1 in 3 Britons prefer customer service via WhatsApp

One in three Britons would prefer to contact customer service via SMS or WhatsApp, new customer service via WhatsApp research shows, highlighting the need for companies to employ a fully omnichannel presence.

Despite call centers being a traditional means of communication between brands and their customers, it is now preferred by less than half of the UK population (43%), according to a survey of 1,000 Britons by telecom provider Esendex. .

Similarly, 79% of consumers would consider purchasing a product from a company as a result of a marketing message received via text message or WhatsApp, with sales notifications, one-time discount, or alerts that an item they wanted is out of order. return. stock, probably to attract them.

The survey results were published in a report that aims to give companies a better understanding of customer expectations, along with practical tips to improve response times.

Laura Brown, Head of Demand Generation at Esendex, comments:

“We wanted to dive deep into today’s post-pandemic customer. At the heart of what we found is a huge shift in customer expectations and communication preferences, with more than half of Brits admitting they get frustrated if they have to wait more than five hours for a customer service response.

“When companies extend their communication methods beyond the norm (i.e. just phone or email), they build an omnichannel presence that ensures that no stone is left unturned, so to speak. WhatsApp, in particular, is still only in its early stages, so there is a huge opportunity here for businesses to get involved in a platform that is used by over two billion users worldwide.

“Also, statistics show that 48% of people are on their phone between four and eight hours a day, with seven out of ten checking unread notifications in less than five minutes. WhatsApp is therefore one of the fastest ways to respond to – or get the attention of – a customer.”

Launched in 2018, WhatsApp for Business allows organizations to send texts, photos, videos and audios directly into their customers’ pockets, with the addition of branding and even bots for fully automated interactions.

Tips for using WhatsApp for business

Statistics show that 73% of people use multiple channels during their buying journey. Additionally, those who use four or more channels spend 9% more on a business, on average, compared to those who use just one channel. Here are some tips when considering whether to use WhatsApp to communicate with your customers.

Ask yourself ‘Why WhatsApp?’

WhatsApp for Business has so many features that it can be hard to know where to start. The first thing to establish is why you want to use it in the first place. Perhaps you’ve identified a specific pain point in the existing customer journey that the platform can help address? Or maybe the overall engagement and conversions through other channels are too low?

Knowing the why will help you identify the how and define a clear strategy.

Determine use cases carefully

One thing you don’t want to do is message your customers about anything and everything – you need to think behind every communication. Esendex research shows that customers are more likely to be receptive to texts that allow them to manage appointments, remind them of any payments due, and let them know of any updates to their delivery. Two in three Britons are also happy to receive marketing messages from companies.

Encourage two-way conversations

Once you’ve started to open up your communications to multiple platforms, it’s time to start encouraging two-way conversations with your customers for a fully interactive experience.

This makes sense during the ‘mobile revolution’, with statistics highlighting how 69% of people would rather use their phone than approach a store clerk; two out of three also feel more positive about a company that delivers that message.

Omnichannel chat is one way to exploit this, allowing customer service and marketing teams to enjoy multiple, simultaneous, two-way, mobile-focused conversations with shoppers through a variety of digital communication channels. Bots can even be deployed to help automate answers to frequently asked questions (like returning an item), with the added benefit of being able to provide 24/7 service.

Don’t forget about GDPR

All businesses should already be aware of GDPR, but did you know that customers also need to enable WhatsApp communications? Consent must be done through a third-party channel, i.e. a channel that a business is already using to communicate with its customers. It is also the responsibility of the company to let customers know what type of notification they will receive, keep a record of any opt-ins, and provide a clear opt-out option.

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