WhatsApp: Most effective and fastest channel says lastminute.com
Messaging apps are popular – worldwide. The travel company and multinational group lastminute.com operates well-known brands such as lastminute.com, Volagratis, Rumbo, weg.de, Bravofly, Jetcost and Hotelscan and shared information with us on how their WhatsApp channel helped them increase their customer loyalty.
Messenger has enabled our company to engage with its customers on a much more personal and friendly level!
Marco, we would like to know a bit more about you. Can you tell us about yourself in just a few sentences and about how you got to your current position?
I am marketing manager, passionate about digital innovation and startups. I currently lead the global CRM Performance Marketing team (5 people in 3 countries), and I am accountable for the planning and execution of all programmatic CRM campaign strategies for the lastminute.com group brands.
Customer Communication: Messaging Apps will replace telephones, if …
Let’s start: How do you see the development of social media towards messenger communication?
Social media has greatly facilitated communication and interaction between service providers and their users by allowing companies to develop an almost one-to-one relationship with their customers. Messenger has enabled our company to engage with its customers on a much more personal and friendly level: now the customer can receive all our top promotions in a private message, as if he/she were opening and reading a message from a friend. The real challenge though is, of course, to make the customer trust your message as if it were a private message. Our strategy for this is to send each and every customer only ever our best offers, always trying, therefore, to provide something relevant for them.
How does a travel company reach the decision to offer customer communication via WhatsApp and offer customer service 1:1 chats for customer inquiries?
The idea to create a one-to-one dialogue with our customers through WhatsApp came about when thinking of how best to notify our users of our unmissable offers. Particularly those which were especially time-limited and had to be booked immediately. Another motive was to build a more loyal relationship with the customer by providing them with instant travel inspiration, as soon as they opened their message, and to ensure that they didn’t miss out on limited offers that would be of interest to them.
This channel not only enables us to further interact with our subscribed customers, but also helps us to gain new ones. This new channel obtains a much larger interaction rate than the email, which are more work and have a less immediate outreach: WhatsApp is a simple tool, and its messages are instantaneous.
Customer Communication via WhatsApp: how do the clients feel about it?
How have your clients reacted to this new form of personal and fast customer communication channel?
Our customers are responding well to this new service. We are receiving hundreds of new subscribers every day, and around 75% of our subscribed customers read the messages we send.
Did you think in advance about opening times or reaction times and if so, what were your expectations?
We are trying to reach an open rate of 85% by the end of March, and we expect to increase that figure to up to 90% in the medium term, thanks to the quality of our exciting and exclusive offers. Our aim is to make our messages too tempting for customers to ignore!
Who takes care of your WhatsApp channel and how time-consuming is it?
Our WhatsApp channel is monitored by our CRM Marketing team. Each week we send between 3 and 5 messages per brand and market, always trying to send our customers the best available online offers.
How did you alert your customers that you added WhatsApp to your customer communication?
We launched a multiplatform campaign through channels such as Facebook and Instagram, informing our customers of this new service. The campaign had a total outreach of 5 million customers.
In what way does this new channel help you to engage with your customers?
This channel not only enables us to further interact with our subscribed customers, but also helps us to gain new ones. This new channel obtains a much larger interaction rate than emails , which are more work and have a less immediate outreach: WhatsApp is a simple tool, and its messages are instantaneous.
Do you get a lot of feedback from your customers regarding your WhatsApp channel? And if so, how does this feedback turn out?
We have received a lot of positive feedback from our customers regarding this channel, and because of this we have decided to extend our WhatsApp service to new markets in the coming months.
Contact lastminute.com and experience their WhatsApp communication for yourself:
Have a great idea for customer service via messaging apps and want to talk about it? Message us!