Conversational Messaging in 2021

Conversational Business Messaging

The evolution of technology in the Telecommunications sector and the continued increase in device sophistication has changed the way in which we consume media and interact with each other on a daily basis.

As we delve deeper into 2021, the Telecommunications industry now boasts more cellular connections than individuals on the planet. This level of device ubiquity is changing the way in which brands engage with consumers and has led to a shift in how they interact with one another and the shaping of the relationship between the two.

Previously, brands tended to own and dictate the interaction, serving content to the user based upon their terms. However, user behaviour and expectations have shifted, and Conversational Messaging now needs to be a key consideration in brands’ strategies in order to grow, retain their customer base and generate return on investment.

Consumers prefer personalised and authentic interactions in real-time and 75% of consumers would rather message a business directly when it comes to customer service needs. This is especially the case amongst Millennials and Generation Z who view sending a message to a business as a more convenient way to interact, especially when their request is customer service orientated.

What is Conversational Messaging?

Conversational Messaging is a customer-centric approach to customer engagement and nurturing, which is highly personalised. Essentially, it should mimic speaking on a one-to-one basis with another person. The purpose should be to put the customer at the centre of the interaction and ensure that it feels as authentic as possible and assists in deepening the connection between brand and consumer.

Some of the most common ways in which you can use Conversational Messaging include:

Adopting this approach as part of your messaging strategy has numerous advantages for both brands and end users alike. Instead of relying on prospects to fill out contact and data capture forms and wait for a response based on the company’s internal SLAs, the user is able to get responses in real time. This helps to create a far more favourable interaction and experience that creates a positive view of the brand in both the short and long-term.

It is also one of the most effective ways you can move a prospect through your marketing and sales funnels by using the power of real-time conversations by understanding and pinpointing the prospects’ exacts requirements and obstacles to conversions.

It transforms the traditional brand and customer interaction and creates an authentic experience that resonates with the end user while ensuring the company has a more holistic overview of the customer’s needs.

As technology has advanced and smartphone usage has continued to increase, users have become accustomed to having a plethora of options and functionality at their fingertips.

This is especially the case when it comes to fulfilling individual micro-moments to satisfy users’ requirements and expectations.

What are Micro Moments?

Micro Moments take place when users have a particular need and they respond to this by using a device as their first port of call – usually their smartphone – to obtain the information or service required, discover something new, or even make a purchase.

These are moments where brands need to enrich the experience of the user and ensure that they are served with the information required in that moment based upon their place in the marketing or sales funnel.

Each of these micro-moments are shrouded in high levels of user intent and brands have the opportunity to get in-front of and engage with the user when ideas and desires are being shaped and preferences confirmed and acted upon.

Adopting Conversational Messaging

Integrating conversational messaging into your marketing and communication strategy is an ideal way to amplify engagement with your customers, increase loyalty and increase levels of return on investment.

There are different ways for brands to include and utilise conversational messaging as part of their business messaging strategy in a cost-effective manner. It does not only need to be an avenue accessible to large businesses and enterprises, but it can also be utilised by small to medium-sized businesses to amplify engagement, generate increased amounts of revenue and generate strong levels of return-on-investment in the long-term.

2-way SMS

Example of 2-way SMS

If you are looking for a cost-effective way to create a more direct and immediate connection with your clients, then 2-way SMS are an ideal and cost-effective solution.

2-way SMS combine the high-levels of performance associated with SMS Marketing, including open rates of 98% with an average response time of only 3 minutes – no other digital marketing channel is able to match these impressive metrics.

The ubiquity of SMS means that it is able to reach every handset around the world and recipients are able to respond in real time. The fact that the channel is available on every mobile device means that it enjoys 100% market penetration compared to other channels, meaning that you can be sure that you will enjoy superior delivery and read rates compared to other channels.

By using 2-way SMS you can send text messages to your customers via a multichannel messaging platform, and in turn, receive instant replies from your recipients, creating an authentically engaging bidirectional messaging experience between brand and consumer.

