How to use messaging in customer service more successfully: tips, examples, best practices

How can you get the most out of messenger apps in customer support? In this article, we have collected tips, examples, and best practices for messaging in customer service. 

When it comes to customer support, phone is king. Correction! It used to be, but customers are moving on. In fact, 78% of customers reach out to a company by sending a text message. Experts actually see messaging as the new frontier when it comes to customer service.

According to SMS Comparison, in 2020, 48.7 million people chose a messaging channel to contact a business, making it one of the most rapidly growing marketing channels. And more than 50% of customers prefer messaging to phone calls as a support channel.

This trend is not only true for SMS, but also for internet-based messaging apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. According to Meta, there are one billion users that contact a business every week on one of their messaging apps. Why has messaging become so popular in customer service? Because it’s faster, more convenient, and more efficient than phone, e-mail, or even social media — for customers and companies alike.

So, how can you use messaging in your customer support successfully? In the following, we give tips and show you examples and best practices for using messaging in customer service.



1. Four tips for successful customer service via messaging

When using messaging for your customer support, we recommend taking full advantage of the unique possibilities of messaging apps.

1. Be conversational

From WhatsApp to Telegram to Facebook Messenger: messaging apps are inherently conversational. Use them accordingly! Besides offering messaging channels as a customer service channel, also make sure that you are available. There’s nothing worse for the user experience than sending a text message to a company, and never getting an answer. Customers are ready for conversational messaging… are you?

Also familiarize yourself with your customers’ favorite messaging apps, and their user behavior. Typically, as you are in the same environment as friends and family, conversations in messaging apps are less formal than e-mails or phone calls.

2. Use multimedia options

Videos, images, and even voice messages can make it much easier for your customers to explain and illustrate their issues. Encourage that by inviting them to send you multimedia files.

The e-commerce textile company, hessnatur, for example, asks customers to send in images of fabrics if there is an issue. This not only makes it easier for users to explain a problem, but it also saves the customer agents a lot of time, and even reduces the number of returns.

3. Integrate chatbots

Chatbots are an excellent tool for improving your service quality on messaging apps. They can be reached day and night, deliver fast answers, and they don’t get bored answering the same questions over and over again.

Even simple chatbots are capable of answering up to 80 percent of frequently asked questions. Use them to help your customers faster, and reduce the workload for your team.

4. Advertise your messaging support channel

Make it easy for your customers to message you. Advertise your messaging support channel on your website, on social media, and even on flyers, banners, and business cards. If you use WhatsApp, you can even use click-to-chat links or ads that will guide customers directly into the chat.

WhatsApp chatbot mall, Orion Mall

Ad for “Genie”, Orion Mall’s WhatsApp service channel in Bangalore. (Source: Facebook / Orion Mall)


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2. Customer service and messenger apps: best practices from four innovative companies

Some companies have already understood how messenger apps can improve their service qualities. We show you examples from four companies that are leading the way.

1. BMW: Automating FAQs

One of the biggest challenges for car dealers and repair shops is to handle their customer queries. As hundreds of people leave their cars in a shop daily, most of them check back in to find out if their car needs repairs, or to ask about the pick-up time.

As shops are mainly focused on servicing cars, a lot of them work with call centers to be able to answer the large number or queries. This is expensive, and at the same time, inefficient for agents, as most questions are recurring ones. That’s when BMW at their headquarters in Munich decided to switch things up by introducing WhatsApp as a service channel.

BMW also integrated a WhatsApp chatbot to answer FAQs. The results were impressive! BMW was able to answer 80% of customer questions immediately with the bot. It also reduced the workload for employees, and sped up answering times for customers.

Albert Rösch from BMW on customer service chatbots.


2. Orion Mall: Meeting customers on their favorite channels

Orion Mall is Bangalore’s third-largest shopping mall. Its many entertainment options, from restaurants to movies to retail also lead to many customers asking questions. When is the next movie screening? Are there any special discounts today at the stores? Where can I find the pizza parlor in the mall?

For Orion Mall, it was important to both, answer customer queries efficiently and on their customers’ preferred channel — WhatsApp. Similar to BMW, Orion Mall also combined the messaging app with a chatbot. The bot can answer FAQs, while at the same time, deliver a smooth and convenient customer experience.

 

As a result, Orion Mall received a lot of positive feedback from happy customers that loved how fast and convenient it had become to communicate with the mall.


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3. Women’s Best: creating a dialogue with users

The sports brand Women’s Best reaches 1.3 billion people in 150 countries, in a variety of languages. Accordingly, they receive a high volume of incoming customer service messages. The challenge isn’t just to answer these messages efficiently, but also to handle any follow-up questions or questions from frequent shoppers, and create an engaging dialogue with the user. After all, a positive customer service experience leads to happy customers that will shop again!

With the help of MessengerPeople by Sinch, Women’s Best launched a customer support channel on a professional WhatsApp solution.

After raising the number of countries that we deliver to to 120, it was imperative to establish one central channel for quick processing of customer inquiries. MessengerPeople’s platform is a perfect tool for this, and allowed us to dramatically simplify our processes.

David Kurzmann, CEO and co-founder Women’s Best

With the WhatsApp service channel, Woman’s Best was able to answer customer queries twice as fast, and reduce the call volume.

4. Sephora is making their service more efficient

The French beauty label Sephora is known for its wide range of premium products, and an internet-first approach. Instagram and Facebook are how a lot of Sephora customers first discover the brand. Naturally, it’s also on these channels where users contact Sephora when they have a question.

As direct customer advice on every channel is very important for the beauty retailer, Sephora wanted to create a central platform to deal with queries on time and at scale.

To that end, they introduced a professional solution for Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct into their communication system.

facebook messenger chatbot customer service

Sephora offers customer service on Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct. (Source: Meta)

Since the integration of the new messaging service channels, Sephora earned the following results:

  • 100% of customers reaching out via messenger app are now served on the same channel.
  • 15% decrease in average responses in all conversations, resulting in more efficient first-answer-resolving.

As these examples show, customer service and messaging work for all industries, in all markets, and for any messaging channel. Check out how other industries are using messaging channels for their customer service!

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Getting started with messaging in customer service

Messaging apps are a powerful communication tool for your customer service, even more so in combination with chatbots. The trick is to find the right platform for integrating the service into your business. Luckily, with ready-to-go solutions like the Messenger Communication Platform from MessengerPeople by Sinch, it’s really easy to start talking to your customers on WhatsApp, Telegram, iMessage, and integrate chatbots as well.

You don’t need to have a special IT infrastructure nor special coding skills. Our platform is specifically designed for easy use. It’ll allow you to handle all your messaging services on one platform, use a ticket system to assign questions to your agents (automatically), and it comes with an easy chatbot builder. Plus, it’ll guarantee 100% data protection!


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