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Digital Customer Care Trends – Part One: Messaging Mania

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Hands up. Who’s muted the notifications of at least one or two threads on their WhatsApp? Our phones have been jumping out of our pockets as comments, pictures and videos fly in from friends and family forums, sports teams or whatever WhatsApp groups we’re part of.

This explosion in messaging has been one of the most striking trends in communications over the last couple of years. Not only has WhatsApp usage soared, there’s been a considerable increase in people using Facebook Messenger, Google Talk and MSN too. Even texting has stayed a strong favourite, despite the array of messaging platforms available.

It’s all having a growing impact on customer care – mostly in the form of web chat. Despite web chat being a mature technology, it’s only recently become a popular choice for customers. Consumers are flocking towards the channel with questions about deliveries, product details, opening hours, return policies and a whole load more.

Customers love how quickly they can get a response with web chat. They find it quicker than email and the phone. And it wins hands down against traditional FAQs. Customers also have a handy history of their conversations with advisors too, which reassures them that their queries have been received and recorded.

If you’re a consumer organisation and you haven’t embraced web chat yet, you need to think about how prepared you are to interact with customers on messaging platforms. Web chat really is a must for any customer care department. But introducing chat isn’t just a tick in the box. It must be treated in the same way as any other channel – it’s a customer conversation which should be treated like any other call and dealt with by skilled agents.

We’ve been running a global research programme since 2010. We want to know:

– what digital channels and devices customers use to communicate with companies,

– what they expect from those communications,

– and are those expectations being met?

Our latest output from this research programme is ‘Chat, Tap, Talk. Eight key trends in Digital Customer Care’. Download your complimentary copy here.

Joe Walsh

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