They can be effectively utilised for engaging and receiving feedback from your customers. These learnings can then be taken and used for your advantage for refining your wider communication strategy and messaging across your various customer touchpoints. They can be used for a range of purposes across multiple sectors, including:

  • Promotions
  • Bookings
  • Customer Service
  • Service Notifications

2-way SMS is an effective messaging strategy for businesses of all sizes to incorporate into their communication strategy and create more authentic relations with their customers in both the short and long-term.

Chat bots

chat bot example

The most well-known way in which this can be achieved is through the development and implementation of chats bots that engage, educate and inform users at each stage of the marketing and sales funnels.

These have progressed from being simple tools that were once used solely for Live Chat purposes, or to pass on messages when staff are out of the office, into intelligent and intuitive tools that can evoke curiosity amongst website visitors and nurture leads and prospects from the early stages of the funnels through to becoming loyal customers.

A well designed and functioning chatbot will help you understand your audience in more detail and understand their products, interests, likes and dislikes. All of this information can be used to inform and improve your wider marketing strategy, especially when it comes to segmentation of your audiences into lists for email marketing purposes.

Through the use of retargeting, it is also possible to pick-up a conversation with a website visitor from where it was left off before and continue the dialogue. If the chat bot is configured correctly, then it can be used to supplement previous user journies on the website with relevant material, such as case studies, lead magnets or other relevant material.

Live Chat Software

The majority of chat bots now tend to have the functionality to incorporate connecting up with live agents to offer live support and customer care. For smaller businesses investing in a full chat bot may not be financially viable; in these instances, live chat widgets are an ideal solution to provide higher levels of service through conversational messaging.

Your prospects will feel reassured that when on your website they will benefit from live support or customer service if they are in need of assistance. If you provide a service, then this is highly advantageous as it evokes confidence in your services – it is estimated that prospects who chat with a real person are 2.8 times more likely to convert compared to those who have a more traditional experience on a website.

Just having the live chat on the website helps to build trust, even if there is no need to speak with a representative in that exact moment. It also enables your internal Customer Care of Support Team to provide higher levels of service and increase their productivity.

When taking a traditional approach to Customer Service via telephone, your agents can only deal with one person at a time but when using Live Chat Software your representatives can deal with multiple customers at one time. It also enables Customer Support to send screenshots or share screens with the customer or prospect to provide a superior service.

Chat Apps

Mobile phone with chat apps

Chat Apps are now one of the staple messaging channels and used by consumers for P2P purposes on a daily basis. This has led to a shift in the business messaging landscape, and it is now considered a key channel for brands to create more meaningful dialogues in real time.

This is not surprising when we take a look at the number of users of the most important messaging apps:

  • WhatsApp:5 billion users
  • Facebook Messenger: 3 billion users
  • WeChat: 1 billion users

These vast numbers mean that if you are not incorporating chat apps into your communication strategy then you are missing out on engaging vast numbers of users where they feel most comfortable messaging.

It will now be the expectation of your end users that they will be able to engage with you on chat apps in real time to solve their customer service needs and even to place and confirm appointments of the purchase of goods and services.

Rich Communication Services (RCS)

RCS example

Rich Communication Services is the evolution of SMS that enables brands to create deeper and more memorable interactions with the customers. Essentially it offers the functionality of a mobile application in a message and is powered by the Android eco-system, resulting in a powerful business messaging tool.

In the long-term the channel will retain the well-documented and impressive metrics of SMS, while complementing these with a plethora of features to increase engagement, including chatbots, product carousels, QR codes, audio messages and much more. All of these aspects can be personalised to drive a more engaging experience for the user. The Android eco-system includes the functionality of Google Pay. When this ease of payment is combined with high levels of personalisation, it’s a powerful tool for brands to drive revenue.

Similar to the security at the core of Verified SMS, both brands and users alike are benefited by increased levels of peace of mind through the verified sender status that assists users in identifying that they are interacting with a genuine brand. This is a game changer when it comes to combatting Smishing and fraud.

How rdcom is meeting the evolution of messaging

Our internal quest for innovation sees rdcom continuously investing in research and development to enhance our offerings to the market. This has led to the company starting the process of evolving our multichannel messaging platform into a CPaaS to ensure that we are empowering brands to create more authentic conversational messaging experience with their audience.

Over the upcoming months we shall be updating you with the innovative new offerings inside the rdcom Platform, so stay tuned!