Are you looking for a customer messaging platform for your business? If so this blog post is for you. We’ll explore what customer messaging platforms are, how they work and the benefits of having one. Then, we’ll list down the criteria a good customer messaging software should have and how you can use respond.io as a customer messaging platform.
What is a Customer Messaging Platform?
A customer messaging platform or customer messaging software is a solution that allows businesses to communicate with customers through various messaging channels.
It is designed to help businesses streamline and enhance customer communication with features like chatbots, automation tools and integration capabilities with other customer service systems. Now, let’s look at how it works as a platform for customer messaging.
How Does a Customer Messaging Software Work?
Customer messaging platforms typically focus on instant messaging channels like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. However, they can also support traditional channels such as SMS and email. They work by consolidating all the messaging channels customers use, to help you manage customer conversations conveniently in one place.
Businesses can view and respond to customer messages from different channels through a single interface, build automation to route and assign conversations to the right team and agent and track conversation progress and agent performance, among others.
Note that not all customer messaging platforms offer these capabilities, as they are commonly found features only in advanced platforms. Now that you know how a customer messaging platform works, let’s explore the benefits they offer to businesses.
Benefits of Using a Customer Messaging Platform
A customer messaging platform offers significant benefits to businesses by effectively addressing common problems associated with customer messaging.
Some of these issues include siloed conversations, difficulties in manually responding to high volumes of messages, tracking conversations from multiple channels and challenges in providing instant replies due to these blockers.
A customer messaging platform’s ability to centralize all customer conversations into a unified interface eliminates the problem of siloed interactions. Agents can easily access and respond to messages from various channels in one place, ensuring a cohesive and seamless customer experience.
As a customer messaging platform provides one place for all messaging channels, businesses can enhance their conversation tracking capabilities and identify the conversations that have and have not been answered in real time.
With automation being one of a customer messaging platform's core features, businesses can use it to effectively handle routine inquiries and significantly reduce repetitive tasks.
This frees up agents' time allowing them to provide prompt responses and focus on addressing complex customer issues. As a result, businesses can offer an enhanced customer experience and increased satisfaction.
Having explored the benefits of a customer messaging software, let's now focus on the key factors to consider when selecting a customer messaging platform.
Criteria to Look for in a Customer Messaging Platform
Choosing the right software for customer communication is crucial to handle all your messaging needs. Here, we’ll explore the must-haves of a customer communication platform to help you choose the best solution for your business.
Omnichannel Support for Seamless Customer Engagement
A crucial criterion for a customer messaging platform is its ability to support multiple communication channels as most businesses interact with customers across various platforms, such as email, SMS and instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Instagram.
An ideal customer service messaging platform should be able to integrate and manage these channels in a unified interface, so businesses can efficiently engage with customers on their preferred channels and provide a seamless omnichannel experience.
If you’re looking for an omnichannel messaging platform, then you should give respond.io a try. It supports all popular instant messaging channels like WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook Messenger and Google Business Messages along with traditional channels like email, webchat and SMS.
Cross-Channel Contact Recognition for Enhanced Omnichannel Experience
The ability to identify and recognize returning contacts across different channels is vital to provide a true omnichannel experience. A robust customer messaging platform should offer tools to consolidate data from different channels to ensure a unified customer profile.
With respond.io, businesses can merge conversations from different channels into a single thread, creating a unified customer profile. If a customer has previously emailed you but decided to message you on WhatsApp next, you can merge the conversations to get context easily.
This enables agents to have a comprehensive view of each customer's communication history, preferences and past inquiries, allowing for personalized and contextualized responses.
As a result, you can identify returning customers, spot recurring issues and make informed decisions when assisting them.
Advanced Automation to Streamline Processes
Automation plays a pivotal role in streamlining and optimizing business processes. While many platforms offer basic rule-based automation, relying solely on this capability will not be enough as your business starts to grow.
To future-proof your customer communication management, choose a platform with advanced automation capabilities that can seamlessly scale with your business growth.
This will ensure robust and effective automation as your customer base expands. Plus, it will prevent the need to switch to another software in the future, avoiding potential disruptions in your operations.
Respond.io’s Workflows allow you to automate complex business processes in a visual automation builder. You can plan, design and implement a Workflow with any amount of complexity from scratch or via templates.
Flexible Integration with Existing Software Stack
A customer messaging platform should seamlessly integrate with your existing software stacks, such as CRM systems and data warehouses.
This feature is important as it enables businesses to seamlessly share data between their customer messaging platform and other softwares, ensuring smooth information flow, streamlined operations and cohesive customer experiences.
You can also use Webhooks to trigger messages based on customer actions on external platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento and more. This includes abandoned cart messages, shipping updates, order confirmations, product recommendations and other relevant notifications.
