The Rise of Enterprise Business Messaging
May 20, 2022
If you're not using messaging to communicate with your customers, you could be losing out on a valuable channel for building your business. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2022, 70% of all customer interactions will involve emerging tools like chatbots and messaging (Gartner, 2020).
The simplest answer: times have changed. Today, customers have no interest in waiting on hold to talk to a business, and they don’t have time for brands that make it difficult to find the support and information they need, right when they need it. In fact, 75% of adults surveyed in 2020 said they want to communicate with a business the same way they do with friends and family through messaging. ¹
But if you’re an enterprise business, that invariably prompts the question: what’s in it for me? Before you can invest in building a conversational messaging strategy, you have to understand what your business stands to gain.
So let’s get started surfacing some reasons why enterprise companies may need to prioritize a strategy for using messaging across sales, marketing, and customer care teams.
Help accelerate sales outcomes and drive long-term relationships with conversations
If you’re not using messaging to connect with your prospects and customers, you could be losing out on a huge potential sales channel. That’s because messaging and conversations aren’t just communications touchpoints – in many cases, they are the primary way people share information with each other. And the growth of messaging shows no signs of stopping: recent research reveals that globally, the amount of people who send and receive text messages is predicted to rise to 5.9 billion by 2025. Besides demonstrating the enormous potential for messaging as a channel, numbers like these make it clear that messaging behaviors are more than likely here to stay – and businesses should develop conversational business strategies in order to capitalize on the trend.
So, how do messaging and conversations help drive sales outcomes?
By serving as a foundation for a host of sales activities, messaging has the potential to drive sales outcomes in three broad ways:
- Helping accelerate your sales process
A 2021 report said that U.S. companies spend $153 billion dollars on digital ads each year. These ads do things like inform new audiences about products, drive traffic to e-commerce and other websites, and alert people to timely and relevant offers. But digital ads have the potential to do so much more for businesses when messaging is added to the mix. For example, businesses can take a user from an ad impression to checkout faster when a personalized conversation is on the other side of a click.
- Alerting customers to new products or offers
If you start building relationships with customers using messaging from the start, you’re well on your way to being able to sustain those relationships after an initial purchase using conversations. That’s because two-way business messaging can give you the ability to stay close to your customers after a sale with timely product information or relevant offers.
- Ensuring happiness and driving long-term relationships
Sales are great. But repeat sales are even better. And those could be more possible when you’re staying in touch with your customer base using high-quality outreach via messaging and conversations. With the right business messaging solution, you can even monitor the quality of your messaging outreach so that you preserve those valuable long-term customer relationships.
The bottom line? Enterprise businesses need to look to messaging to create conversations that engage their customer base and help grow their business over time. As a sales channel, messaging offers global reach, efficiency, the potential for reduced costs, and a diverse set of use cases.
Now, let’s take a look at how enterprise business messaging has already transformed customer care.
It’s time to face the on-hold music: messaging for customer care
Your customers don’t want to sit and wait to get the help they need from a customer service agent. They expect a quick and helpful response from your business in minutes, not days. But you don’t have to invest in costly phone support to make real-time communication a reality.
So, what does that entail?
Finding a business messaging solution that gives you the power to drive personalized, two-way communication at scale while keeping costs low. While traditional call centers are costly and take a long time to deploy, messaging and conversations can provide an efficient way to scale communications and can reduce the cost of world-class customer support. In fact, a 2021 study from Gartner predicts that by 2025, 40% of customer service organizations will actually transform themselves into profit centers by becoming leaders in digital customer engagement.
This aligns with a distinct shift in the market towards a proactive, asynchronous model of customer care. Instead of forcing customers to wait on the phone to speak to an agent, enterprise business messaging enables customers to simply start a conversation with their favorite brands and get help immediately.
With asynchronous messaging like this, businesses can provide assistance 24/7 using automated chats that trigger customized routing and follow-up.
Here’s an example: say a customer in another time zone reaches out to your business asking when their recent purchase is scheduled to arrive. A chatbot can pull data from that customer’s order number and let them know exactly when their order will arrive, saving the customer time, and your business from funding additional customer service resources. Many of these common questions can be answered asynchronously by AI, saving the more detailed questions for a live customer service agent and helping reduce costs for your business.
Embracing this fast, efficient, and proactive customer care model will help your business to reap the rewards, saving time and money in the long run, just like the Mexican airline, Volaris. Using a chat plugin on their site, they saw a 83% cost reduction for customer care channels.
