What Is Conversational Messaging?

What is conversational message?  As its name implies, it is a dialogue.  A back and forth with the expectation that when a question is asked, you will receive an immediate response.

Perhaps it’s better to discuss what it’s not.  It is not email.

Sure, you can pose a question in an email.  But let’s be clear, you are not asking your question, you’re submitting it.  And then you wait.

Email messages, and even your social media channel, if not manned 24/7, leaves your customers waiting.  And in today’s market that doesn’t cut it.  Waiting does not meet their expectations. What it does is create friction and frustration.

IMMEDIACY

Customer experience author and thought leader, Shep Hyken, says, “Fast response builds trust and confidence, shows you care and is respectful. It’s just the right thing to do. A slow response – or no response – sends the opposite messages and will work against you for future business.”

Conversational messaging provides an immediate response to your customer, at the exact point when their emotional need is at its highest.

For example, your customer’s purchase is in your ecommerce cart.  They have selected a size and are wondering if the item runs true to size.  If their only option is to submit their question via email, then you have missed the most critical point in their journey.

FEELING CONNECTED

What is conversational messaging?  It’s a feeling.  A feeling your customer has when they connect with you.  A feeling that you are listening to them, that their questions matter and that you value them as a customer.  That feeling builds trust and keeps your customers coming back.

Submitting a message by your customer does not leave them with a feeling of being connected.  It leaves them feeling ignored.

The Salesforce survey “State of the Connected Customer” found that 83% of customers expect to interact with someone immediately when they contact a company, and 82% expect to solve complex problems by talking to a person. Patrick Beyries, Vice President Product Management at Salesforce says, “it’s a myth that the phone channel is no longer important for customer service.  In fact, it’s still the most used customer service channel for direct support – by far”

There’s a reason why your voice channel remains the #1 channel.  Your customers call you because they want an immediate conversation regarding their needs and concerns.

IMPLEMENTATION

Conversational messaging can be deployed in a number of ways.  Its goal is to achieve the same immediate connection your voice channel accomplishes.   This can be implemented via live chat with an agent or bot using conversational (two-way) SMS.

Of course, chatbots, if poorly designed, can spawn their own problems.  However, a well designed bot can successfully engage your customer immediately with a dialogue.  A two-way asynchronous dialogue, that doesn’t leave them waiting for a response.

Conversational messaging can also be deployed directly in your IVR.  The IVR and call queue is a hornet’s nest of delayed connections.  Especially when call volumes are high.

Long queues are often filled with low touch common questions that can easily be resolved with single conversation – boosting 1st call resolution.  Automating these repetitive issues out of your IVR with conversational SMS messaging is an ROI slam dunk!

Using SMS to deflect low touch issues offers your customers an immediate conversation – which is why they called your voice channel in the first place.

Automating low touch issues out of the IVR allows your agents to handle high touch issues with greater speed and effectiveness.

So – what is conversational messaging?  It is engaging with your customers via SMS, Chat, or other digital dialogue that is immediate, responsive and leaves them with the feeling of being connected.

Your customer will fell they are being heard and appreciated. You have communicated that their business matters and they will reward you with their loyalty.

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