10 Reasons In-App Messaging Should Be Your Primary Support Channel
By John Tenore
When it comes to customer support in the age of mobile, there’s lots to love about in-app messaging—so much so that you should be prioritizing it over all your other support channels. Not only does in-app messaging provide your customers/app users with the best customer service experience possible, you gain tremendous business benefits from it as well.
In this post, we’ll cover the top 10 reasons for using in-app messaging as your primary support channel, broken down by the top five customer benefits and top five business benefits.
Since all customer support strategies begin with pleasing the customer, let’s start with the ways in-app messaging benefits your customers.
#1: In-App Messaging is Familiar
The popularity of messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, LINE, Viber, kik, WeChat, etc. is skyrocketing. WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger alone combine to have nearly 3 billion users, with WhatsApp users sending over 65 billion messages per day. This makes in-app messaging a familiar support medium for people. They have already gained comfort and familiarity with messaging, so it just makes sense to serve and support them in that manner—via messaging conversations.
#2: Getting Support Does Not Interfere With The Customer’s Day
When using in-app messaging to resolve an issue, a customer can shoot off a message as soon as an issue arises—right within the app. Unlike phone or live chat, an agent does not need to be ‘on the line’ to begin the conversation. This allows the user to go about their day after sending their message, only returning to the conversation once they receive a push notification that alerts them to a response from the customer support team.
#3: There’s No Need For An Introduction (or Any Other Basic Information)
When your customer sends a support request within your app, bots can collect information upfront about the customer and issue at hand — and even direct customers to self-serve prior to launching a support conversation with an agent. As a result, the customer has the issue resolved faster because all the information is collected immediately. This saves valuable time, which is what customers care about most.
#4: The Customer Is Saved From Repetition
When your customer uses phone support, or even live chat, there is often a need to restart the conversation when a chat box gets closed (accidentally or not) or when the customer is transferred to a different phone agent. But, with in-app messaging, the customer never has to repeat himself, because the history is saved, regardless of how much time passes between interactions and responses.
#5: Rich Context Removes Much Of The Angst
In-app messaging makes it simple for a user to embed screenshots and other media to support a customer service request. Rather than stumbling to find the right words or incorrectly characterizing an issue, the customer can describe exactly what the problem is with just a few words and imagery to back up those words. Giving the support team this type of context leads to faster resolution for the customer.
The Business Benefits of In-App Messaging
Much has been written about the customer benefits of in-app messaging (because they’re so impressive and substantial), but you cannot overstate the benefits it can also deliver for customer support organizations.
#1: You Gain Support Team Flexibility
In-app messaging enables your support team to quickly review a customer’s entire conversation about an issue and, depending on your preferences, all prior conversations with the customer about other issues. With all this information delivered within a single thread, you can have different support agents access it, quickly get up to speed on the issue at hand, and pick up the conversation with ease. Agents can even leave private notes for one another within the thread (that are invisible to the customer).
#2: Rich Data Informs Your Agents
Since bots can both collect information prior to the agent joining the conversation and significantly reduce ticket volume in general, your support staff can more quickly get to the heart of complex issues — and not waste time on rote and routine tasks. This enables faster time-to-resolution and higher agent productivity, which in turn boosts agent morale.
#3: Your Security Stance Improves
When customers stay within your app to gain support, you maintain tighter control over the interaction and need not rely on third-party, insecure systems. The user’s issue needs not be shared outside the app, keeping all interactions safe and secure.
#4: Support Keeps Brand Consistency
If your customer has to go outside your app to complete a support issue, then you have lost control over the branding of that experience. With in-app messaging, you can customize the look and feel of interactions and deliver far more interesting/pleasing communications than if you had to rely on outside-the-app methods.
#5: AI and Automation Drastically Reduces Support Costs
When you add up the time savings delivered by in-app messaging, it becomes clear that you save costs around staffing. First, in-app messaging allows for customer self-service before the ticket is even created. The rise in self-service means an equivalent decline in your need to staff support for those potential issues. In addition, since your agents have more context and clearer understanding of each issue, an agent can handle more requests per hour than ever before. This reduces the number of agents needed to run your support operations, dramatically reducing costs.
When you elevate a digital customer service strategy to a messaging-first strategy, you receive all the same benefits, plus new ones based on your ability to control the entire support cycle from end to end. Moreover, your customers receive the most convenient and flexible levels of support possible.
Interested in learning more about the benefits of in-app messaging? Request a Helpshift demo and see for yourself.