Customers are on the lookout for convenience, especially when it comes to contacting customer support. According to the State of Two-Way-Business Texting by Zipwhip, which surveyed over 500 customers and 250 small business owners, 95 percent of Americans own cellphones. Another 77 percent own smartphones.
ZDNet reported, 90 percent of the time, people read text messages within the first three minutes of receiving them. When you compare this to the 56 percent of customers who (according to Zipwhip’s survey) want to text with businesses, the path is clear.
There should be a platform that keeps conversations in sync across many channels, giving businesses access to prime real estate. The ability to message with customers on their terms and with context about the reason for their query would also be a necessary element of the equation.
MessageBird Says Two-Way Business Messaging is the Future
This is the challenge MessageBird took on last year, with the launch of ‘Programmable Conversations,’ they hope to unify customer interactions using a single API across WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, and SMS. The API brings together every customer chat into a single thread, consolidating an entire communication history with enterprises to enhance CX.
MessageBird’s API addresses a real concern for contact centers – cutting down on the number of customers whose experience with agents leave them feeling generally dissatisfied or that they had to explain the purpose of their call countless times. I spoke with Robert Vis, CEO at MessageBird, who told me:
“What we hear from customers and their customers is that people want to talk to businesses on a channel they favor, which varies depending on where you are in the world.”
“Some like SMS, others enjoy WeChat, and Facebook Messenger, so we wanted to accommodate an array of channels”
Vis also discussed another up-and-coming trend, the ‘WeChatification of the West’ as he called it. He gave the example of a Swiss Army knife: ‘a multi-purpose, pocket-sized one-stop-shop of a tool’ as he put it. Vis explained society’s next big race is to build the Swiss Army knife version of messaging apps, like WeChat, crediting app fatigue as a primary motivation for the race to create a ‘super app.’
In a sense, I gathered this is what MessageBird was trying to achieve, all in an attempt to provide next-level customer experiences.
Customers Enjoy Two-Way-Business Texting
One of MessageBird’s customers is Rapido – an Indian app like Uber for motorbikes that faced a dilemma, a decrease in the number of people downloading its app.
“In India, people often buy phones with limited storage, making the apps on their phone ones of necessity.”
Vis told me, MessageBird found that WhatsApp had a 95 percent market penetration in India, which gave them a clever workaround. Using its ‘Programmable Conversations’ API, MessageBird resolved an issue that could have ended poorly. They may have prevented the loss of revenue and more customers, something all businesses should take note of because of the value such a capability brings to the table.