Customer Service and WhatsApp: 7 Transport Cases ft. 1:1 Chat, Chatbots, and more
Customer service and WhatsApp – we’ve written a lot about how and why companies should start offering customer communication via messaging apps. A great example of an industry that benefits from the advantages of messaging apps is transport companies. Transport today is extremely diverse: customers can take the local train to the airport and drive into the city center at their destination by car or ride sharing. They can get to work with an electric scooter or a bike from a bike-sharing provider. But what if problems arise while they’re using these services? To ensure customer retention, mobility companies need to offer fast and direct customer service. Messaging apps can take transportation customer service to the next level.
Five Transport Customer Communication Cases
- Use messaging apps to improve cleanliness in buses and trains
- Contemporary communication campaigns with messaging apps
- Central communication with subcontractors, employees and service providers
- Faster customer service via messaging apps
- Notifications and confirmations directly on your smartphone
Many employees at mobility companies are already using WhatsApp for customer communication. The problem is they use it on their private phone. In doing so, they are violating the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and WhatsApp’s General Terms and Conditions. In order to prevent both, companies should resort to service providers such as MessengerPeople. Why? Because our solution is GDPR compliant. We are a WhatsApp Business Solution Provider and the data is stored centrally on a server in Europe. Our article with input from a GDPR-focused lawyer can offer even more specialized information: Data Protection for WhatsApp Customer Service – Exclusive Interview
Compared to telephone customer service, messaging apps have a decisive advantage: your customers can write to you whenever it suits them, and if you have to wait a few minutes to find the proper information to answer their question, they’re not waiting on you. Messaging apps offer synchronous and asynchronous communication, meaning that the conversation can also take place over a longer period of time, but with no one waiting on the other. This leads to an increase in productivity, as you can serve several customers at the same time and without loss of quality.
How can I report messes in a train station station, on the platform, in the bus or in the train directly to the cleaning staff of Deutsche Bahn? At selected stations throughout Germany, Deutsche Bahn customers can take advantage of the cleaning service via WhatsApp. The customer writes a quick message reporting the location and type of mess, and then receives confirmation that the cleaning service will take care of it. The customer can then rate the service. The service is communicated via posters to ensure that people know which number to write to.
Munich’s subway system is currently being modernized. All 238 trains will be modernized by the end of 2020. In order to communicate this to customers in a modern way, a three-month selfie campaign is currently taking place. Participants who take a picture in one of the already modernised city trains are entered into a raffle.
He or she sends the selfie via WhatsApp with the keyword “Selfie” to a telephone number that is currently communicated via poster in a variety of trains and stations. The selfie is also added to a photo gallery on the website. In the first three and a half weeks about 250 selfies were already published.
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It is important for companies that their subcontractors are trained quickly and thoroughly and always have the most up-to-date information on the products and services they offer. An example could be taxi companies that have to be in close contact with their drivers regarding working hours or orders.
Real life use case: How Uber Hong Kong supports new and current drivers via messaging apps
The well-known ride-sharing service Uber offers onboarding support to new drivers in Hong Kong via WhatsApp. It supports current drivers by sending customer service messages or account updates.
For local public transport, it is important for customers to know whether their journey will run smoothly or whether they have to expect delays. Digital assistants such as chatbots can efficiently support customer service by providing standardized data, such as price information, connections from A to B or opening hours. Complex customer inquiries are forwarded directly to suitable service staff in the chat.
Real life use case: How Hamburger Hochbahn partially automates its customer service via messaging apps
Hamburger Hochbahn shows how customer service can be implemented efficiently. Intelligent auto-responses for first level support relieves customer service. In the case of complex inquiries, the customer inquiry is handed over to the appropriate employee. This creates a noticeably improved service experience for the customer and a more efficient utilization of resources in customer service.
Real life use case: How Eurowings provides its customers with individual travel recommendations upon request
With its messaging app service, Lufthansa’s subsidiary airline allows its customers to actively request individual travel offers. To do so, the customer uses keyword commands that are explained to him in advance, such as “from” + (destination) or “to England” + from Munich. The customers can request and receive customized offers via WhatsApp. This is a successful example of the future of customer communication via messaging apps. In order to stand out from the competition, it is important to provide customers with exactly the information they really want, exactly when they need it – away from push marketing and towards pull marketing. Today, customers want fast individual service and inspiration. They receive both from Eurowings.
In the near future, tickets for Flixbus, Deutsche Bahn, Lufthansa & Co. may be available via messaging app. When buying tickets, customers will receive the ticket and the purchase confirmation via messaging app, and no longer via e-mail. This is much more practical for traveling, and is perfect for modern customers on the go. You also don’t run the risk that your ticket ends up in spam!
As a mobility service provider, you can already send your purchase confirmation via WhatsApp notification today. WhatsApp currently offers ten different notification types for selected use cases. Your customer must have expressly agreed in advance to receive push notification communication. The following WhatsApp notification types are suitable for the mobility industry
- Reservation update – Send your customer current information about reservations, for example about a short-notice change to the travel plan.
- Travel update – Send your customer a message that a track or gate change will occur during his trip.
- Date reminder – Send your customer important reminders for their travel dates
Real life use case: How KLM lets its customers’ family members participate in their travel experience
Dutch airline KLM is the first airline in the world to allow family members to receive WhatsApp updates on all important information about a loved one’s trip. Using the KLM Family Updates feature, the airline sends notifications with important information to a specially created family WhatsApp group. This naturally only happens with the traveller’s consent (opt-in). In addition to KLM’s push messages, family members can ask the airline directly about the current status of the flight and receive an answer immediately.
Customer Service and WhatsApp: 3 Take Aways for the Transport Branch
- Customer service via WhatsApp was a blank page for a long time – companies weren’t sure how to bridge the gap between personal and professional communication. The trend of messaging apps developing themselves in a business direction (WhatsApp Business, Apple Business Chats.) and the clearly positive user opinion towards messenger customer service is helping the movement gain momentum.
- Chatbots in customer service won’t get rid of customer support teams, but rather complement them, and help companies become more efficient. A great way to get started in this area is with hybrid Chatbots, that can take over 1st level support and then hand the conversations over to employees when it becomes too complicated or when qualifying pre-setps have been completed.
- “Customer service via messaging apps is much more scalable than a call center,” said Markus Besch, CEO Social Media Institute, in our customer service interview series. And why? “The conversation is much shorter, and companies can answer more questions quicker, with better quality answers. This adds efficiency.”
Your solution? Our Messenger Communication Platform!
You can implement all of the above scenarios with the Messenger Communication Platform. It can be used with no technological infrastructure or initial programming and is browser-based. You can use it both desktop and mobile, and our multi-agent and rights management allows multiple employees to use the tool at the same time. Our Chatbot Builder helps you and your company make customer service more efficient with automation, for example you can create chatbots for pre-qualifying customers or answering FAQs. You can find out more about the Messenger Communication Platform on our product page.
Have a great idea for customer service via messaging apps and want to talk about it? Message us!