Have conversations that help drive marketing conversions
As an enterprise business, messaging provides an exciting and invaluable tool to directly communicate with your customer base, and in a way that scales with your business.
So how can you tap into this channel to engage new and existing customers?
Well, messaging helps enterprise businesses get closer to their customers, while scaling their engagement efforts. But messaging can drive more than just customer care outcomes. In fact, business messaging solutions can fuel every stage of your marketing and sales funnels. Conversational commerce is creating a shift in the world of messaging, and there are many opportunities to optimize messaging as a dedicated sales channel. We’ll unpack this for you.
Let’s say you’re the leader of an e-commerce business that’s been successfully driving increased traffic to your site via paid ads. Users who arrive at your site from the ad seem engaged, and are even adding products to their cart after browsing some product pages. But, then you notice a drop off– users are abandoning their carts without completing their purchase.
Solution: your business sends an abandoned cart reminder via messaging to re-engage those leads, offering an additional 15% off discount code to motivate the purchase. Now you’ve found a way to help win back those prospects and drive them to check out.
We’ll give you another example. In many countries, mobile usage is made possible with top-ups initiated by users. Trouble is, if the user doesn't initiate the top-up, your business doesn't get the sale. Your business can streamline this process–and support your bottom line– by sending proactive mobile top-up reminders via messages.
Solution: you send an automated message to your customers who have opted-in, letting them know they’re almost out of minutes and inviting them to top-up directly in-chat. This saves your customer the inconvenience of discovering they’ve run out, and allows your business to take charge of your conversions.
Just like the examples we’ve seen above, financial services brands can also proactively message customers who have opted-in about special promotions or discounts. Let’s say your bank would like to generate increased sign-ups for a new cash back credit card. How can you help drive business outcomes?
Solution: you send a proactive, personalized message to your customers letting them know they can get a reduced interest rate if they sign up now. You’ve just utilized a direct line to your customers, engaging them with a personalized promotion and driving conversions.
With a 2020 report stating that 85% of consumers surveyed saying they would like to message brands directly, it’s clear that businesses need to meet their customers where they’re at– on their preferred messaging platform. Your customers don’t want to take time to download your business’s individual app to get the help they need. They want to use an app they already use every day. Which is why for your sales and marketing outcomes, it’s critical to use a popular messaging channel that has the ability to reach millions around the world.
Our predictions for the future of business messaging
For businesses that haven’t yet optimized for conversational commerce–know that messaging isn’t going away any time soon. The time is ripe to jump onboard.
In fact, a 2018 report from Harvard Business Review states that 68% of companies surveyed expect advanced mobile messaging apps to play a highly important role in online consumer marketing within five years. In the coming years, we believe that more and more customers will have completely personalized shopping experiences via messaging, just with a couple taps of their phone screen. In this not-so-distant future, enterprise businesses may actively introduce products to customers based on their preferences and needs, closing the gap between discovery and purchase while increasing customer engagement.
What’s more, personalized product recommendations in-chat will continue to help drive the future of enterprise business messaging, and will help businesses see a massively increased ROI on their messaging channels. In a 2019 report, Salesforce found that personalized product recommendations drove just 7% of visits but an astounding 26% of revenue.
That’s over a quarter of your revenue that can be driven by the power of business messaging.
We’ve seen how conversations with customers through messaging have already transformed customer care outcomes, and they’ll continue to evolve in the years to come. The increase we’ve seen in enterprise business messaging is predicted to cause a similar decrease in customer service call center investments. Businesses who embrace this form of messaging will shift from funding in-person call centers toward the ROI-friendly alternative: using real-time chatbots to answer the most common customer questions and complaints.
AI has already proven its worth in customer care use cases, but it will also prove incredibly valuable as businesses start sending automated product recommendations, abandoned cart reminders, and in-stock notifications, all through one centralized messaging channel. As this technology advances, we expect to see more brands implementing AI as a sales and marketing tool across their messaging channels. Customer engagement on messaging channels may continue to increase as business response times shorten, paving a clear path for the growth of global business messaging over the next decade.
So, what’s the key takeaway here?
Today’s customers not only want a quick and easy way to connect with brands, they want to engage with a business while they shop. And as an enterprise business, one of the best ways to give your customers a helpful and personalized shopping experience is through messaging and conversations. The sooner your business optimizes for messaging, the sooner you may start to reap the rewards.
What are you waiting for?
¹ Business Messaging Research Study (Facebook Commissioned study of 8,214 adults ages 18 and older in U.S., Germany, the UK, India, Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia), September 2020