Multichannel Broadcast with Broadcast Analytics
To efficiently communicate important updates or announcements and send promotional messages, businesses require a messaging platform capable of broadcasting messages across multiple channels simultaneously.
This capability enables businesses to reach a broader audience and ensures consistent messaging across various communication channels. Broadcasting is particularly valuable for time-sensitive announcements, marketing campaigns or urgent notifications.
With respond.io, businesses can send broadcast messages on multiple channels including SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, LINE and Viber. It also allows sending broadcasts on the last channel a customer has interacted with.
Best of all, you can also measure your broadcast campaign success and get insights and data to help improve your next campaign.
Robust Customer Messaging Platform Stability for Messaging at Scale
A messaging platform's ability to handle high message volumes is critical, especially for businesses with a large customer base or businesses that usually experience a surge of inquiries during peak hours.
A robust platform should be equipped to handle spikes in message traffic without compromising response times or performance. This is because any downtime or disruptions can negatively impact customer satisfaction and harm a brand’s reputation.
With respond.io, you don’t have to worry about these issues. It is a dependable platform built to handle high volumes of messages without interruption. Businesses can maintain consistent operations and focus on communicating with customers.
Now that you know all the criteria a customer messaging platform should have and how respond.io checks all the boxes, let's explore some of the ways you can use respond.io.
Customer Messaging Platform: Using respond.io as a Customer Messaging Software
Respond.io has a variety of tools to help you streamline support processes with automation. Here, we’ll show you some ways you can use respond.io for your business.
Send Greeting and Away Messages
Customers usually expect fast replies from businesses. However, this is difficult to achieve, especially if your business is not operating 24/7. Therefore, managing their expectations when they contact you outside of business hours is important.
Respond.io allows businesses to send welcome and away messages to customers in such scenarios. These messages can inform customers about the estimated response time, letting them know when to expect a reply.
By proactively managing customer expectations, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to providing excellent service, even during off-hours.
Set Up An Automated FAQ Menu
One effective way to streamline customer support and provide quick solutions is by setting up an automated FAQ menu. Businesses can compile and organize answers to commonly asked questions and implement them in their Workflow.
By doing so, customers can easily access information and find answers to their queries without the need for agent intervention. To tackle more complicated support cases, you can include the option for them to ask open-ended questions or provide an agent escalation pathway.
Send Pre-Chat Surveys to Collect Customer Information
Collecting customer information is crucial for providing effective assistance as agents can gain important context to aid them in their interactions. For instance, they can use the information to identify VIP customers, access context from previous conversations and more.
With respond.io, you can automate pre-chat surveys to collect valuable contact information and gain context for an issue. These surveys can be designed to capture essential details like name, email address, phone number or any other relevant information.
With all essential information, agents can accurately identify and address each customer's specific needs and preferences. This enables them to offer personalized solutions, resolve issues efficiently and provide exceptional support.
Automatically Route and Assign Conversations Correctly
To ensure customers receive the assistance they need, it is crucial to connect them with the appropriate agent who can address their specific issues.
Respond.io's Workflow automation offers an intuitive way to automatically route conversations to the right team and assign them to the right agent. You can customize your routing method to suit your specific needs, including language-based routing and shift-based routing, among others.
Additionally, you can automatically assign conversations based on your assignment logic, like round-robin, distributing conversations equally among support team members or assigning VIP customers to dedicated agents.
By leveraging the power of automation, businesses can ensure that customer inquiries are efficiently handled, eliminating the need for manual routing and assignment by managers.
Execute Complex Manual Tasks With a Click
Managers can build Workflows to automate complicated tasks like shift transfers, CSAT surveys and case escalation. Then enable agents to launch them at a click with the Shortcut Trigger button while chatting with customers.
For instance, if an agent's shift is ending and they have several unresolved conversations, they can click on the Shortcut Trigger button, fill in a short form for context and let automation transfer the conversations to the next shift.
You can also use this feature to escalate cases to external platforms like Slack. Additionally, you can exchange information between CRMs and respond.io to retrieve updated contact profiles or create deals and tickets.
This way, agents can seamlessly execute tasks based on specific times and customer requests without the hassle of switching between multiple platforms.
Use Advanced Reporting to Monitor Agents and Conversations
Respond.io’s Reports Module allows businesses to monitor agents' performance through advanced analytics. Businesses can use it to track response times, resolution times and other key performance indicators.
Among many other possibilities, managers can use the Leaderboard tab in the Reports Module to get granular insights into the team and user performance with the help of filters.
By leveraging the Reports Module, supervisors can identify any gaps or inefficiencies in their processes. Then, use their findings to improve team performance and optimize business operations.
Are you ready to start using a customer messaging platform to streamline business processes? Sign up for a 14-day free trial and experience powerful automation like no other platform!
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