norm (ie just phone or email), they create an omnichannel presence that ensures no stone is left unturned, so to speak. WhatsApp, in particular, is still really in its early stages, so there’s a huge opportunity here for businesses to get on board with a platform that’s used by more than two billion users worldwide.
“In addition to this, statistics show that 48% of people are on their phone between four and eight hours a day, with seven in ten checking unread notifications in less than five minutes. WhatsApp, therefore, is one of the fastest ways to respond or get a customer’s attention.
Released in 2018, whatsapp for business enables organizations to send text, images, video, and audio directly to their customers’ pockets, with the addition of branding and even bots for fully automated interactions.
Top tips for using WhatsApp for business
Statistics show that 73% of people use multiple channels during your shopping trip. Additionally, those who use four or more channels spend 9% more with a business, on average, compared to those who only use one channel. Here are some tips when considering whether to use WhatsApp to communicate with your customers.
Ask yourself ‘why WhatsApp?’
WhatsApp for Business has so much functionality that it can be difficult to know where to start. The first thing to establish is why you want to use it in the first place. Perhaps you have identified a specific pain point in the existing customer journey that the platform could help solve? Or maybe the overall engagement and conversions through other channels are too low? Knowing the why will help you identify the how and establish a clear strategy.
Determine use cases carefully
One thing you don’t want to do is message your customers about everything and anything – you need to think behind every communication. Esendex research shows that customers are more likely to be receptive to text messages that allow them to manage appointments, remind them of overdue payments, and inform them of any updates to their delivery. Two out of three Britons are also happy to receive marketing messages from companies.
Encourage two-way conversations
Once you’ve started to open up your communications to multiple platforms, it’s time to start fostering two-way conversations with your customers, for a fully interactive experience.
This makes sense during the ‘mobile revolution’ with statistics highlighting how 69% of people would rather use their phone than approach an employee in the store; two out of three also feel more positive towards a business that offers this message.
Omnichannel chat is one way to explore this, enabling marketing and customer service teams to enjoy multiple, simultaneous, two-way, mobile-centric conversations with shoppers across a variety of digital communication channels. Bots can even be deployed to help automate responses to frequently asked questions (such as how to return an item), with the added benefit of being able to provide 24/7 service.
Don’t forget the GDPR
All companies should be aware of GDPR Already, but did you know that customers also have to subscribe to WhatsApp communications? Consent must be through a third-party channel, that is, a channel that a company is already using to communicate with its customers. It is also the company’s responsibility to let customers know what types of notifications they will receive, keep track of subscriptions, and provide a clear opt-out.