Three brands getting chat right

Christine Purcell shares some examples of brands getting the conversation right on Messenger.

Conversation is at the heart of all relationships. From friends and family, to co-workers and casual acquaintances, a good and clear conversation can make all the difference in the world. The same holds true for businesses and their customers. Although the days of the owner of the local neighbourhood shop knowing your name and a little bit about your life may be fading, advances in technology have created new ways for businesses to bring personalisation back to the shopping experience to curate product information, answer customers’ questions and keep people coming back for a long time. 

Messaging, one of the most prominent conversational technologies, is providing a new way for customers to reach the brands they love and receive a personalised touch while doing it. Consumers have quickly gravitated toward this approach to shopping online because it’s a familiar medium and one where they’re already spending time. In a recent report from Facebook IQ in partnership with Boston Consulting, 64% of people across generations said they prefer messaging to a call or email, while 65% of the same people said they’d be more likely to shop with a business they can contact via chat. 

It’s not hard to see why people might prefer this approach. Communication with a business through messaging is instant and it keeps a record of the interaction that enables consumers to exit and return to the conversation at their convenience. 

Australians expect fast and timely responses from businesses, with a recent study by Messenger finding that 55% of Australians surveyed believe the ability to message at any time makes direct messaging more convenient than phone enquiries. Of Australians surveyed, 41% expect a response from businesses within a few hours and a further 14% expect instant replies. 

Advances in automation and other technologies have given brands the power to immediately respond to more simple questions from customers, like enquiries about store hours, while also enabling their live support personnel to seamlessly step in at any time to solve more complicated problems and answer questions in real time. For example, on Messenger, businesses can easily integrate with the platform to set up automatic responses to frequently asked questions that will help relieve customer support teams to focus on more detailed customer requests that require a personal touch. 

Many large businesses have embraced conversational commerce strategies to improve things like lead generation or customer service and seen impressive results. For example, Canadian Airline WestJest created a custom experience for Messenger, including an automated assistant named Juliet to help personify its brand, which created a 24% lift in positive sentiment among travellers with 50% of customer inquiries handled by Messenger resulting in improved employee productivity. 

Always thinking on its feet, Happy Socks wanted an innovative and playful way to drive sales of its socks during Christmas and Valentine’s Day in more than 25 countries across Australia, Europe and North America. It created a choose-your-own experience in Messenger. Through its custom Messenger activation, the campaign allowed potential customers to find the perfect pair of socks to give as gifts during Christmas and Valentine’s Day. As a result Happy Socks saw a 2.39x return on ad spend for its Christmas campaign and a 3x return on ad spend for its Valentine’s Day campaign. 

Small businesses are also getting into the game. Streetwear retailer, Culture Kings, used sponsored messages in Messenger, that was personalised with their name and highlighted the current promotions – Click Frenzy and Black Friday sales. Customers were invited to use the ‘Shop Now’ button to click through to the Culture Kings website, encouraging them to browse its offers and make a purchase. This delivered unprecedented results, with 3x higher click-through rate compared to Facebook and Instagram and 50x return on ad spend. 

When creating messaging campaigns like these, marketers should always remember to keep it personal. Conversational technologies like messaging enable brands to highly personalise their communications. Businesses on Messenger have found success by giving their communications a specific voice, speaking to their customers in a friendly and casual tone that reflects their true brand identity. And messaging also enables businesses to include high quality video and photographs, as well as emojis and stickers to really supercharge the conversation and mimic how people actually talk to each other when chatting online. 

Messaging platforms achieve results because they’re enabling businesses to interact with their customers in the same way their customers are already interacting with their friends and family, through online conversation, and that’s not likely to change any time soon. 87% of the world’s smartphone population uses messaging apps to communicate and there are almost one billion more mobile connections than there are people in the world. And conversational technologies are free, widespread, accessible and seamlessly connect people anytime, anywhere. 

Transacting with businesses on messaging platforms gives people all the convenience and personalisation they crave without any of the friction of slow to respond websites or worse, calling a customer service line on the phone. And this trend doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. 

Messaging platforms have enabled businesses to reach new customers and engage with them in a way that not only allows them to create unique and engaging experiences but express their brand identity in ways never before available. As businesses large and small consider their marketing strategies and ways to keep their current customers happy, and bring new ones through the door, they should consider getting personal, by starting a conversation.

 

Christine Purcell is director of marketing at Messenger.