Why messaging apps work for business

Messaging apps have now become the preferred choice of digital communication. We text less and our love affair with social networks is cooling off. Users want the direct, immediate and personal connection that only messaging apps can provide. For businesses this is an opportunity to build better relationships with customers, provide on-the-spot customer service and, importantly drive sales. Here’s why more and more businesses are using messaging apps.

To reach a wider audience

Using WhatsApp is the easiest and quickest way to make direct contact with a huge number of potential customers. In the UK, in the last two years, WhatsApp has grown its UK user base by 20% and now reaches nearly 70% of the population. In the same time, the popularity of YouTube has waned and Facebook has hardly grown at all.

84% of 24–35 year olds in the UK use WhatsApp, with the 35-44 age group only slightly behind at 78% of the population. Elsewhere, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have become integral to daily life and are the clear market leaders around the globe. And Chinese WeChat has recently hit the 1 billion monthly active user mark.

Have one-to-one conversations

Building trust and better relationships with customers is key to success. Customers want to feel they have your undivided attention and, in return, they will hopefully remain loyal. Message marketing allows businesses to engage with customers on a one-to-one basis; it is personal, conversational and interactive. There’s no better way to engage with customers, new and old, and win them over.

Contact customers directly and immediately

Real-time messaging allows businesses direct and immediate connections with users. It’s perfect for spreading current, up-to-date news and providing a speedy customer service.

Messaging is hard to ignore, popping up directly on your phone’s lock screen, unlike email. For businesses, it’s an opportunity to grab someone’s attention wherever they are, whatever they are doing. For users it is convenient and immediate – notifications pop up in seconds.

Improve customer service

We’re not just using these apps to message our friends and families, we want to use them to communicate with businesses. We want a direct line to them. In fact, a Facebook IQ worldwide survey found that over 50% of people are more likely to shop with a business they can message, and 63% reported that their messaging with businesses is increasing.

Everyone, young or old would rather avoid a lengthy phone call or an email conversation that could take days. If we have a question or problem, we want contact businesses and get it sorted immediately. So it’s no surprise that 56% of consumers prefer to contact customer service representatives over messages than calling a call centre. Research shows that issues are often resolved within 42 seconds giving customers the service they want and businesses extra time to spend on other areas.

Chatbots are the perfect customer service assistants, available any time of day and night, giving businesses the opportunity to not only provide a better service but reach more users and get to know more of what their customers want and need.

Deliver content more effectively

Good content helps us get to know a brand better, understand the benefits of products and services, and be more likely to buy. However, we receive a hell of a lot of content these days. For this reason we are shying away from social networks and are rarely bothering to open emails. Businesses that use messaging services to send out newsletters achieve an average of 95% opening rates within the first two hours. Plus they have great follow-up engagement; CTRs on messaging apps are above average. Moving from email marketing to messaging is essential for businesses. But thankfully it’s simple and follows the same process. Attract leads, nurture them, supply relevant content, answer questions, and convert. And the best bit is that a chatbot can be easily built to handle most of it.