Which Messaging Platform is Best for Business?

09/21/18

Messaging has become the communication channel of choice. Messaging is instant and makes communication with people half way across the world not only possible, but completely free. These advances haven’t just changed the way people communicate with each other, they’ve changed the way businesses communicate with their customers. Here are four messaging options businesses leverage to communicate with their customers:

Text Messaging

Today, texting is the most prevalent form of communication worldwide. Text messages have a 99% open rate, one of the highest open rates of all communication forms. One of the most common forms of texting used by businesses are outbound SMS messages. Typically, these messages are automated and sent from a business system. SMS messages are often used as reminders for customers to make an appointment, make an appointment, or pick up an order.

Overall, the biggest problem with SMS texting is that it is almost always one-sided. Customers can’t ask questions or interact with the business. They have to resort to email or a phone call to contact the company if they have questions or problems.

Two-Way Messaging

Two-way messaging provides the familiarity of texting and enables two-way interactions between businesses and their customers. Peoplocity is an example of a two-way messaging platform that enables personalized messaging between businesses and their customers. Customers use a mobile app to easily messge a business at any point in their experience. Businesses use a cloud-based platform to respond to customers and to send messages with important information, updates, reminders, promotions, and events to select groups of customers. Businesses own the data from the customer interactions in their platform and can use that data to improve the customer experience as well as business operations.

Facebook Messenger

Facebook’s messaging platform is popular and provides businesses with many different usage opportunities. As a messaging platform, it can be used as a customer service channel for customers to communicate their problems or questions with the business and for the business to provide the necessary help or information. Messenger has a discover feature which allows customers to learn more about a business, start a conservation with the business or book an appointment. Facebook also allows businesses to purchase ads that will be displayed in the Messenger platform.

Messenger has a few problems. It cannot streamline all aspects of the customer experience such as placing an order from Messenger, and not all businesses have been able to use it to effectively resolve customer issues.

Web Chat

Web Chat is one of the most common forms of online communication with a business. Many websites display a chatbot somewhere on the page, often with a suggestion to “ask me if you have any questions” or something similar. Web Chat can be incredibly useful for answering basic customer questions and helping with some aspects of customer service. This can increase employee productivity by allowing them to focus on more important or more difficult tasks while the chatbot handles frequently asked questions and simple customer requests.

Web Chat is not without problems. Many people find that the chatbot often cannot understand or answer their question as effectively as a human could. For a more in-depth look into chatbots and their uses, benefits and problems, read our blog here.

Twitter

Twitter has more than 336 million monthly active users, making it a great platform for businesses to communicate with their customers. One of Twitter’s most useful features in their direct messaging (DM) capabilities. Many Twitter users complain about problems they have had with a business on the platform. Twitter’s direct messaging feature makes it easy to interact with these customers individually and resolve their problems privately.

One of Twitter’s limitations is their 280-character count. This can make it hard for a brand to have a conversation with a customer. Twitter’s DMs don’t have a character limit making it easier to fully communicate. Users can also DM a brand for customer support, to complain, offer feedback, or to ask a question. The DM feature also has group communication capabilities, allowing businesses to send out important messages to multiple people at once and also allows those people to respond to each other and provide group feedback.

One of the problems with businesses using Twitter, both the platform and its direct messaging feature, is a lack of timely responses. Customers want to use this feature to receive prompt communication and they are not always given prompt responses or any response at all.

Messaging communication is more important than ever for businesses to reach customers. Those that provide two-way communication result in the best customer experience and the biggest benefit for the company.


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