Customers and clients are the backbones of businesses that are selling a brand, product, or facility. A happy customer won’t just return or stay with a company; they eventually become the standards of quality for a company through positive reviews and ratings. Customer service, therefore, is key to managing and sustaining satisfied customers.

Businesses are constantly on the lookout for improving communication with customers and making it as smooth as can be. The arrival of live chats helped improve customer support immensely. But live chats and email also quickly turned obsolete, with customers neglecting to open most email messages, while instant messages were usually accessed within 3minutes of receipt. So, when everyone flocked to instant messaging apps, brands and businesses sought to find them where they were spending most of their screen time.

Every minute, 42 million messages are sent on WhatsApp around the world, making texting the most common phone activity. Messaging eventually became more widespread than phone calls, as it crossed over generations, with customers giving it preference over actual phone calls and face-to-face meetings. Phone calls are usually very linear, while messaging allows for conversations to be more open. Today, millennials and younger people seem to choose to message over other modes of interaction because it saves time, allows other activities, and is free or cost-effective compared to calls. One of the biggest advantages of messaging over phone calls is perhaps, its unlimited capacity for media sharing, similar to android spyware, which can come in very useful in improving customer experience.

A survey by YouGov revealed that 66% of customers are more enthusiastic about making a purchase with brands that engage in instant messaging, and more so prefer communication that way. Probably everyone is familiar with the humorous customer helpline trope that asks if “They tried plugging it in or restarting it”; with today’s technology, those days are far behind and representatives can assist clientele by a screenshot and live media sharing.   Instant messaging apps have brought clarity, and allow people to get personal and individual attention through customer service and don’t require them to seek a separate medium to voice concerns or solve issues.

How companies can deploy instant messaging to benefit customer support?

Integrating instant messaging into customer support is simple and can fit different businesses to benefit customers, and preserve a company’s image in the long run.

Set up an account:

Apps like WhatsApp, Viber, and Telegram have options that allow businesses to set up professional identities. Companies should assess the popular IM apps in the regions they wish to cater to and start there. For instance, Viber is the most used IM app in Greece and Ukraine, and also quite common in Russia so businesses aiming or working there should consider it as a customer communication tool. Accessibility is of utmost importance in keeping open communication with clients, and these apps won’t require additional investment.

Design a customized chatbot:

Automated Chatbots, like a Viber tracker app, respond to the most common and basic queries or questions that a business usually gets from customers, making them a great addition to any business’ IM account. Sales and customer representative accounts on Facebook have implemented chatbots very successfully via Messenger, with more than 400,000 active bots in 2020. These are programmed to answer frequently asked questions when human help isn’t available and can perform basic functions like logistical inquiries or even help with an appointment confirmation. Chatbots can also be advanced enough to make suggestions based on customer requirements, contact customers to notify them about updates or special offers, all while remaining on instant messaging platforms.

Launch a channel or a group:

Viber, WhatsApp, and Telegram all offer features to create channels and groups, which gives brands a brilliantly opportunistic window to collect and target customers in one place. Important updates, news, and promotions can all be forwarded instantly through these. No matter how diverse the field, all businesses have employed and benefitted from groups. Retailers use them to inform customers about future sales and promotions, and transportation companies update passengers about changes in schedules or routes. Even schools and educational institutions have taken to IM groups to keep students and parents notified about classes and timetables, particularly since the pandemic.

Instant messaging apps can help broaden a company’s customer base, encourage swift resolutions of complaints, boost profits, and also create an open and easily accessible medium for valuable feedback.

Instant messaging has opened a new world of endless prospects for the business world and can enrich customer loyalty and create a better, clearer experience for both customers and representatives.