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Instant messaging: a good opportunity to improve your customer relationship strategy

Instant messaging: a good opportunity to improve your customer relationship strategy
Elisabeth De Longeaux
Elisabeth De Longeaux Product Marketing Manager at Odigo

To create customer paths that are truly multi-channel, brands must be present on all the channels their customers use on a daily basis. Instant messaging, which is increasingly popular in the private sphere, is among these. In a highly connected world, it allows companies, that adopt it as a complementary channel, to enhance both customer and agent experience.

December 3, 2019

An essential mean of communication in the private sphere, instant messaging has not yet been unanimously adopted by companies as part of their customer relationship strategy. Offering this channel within an omnichannel customer experience allows you to offer a truly conversational, fluid, and transparent experience in order to improve the satisfaction of your customers, but also of your contact center agents.

Did you know that:

  • 79% are frustrated with their available customer support options*,
  • 51% of them say they had only a “low” to “fair” satisfaction with existing means of customer support communication*,
  • 40% of consumers do not want to be a customer of a brand that does not offer their preferred communication channel**,
  • And 89% say that they want choices for how they could contact customer support*?

In an ultra-connected world, instant messaging is now becoming an essential mean of communication between individuals but has not yet been unanimously adopted by companies to communicate with their customers.

However, according to a recent SalesForce study, 37% of customers would prefer to use a messaging application to communicate with a brand. When you know that a text message is read on average within 5 seconds of receiving it, it is very clear that companies have every interest in fulfilling their customers’ wishes.

Key players on the instant messaging market

A multitude of actors are now enriching the landscape of instant messaging applications. Among them, Facebook, a true global leader, uses its Messenger and WhatsApp applications, or other players such as WeChat in China or Telegram in Russia, which have a more “local” reputation. Whereas they all have their own positioning on the various markets, what they have in common is their millions of users around the world that they can address and target based on location.

Find below a mapping of the popularity of different messaging applications around the world:

By bringing a more conversational dimension to digital interactions, messaging has started a small revolution: online status allows a user to see in real-time the members of his contact list available to talk, provides receipt confirmation, and confirmation that the message has been read, and enables sharing of enriched content such as text or audio messages, videos, files, links, etc. All these features have contributed to the success of its applications.

So, if instant messaging is revolutionizing digital interactions between individuals, why shouldn’t it be as successful when it comes to exchanges between a customer and a company?

Instant messaging: an opportunity to boost customer relations

According to MessengerPeople’s latest statistics on global messenger usage and penetration, the daily usage rate of instant messaging services like Whatsapp increased from 48% in 2016 to 58% in 2018. This 10% increase is quite significant.

A Teleperformance study also shows that the more channels a company offers to its customers, the higher their satisfaction rate. Beyond 8 channels, 79% of customers were willing to recommend a brand.

It is therefore advisable to consider instant messaging as a true complementary channel to offer to the customer when it is relevant within their customer journey (during an order follow-up, a re-subscription process, a privileged contact channel with a store, an advisor, etc.).

Thinking about where this channel will be most relevant is an essential step. It must be where it will bring the greatest benefits to customers in order to enhance their experience and see indicators such as customer satisfaction, conversion rate, and churn rate improve on the business side.

The many advantages of messaging

In addition to the conversational dimension, the advantages of instant messaging are numerous.

Benefits for the company

  • Adaptation to the pace of life: thanks to the fast-asynchronous aspect and the session history, the user/client can start a conversation, suspend it, end it, or resume it whenever he wants.
  • Spontaneity: adapted to short messages and providing enhanced functionalities (emojis, etc.), this channel fosters more spontaneous communication between customers and companies.
  • Personalization: via location sharing, which makes it possible, for example, to direct the customer to an agency or store near his home.
  • Duality of the channel: synchronous and asynchronous at the same time, allows for better management of peak activity. For example, it is possible to decide to delay responses on this channel to absorb a peak of traffic on another synchronous channel.
  • An innovative image: to attract new generations who prefer this type of application.
  • Confidentiality: much more real than on social networks, where communication can be public before it is switched to private mode, and where sharing confidential information is more difficult because encryption of exchanged data is not guaranteed.
  • Savings: by allowing the natural transfer of conversations that would initially have gone to channels with higher processing costs.

Odigo’s omnichannel cloud platform integrates these new channels into its console, allowing you to offer your customers and advisors a true conversational experience that is totally fluid and transparent.

* According to a HeyWire Business study on consumer preferences for customer service.

** According to the Salesforce State of the Connected Customer 2019 study.

Elisabeth De Longeaux
Product Marketing Manager at Odigo

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