The Future of Customer Messaging

Side by side of an old cord phone and a modern mobile phone

One mobile trend that’s been particularly noticeable over the last few years is the decline of the old-fashioned voice phone call. With data coming cheaper and the proliferation of Wi-Fi hotspots, messaging and video chat are becoming the preferred channel of communication. Market research company Vanson Bourne and Twilio found that an average consumer now has three messaging apps on their phone’s home screen, uses three different messaging apps per week, and sends three messages per hour.

In comparison to messaging, phone calls can seem to take too long and to be disruptive. Email is still a favourite way for brands to communicate with customers but the truth is that they often go unread, with average open rates around 20-30%. In comparison, 95% messages will be read within 3 minutes, with 90 seconds being the average time in which a message is read.

Source: Twilio Consumer Survey Report

Rich Communication Services

While text messages can seem rudimentary as a form of communication, Rich Communication Services (RCS messaging) will soon replace the older protocol of SMS messaging. RCS permits group chats, video and audio, and high-resolution images. You can also receive read receipts and even see when someone is replying to your message in real time – much like the features you have in Facebook Messenger, iMessage, or Whatsapp. The branded apps, however, rely on both users in the conversation to have the app (or iPhone device in the case of iMessage). RCS uses a data connection but the messages can be sent to anyone as with SMS. Whether through RCS or app messaging, it’s easy to think of numerous ways the customer experience can be improved and simplified:

  • Google Map directions to your location
  • Survey/feedback questions delivered within a message
  • Instruction/welcome videos
  • Hi-res photos of products or services that appear within the message
  • QR codes or bar codes for event ticketing.

Personalization of the mobile experience

If there’s one thing that breaks the customer experience, it’s spamming the customer with irrelevant promotions and messages. 94% of customers say they would discontinue their relationship with a brand because of this. Despite this, only 51% of businesses personalize on mobile devices, according to research compiled by Adobe. Ironically, mobile offers some of the best opportunities to personalize interactions thanks to the contextual data that can be provided by a device’s location. Part of the reason that brands may be slow to catch up could be that they are relying on legacy systems that aren’t dynamic enough.

Source: Adobe

In order to personalize the mobile experience, you need to know the context. Location analytics, provided through a mobile device, can tell you how often a customer has visited a location, their dwell time, and entrance and exit times. Marrying location analytics with transactional data or customer feedback and interaction data provides a strong basis for creating messages that are on target and sent at the right time.

To truly be responsive, brands need to leverage the immediacy provided by messaging with the rich content that can now be provided through new apps and protocols.

February 19, 2019

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