Mobile messaging to emerge as a critical customer engagement channel
At a keynote session at the C+UX Expo, Nick Millward, VP Europe at mGage, a mobile messaging platform, said that mobile messaging is crucial to maintaining and increasing customer engagement in the context of the current business environment.
As smartphones have become the norm, messaging services such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and SMS text messages have enabled brands to start these conversations with consumers more directly and personally than ever before.
Also read: Microsoft beefs up mobile messaging
With the advent of RCS (Rich Communication Services) messaging, which offers a wealth of new features and possibilities for brands during these unusual times, consumers are more receptive to marketing offers that prioritize convenience.
Consumers use different messaging platforms for different things, and they are clear which platforms they prefer. Mobile messaging users prefer WhatsApp to connect with friends and family but prefer text messages to the other platforms for all communications from brands.
According to a recent mGage studyOpens a new window , two-thirds of consumers (67%) choose text messages to get notifications of appointments or deliveries. 57% choose text to get service update messages from providers such as banks or insurance companies, and more than a third choose texts for receiving marketing messages too. More than half of smartphone owners (51%) say they would like text messages to have the features of the other platforms and would use them more if they did.
The good news for brands is that consumers also say that they are willing to engage via messaging rather than the more traditional approach of making a call. Almost half (44%) say they would rather use a messaging platform than try to reach a person to talk to â€“ and especially younger consumers. This is positive, as many brands are trying to discourage customers from calling, as most contact centers are operating remotely with distributed teams. Additionally, digital channels also result in better service experiences.
Consumers perceive texting as safer and more appropriate than other forms of messaging. This is particularly important when messages are likely to include personal data, for example, messages from service providers such as banks or insurance companies. Around twice, as many smartphone owners want to get these messages via SMS (50%) compared to WhatsApp (26%) or Facebook Messenger (23%).
Consumers actively enjoy relevant messages or those that give them some information that they need. More than half (51%) say that well-targeted messages improve their impression of brands, half find it convenient to get messages by text from their bank, and nearly two fifths (38%) love to get offers from brands. If brands enhance marketing messages with images and videos, they can cut through more effectively, with two-fifths of smartphone users (41%) saying they are more likely to read multimedia messages.
All of this means that brands can communicate directly with their customers, target likely prospects more effectively, get better campaign analytics and offer better customer service through instant responses and notifications. We’re excited about the opportunities that RCS messaging offers to brands, and research by mGage confirms that all these developments fit with what consumers really want.
â€œThere is a strong incentive for brands to utilize Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging within an omni-channel strategy to deliver exceptional customer service and loyalty reward programs that consumers have come to expect,â€ said Millward. â€œCombining app-like features with the simplicity of SMS, RCS messaging offers a unique capability for consumers to interact with organizations like never before, while providing lower customer management costs and increased Return on Investment (ROI) for brands.â€