10 years ago, people used to email, call, or text their friends and family. Today, the vast majority of conversation happens via messengers.
Business communication is set to follow the same pattern.
According to Paul Adams, VP of Product at Intercom, messengers like WhatsApp, WeChat, and Facebook messenger have become the dominant way people communicate. It’s a fundamental change that is impacting the business world.
Most companies still rely on phone and email to communicate with customers, but Adams believes the future of business communication and customer service is conversational.
Moving away from traditional communication channels and towards messengers is a win for both companies and customers. Messengers can be scaled much more easily and cost-effectively than phone or email, and customers appreciate the convenience of self-service.
However, Adams is quick to acknowledge that messengers aren’t the perfect fit for every situation. Messengers can be incredibly effective for simple, repetitive questions, but deeper human assistance can be needed for more complicated issues.
Adams believes the future of support looks like a funnel with three layers:
Although messengers are the future of business communication and customer service, Adams says it’s really about marrying the scenario to the communication channel. A messenger might not always work, just like a human isn’t the best option in every scenario. But leaning into messengers and using human support when needed can deliver seamless customer interactions and lead to strong business insights.
In the end, successful business communication is all about staying close to customers. Messengers will see huge growth in the coming years as more companies turn to self-service options. And when those interactions help companies stay connected with customers, everyone benefits.
*Sponsored by Intercom
Intercom is a Conversational Relationship Platform that helps businesses build better customer relationships through personalized, messenger-based experiences. The company is bringing a messenger-first experience to all business-to-customer communication, powering 500 million conversations per month and connecting 4 billion end-users worldwide across its more than 30,000 customers, including Facebook, Amazon, and Lyft.
Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker, and author of the bestselling book The Customer Of The Future. Sign up for her new course here. For regular updates on customer experience, sign up for her weekly newsletter here.