The Rise of Messaging, and How It's Changing Customer Service

Patrick Antinozzi

messaging customer service

When was the last time you called someone? You know, on your phone?

Who was it? Your mom? Grandfather? BFF?

Chances are you had to think long and hard about the answer to this. That's because you don't really call people much anymore. Instead, you message them.

As we've mentioned in the past, messaging apps are by far the most used apps on our phones.

messaging customer service

With those kind of numbers, it's no wonder retailers and brands have been trying to find ways to reach these users. Not only is the usage of these apps high, the engagement level is far better than most of the popular social media networks.

Social media apps have become too bloated and complicated, with many different interaction points to attract the user's eye. This makes it difficult for advertisers and brands to get your attention because they now have so much competition.

Let's look at Instagram, for example. Once a simple way to share heavily filtered lunch pics and selfies with your friends, it has now turned into a full-fledged Facebook clone. (thanks to Facebook buying it, obviously)

Between your algorithm-controlled Feed, Explore, Search, Notifications, Your Following Notifications, Suggestions, and your own Profile, you've got a lot of different things to look at.

Messaging apps are focused on just one thing, messaging.

That makes it far easier for brands and advertisers to grab your attention. And in order for them to insert themselves naturally, (as much as possible anyway) they need  to communicate with users in their preferred format, messaging.

And now that brands and businesses have spent the past year investing in their messaging presence, even trying to automate most of it with bots, the next natural step is to use it for customer service.

Because that's simply what people want.

messaging customer service

Source: Twilio

great new study shows how messaging has now become the #1 way consumers want to receive customer service.

Even email, which is generally hated by everyone, is ahead of talking on the phone.

Some of the major reasons people love to use messaging:

  • It's quick. Most messages can be read within a simple notification from your phone or watch.
  • It's easy to keep track of. Messaging is all automatically recorded so conversations can be paused and picked up again at will. Finding the context of previous conversations is simple.
  • It's reliable. Even in 2016, you can still lose phone signals or have poor call quality. Messaging requires a simple data connection, via network or WiFi.
  • It's informal. Messaging allows you to be more expressive and skip the formalities. Subject lines, intros, and signatures are replaced with emojis, memes and GIFs.

If you're not messaging your customers, you're falling behind

messaging customer service

Source: Twilio

Building a messaging strategy can be broken down into a three key steps:

  • Choose the right platform. Which one do your customers prefer to use? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each? Do they meet the needs of your customers?
  • Integrate. Incorporating information from your current systems, such as CRM and POS, will add context to your conversations and create a unified experience.
  • Scale. Your strategy will vary widely based on the size and scale of your business. Planning your infrastructure is important. There are many tools that offer a variety of features such as security encryption, network reliability, and delivery methods. Choose the ones that are a bit fit for your business.

In case you actually need further convincing that messaging is the now of customer service, Twilio surveyed people and found that 10% percent were willing to give up sex to use messaging.

messaging customer service

Yah. People really hate making phone calls these days.

A messaging strategy is one of the simplest customer service improvements your business can implement.

Everyone messages, so there is little to no team training, and your customers will find it instantly comfortable and natural.

Your customers are messaging. Why aren't you?

About the Author

Patrick Antinozzi

Patrick is our Content Specialist / Brand Ambassador / Internet Geek. He's got his finger on the pulse of business and retail trends, and loves writing in various corners of the internet. When he's not doing that, you'll find him traveling the world, playing hockey, or ranting about the Montreal Canadiens.

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