5 Ways Messaging Apps for Customer Service Beat Hotlines

Our Customer Service: The Rise of Messaging Apps series will delve deeper into the possibilities that messaging app customer service offers. In three installments, we’ll analyze the advantages of messaging app customer service as it compares to telephone hotlines, e-mail, and then a mixed bag of more “modern” options, such as apps, social media, and live chat. Today’s topic is Messaging Apps vs. Hotlines.

Messaging Apps for Customer Service: 5 Advantages

  1. Asynchronous and Synchronous
  2. Efficient Ticket Handling
  3. Multimedia
  4. Cost
  5. Automation

How does customer care via WhatsApp, Apple Business Chat, Viber, Facebook Messenger, and more compare to more traditional phone service? What do customers prefer, and what is more practical (and economical) for businesses? We’ve gathered a variety of data and statistics and can safely say that messaging apps are a more flexible, efficient customer service tool. Moreover, messaging app customer service is overwhelmingly preferred by users and can save costs and resources for businesses. A recent Washington Post Article noted that 70% of customers prefer to message businesses rather than call them, and that customer satisfaction rates are 25% higher over messaging than over the phone.

How have messaging apps been able to win over public favor so completely, and what exactly are the advantages that so overshadow a good old-fashioned phone call? Read on for the five main ways in which messaging app customer service can offer a better customer- and employee – experience.

1. Synchronous and Asynchronous Service

One of the main points that is oft-cited about messaging apps is the opportunity for synchronous and asynchronous service. To put it more simply, messaging apps offer flexible communication. The customer and the service employee can write back and forth to each other immediately, clearing up a question or issue within minutes, or the customer can write back after longer breaks, whenever it fits into their work schedule or their day. No matter how long the customer takes to respond, the conversation won’t be broken off.

How this beats phone service? Once they’ve connected with a customer service employee, most consumers are desperate to remain on the line with them – especially if they’ve gone through an irritating cycle of automated phone directories or waited on hold or been reconnected with a variety of departments. This can be inconvenient if you also need to get on a train, ride an elevator, or even simply finish a task at home or at work. Customers have to specifically carve out time to make a customer service call, whereas messaging can fit into their day completely flexibly and conveniently. In today’s society, convenience is key. This is also good for the customer service employees — if they need to look up specific information or check with someone about how to best fix the problem, they don’t keep the customer waiting on hold, but instead can simply send a message when they have the exact right information.

2. Efficient Ticket Handling

The possibility for both immediate and delayed communication also makes messaging app customer service much more efficient. Just as phone service can keep customers stuck on hold, it also ties up employees handling one case at a time. With messaging app customer service, agents can handle multiple tickets at a time. They can use the down time in slow-moving conversations to take care of quick questions and resolve easy inquiries. Additionally, by moving between conversations, the average customer waiting time before a first response decreases dramatically. Using pre-set answers, the agent can provide an initial answer to each customer and then handle their inquiries depending on the speed of their reponses.


How this beats phone service? Customers receive answers more quickly and customer service agents can work up to their full potential by flexibly working on multiple tickets at the same time.

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3. Multimedia Messaging

Anyone who has a messaging app on their smartphone has probably used an emoji to add some humor to their messages, or sent a gif, video, or even a PDF file. With messaging apps, customer service agents and clients can do this too. When the answer to a complicated technical question is easier summed up in a diagram, the agent can send a photo or PDF file. When a customer wants to get a refund or a defective item, they can simply send a photo via WhatsApp. Multimedia support helps you optimize your communication, to be both more entertaining and informative.

How this beats phone service? On the phone, you can only explain the answer to a question or describe a situation in words. And a picture is worth a thousand words! The benefits are clear – plus, using a variety of media can help your business connect to customers in new ways and show that your business can fit into a modern customer’s life. Offering multimedia customer care changes the tenor of your communication, turning a formerly frustrating phone call into a helpful and innovative dialogue.

4. Reduced Costs

Messaging apps are great for customers because they use up almost no data, and are thus basically free. From the company’s side, messaging apps can offer an economical alternative to costly service calls and upkeep of call centers. The savings is increased with better efficiency and the possibility of handling multiple tickets at once. For businesses looking for a great Return on Investment, messaging apps are the solution.


How this beats phone service? IBM reports that businesses spend 1.3 trillion US dollars on customer service calls each year. Messaging apps can help you spend less money, while offering better customer care.

5. Messaging App Automation

Whether you’re interested in using fully contained Chatbots or speeding up manual work with pre-set answers, automation can be easily implemented in messaging app customer service. There are countless advantages to automating often-repeated questions: it can help your business save even more resources, it helps your customer’s receive answers even more quickly, and it frees up service agents to focus on more complex cases that require a personal touch. Chatbots or hybrid solutions can be created to speed up first-level-support, answer standard questions about shipping, returns, delivery, payment, store locations, product availability, etc., and even take care of things like booking appointments.

How this beats phone service? One of the most frustrating parts of calling a business can be poorly calibrated automation attempts — Bots who can’t understand whether you’re saying yes or no, or Bots that hang up on you when they don’t understand your answer. Spending money on technology that only irritates users doesn’t help customer satisfaction. With messaging apps, easy automation processes help you offer a simple but feasible service that offers concrete value to all parties involved. With our Messenger Communication Platform, you can even program your own Chatbots and create your own pre-set answers with absolutely no prior Chatbot experience.

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These are just five of the many advantages of messaging apps as compared to call centers and hotlines. If you’re interested in specific tips on how to use messaging apps for customer service, messaging app usage data, or customer case studies, check out our free webinars:

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Have a great idea for customer service via messaging apps and want to talk about it? Message us!