Great customer service is key to growing your business. Many companies differentiate themselves with it. When done right, it can be a real money maker for a business, but when done wrong it frustrates customers and hurts the brand image.
Providing great customer service is challenging. It takes time and effort to manage customer inquiries. Customers expect quick answers and they want to engage with brands via the channel they prefer.
It leaves businesses with a dozen messaging channels to manage and a ton of replies to handle. How to scale up customer service without losing the service? A customer messaging platform, powered by AI and chatbots is key.
What is a customer messaging platform?
A customer messaging platform is simply put, a platform that manages customer conversations. It’s designed to support a variety of messaging channels like live chat on your website but also social messaging channels like Facebook Messenger or Instagram DM. A good customer messaging platform connects these channels, all into one team inbox to make customer service manageable.
Conversational AI and NLU can be used to automate customer conversations. Recurring customer support questions can be easily answered using chatbots. It saves time and increases customer service levels since chatbots are instant and 24/7 ready to help. We explained in a different article how Conversational AI and NLU works in customer service.
What are the benefits of a customer messaging platform?
The benefits of having a customer messaging platform are great. First, it’s a huge time saver. Simply because it collects all incoming messages into one place. With automation it answers most of the customer support questions, without a human agent interfering.
Due to the speed of chatbots replying instantly, a customer messaging platform also helps to increase customer service levels. Great customer service is a true differentiator that sets a business apart from others. It therefore has a positive impact on brand perception.
How to implement a customer messaging platform?
Setting up a customer messaging platform shouldn’t be that time consuming or difficult. Depending on which platform and how easy it is to use, you can go live within minutes. First you need to connect messaging channels like live chat, Facebook Messenger, Google Business Messaging or Telegram to such a platform. Most customer messaging platforms offer a wide variety of messaging channel integrations.
Secondly, you can integrate customer messaging platforms also to backend systems like your eCommerce webshop, order shipping tool or any other information source. The more it’s integrated to your backend, the more effective it gets in answering customer queries.
Finally you can add automation to answer recurring customer support questions. Many questions have been asked before and can be answered using chatbots and AI. Things like, “Where’s my order?” or “Are you open on Friday?” are simple questions that can be handled by automation. Good automation in a customer messaging tool can answer up to 60% of all incoming queries.
What to look for when selecting a customer messaging platform?
When choosing a customer messaging platform, you first have to consider what the business needs are. A global company with a high volume of traffic in many languages has different needs than a local successful webshop that is run by just a few people.
A key differentiating factor is the capability of the chatbot and the AI. Some chatbots have higher resolution rates than others, but also require more setup or maintenance. We’ve written a separate article about what to consider on Conversational AI and chatbots.
Ultimately, it’s a matter of getting started and getting some experience for your business. Many customer messaging platforms offer a free trial that should get you started. So go and get out there and try!