Unified Communications Featured Article

Businesses Need to Embrace Messaging Trend

December 07, 2017

Most people, by now, are aware the messaging and texting are very popular and convenient ways to communicate. And several recent studies suggest that businesses should embrace and enable messaging and texting as channels through which they and their customers and prospects can interact.

Messaging and texting are an effective way to interact with customers because these communications are non-intrusive, and short and easy to read; most customers prefer texting as a medium; and these messages immediately come to the attention of smartphone users and people who use popular applications like Facebook with related messaging capabilities.

Text messages also have a very high open rate. It is estimated that open rate is in the neighborhood of 98 percent and that 90 percent of text messages are read in less than three minutes.

And messaging is widely used and part of the larger social media experience.

Facebook’s Messenger alone now has more than 1.2 billion monthly users. WhatsApp, the messaging service that Facebook bought in 2014, has around the same number, according to an April article by Forbes.

It’s also interesting to note that the top four messengers today have more users than the top four social networks, according to Ben Kosinski, director of the Collaboratory at iCrossing/Hearst.

“For millennials and younger, messaging has become the key communication experience,” Forbes writes in this 2016 piece. “It’s fast, direct, visual, and allows for multiple conversations to happen in parallel.”

But while businesses now understand and are using social media to communicate with customers and prospects, they are just starting to understand how to use messaging, the piece goes on to say. However, businesses should work to figure it out so they can meet customers where they are and using the communication channels they prefer. Businesses that don’t adjust to new customer demands and preferences probably won’t do as well with the younger generations as those who do.

Infobit is one company that is enabling businesses to leverage multiple channels – including SMS, email, push notifications, Viber, and Facebook Messenger – in communicating with customers.

BT and Cisco have also been talking about messaging lately. They note it’s an important channel, but they say it should be just one tool in businesses’ omnichannel customer service toolbox.

Edited by Mandi Nowitz