The challenges of 2020 put contact centres agility to the test. And with many of those challenges continuing in 2021, many contact centres are still struggling to manage a variety of issues.
- Call volumes are still a significant problem, whether due to an increase during the pandemic or limited resources because of cutbacks or shutdowns.
- IT departments saw their worlds turned upside down. They continue to face the daunting task of helping remote agents maintain a consistent customer experience despite their questionable home network infrastructure.
- Contact centres realised the importance of a unified omnichannel strategy as more customers took to digital channels like social media. Unfortunately, analysts predict only 50% of businesses will have unified their customer engagement channels by 2022.
Fortunately, advancements in communication are making these issues manageable. One of these advancements in customer communication is businesses utilising WhatsApp. WhatsApp is making waves in the contact centre community as organisations see the critical role it plays in delivering a modern, agile, and efficient customer experience.
Customers WhatsApp, Businesses Should Too
WhatsApp messaging is gaining momentum more than ever before, and for a good reason. WhatsApp messaging has long been a preferred method of communication. Historically, businesses leveraged texting and messaging solely for promotional purposes. This is no longer the case, with businesses now able to effectively and easily communicate with their customers via WhatsApp.
Business WhatsApp messaging is outpacing other communication channels in several ways:
- Better Accessibility: Live chat and social media channels are great, but they aren’t as convenient as WhatsApp. In the UK 84% of adults now own a smartphone, which means they have access to WhatsApp everywhere they go. In contrast, webchat isn’t always accessible via mobile.
- Better Engagement: For contact centres involved in any outreach, WhatsApp connects you to customers better than almost anything else. 98% of all messages are read in the first three minutes. Only 22% of emails are read at all. If you need customers to respond, you’re in luck – consumers are 4x more likely to respond to a massage than an email. They’ll do it quickly too. That’s because it takes about 90 seconds to respond to a message vs 90 minutes via email.
- Better Customer Experience: Customers expect faster responsiveness from businesses. Very few people will tolerate waiting on hold anymore, even for a minute. If you have a customer waiting minutes on the phone, they likely won’t stay a customer for long. WhatsApp messaging is a game-changer for call queues. Agents can manage multiple, simultaneous WhatsApp messages rather than have one call monopolise their time.
- Better Security: WhatsApp’s end-to-end encryption feature has earned WhatsApp a bit of a reputation for being safe, secure, and private. Because WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp is inherently the safer option than other messaging apps. Yes, that includes Facebook Messenger, Instagram messages, Snapchat, and even regular old iMessage.
WhatsApp Messaging - Unlocking Contact Centre Agility
The key to greater contact centre agility is having the right resources (time, talent, and headcount) available when they’re needed most. By embedding WhatsApp messaging into your contact centre, you can reclaim precious agent bandwidth and use it where their skills are needed most.
- Automate Conversations: Sending an automatic WhatsApp response does two things – it assures the customer they have gotten in touch with the right business, and it also gives them that immediate response they are looking for.
- Use WhatsApp Bots to Conserve Resources: WhatsApp bots, like chatbots, can automate mind-numbing tasks like gathering customer information or qualifying a prospective lead through a series of in/then responses. Once the WhatsApp bot collects the necessary information or qualifies the lead, it can automatically pass the text message to the appropriate agent.
Unified Customer Engagement with WhatsApp
WhatsApp messaging can be a fantastic tool for improving the customer experience, but it’s most useful when unified with other customer engagement channels.
Tie WhatsApp messaging into the systems your business relies on to support your customers, whether it’s a CRM or a CCaaS solution. It creates greater simplicity for your agents and allows management to see messaging within the context of other interactions for greater insights and process improvements.
WhatsApp: There Is More To Come
It’s difficult to imagine a time where our main way to converse with a business was via a phone call or through email on your PC. But now messaging apps are on almost every smart device, with new features appearing almost every month to help make it easier for users to communicate with businesses, especially in these times.
It will be an interesting time once multi-device support arrives for everyone to see just how WhatsApp will be used on devices that don’t have that local app available. With Windows 11 rapidly on its way and new rumoured devices from Apple, Samsung, and more to come, it looks as though this feature couldn’t have come at a better time, and could further increase the gap to its messaging competitors.
To summarise, it is essential that businesses be prepared to go where their customers are, be that LiveChat, social media, or WhatsApp. By onboarding WhatsApp allows your business to save time, money, and resources. This will allow your business to deliver that consistently positive customer experience.