In the late 90s to the early and mid-2000, e-mail was the most commonly used medium for communication in terms of personal or official use, including for businesses. It was common for companies to use email to market their products of offer sales promotions. However, because of its format, email became less efficient in making business transactions. Writing with a subject, opening message, email body, closing, and greeting is the format that seems to be used in the email standard. This makes emails feel less efficient.
When instant messaging became a new trend, with the likes of Facebook and WhatsApp, communication media changes. Ease of use and quick responses are the main reasons. Instant Messaging is interesting by offering flexible things, far from being rigid and then viral. Until July 2019, 1.6 billion active users were registered using WhatsApp.
With the massive number of users on Instant Messaging (IM) nowadays, it has become an indispensable mode of communication between businesses and their customers. What more with the technology that has evolved into intuitive and automated responses, IM is easily seen as an important part of businesses to reach out, retain and engage with customers.
Here are 5 popular and great IM applications for you to use in your business to build customer engagement:
Although WhatsApp is a recent newcomer to IM for businesses, it has proven to contain lots of potential in terms of marketing and customer support.
Currently, WhatsApp Business is available in two separate services:
- WhatsApp Business App for smaller enterprises which may have just started operations and are trying to establish customer engagement, and
- WhatsApp Business API for larger businesses to be used as a corporate IM application.
In Europe and Latin America, WhatsApp is the king of IM in this area. The WhatsApp Business account that you create will help you reach out to 1.6 billion users, and provide all your customers access to communicate directly with your business.
Of course, reaching out to such a large number of users will be a chore for your business, so to help overcome this, Qiscus is able to offer you solutions to help you be better able to manage high numbers of engagement through features that enhance automation. Make a few changes to be able to manage such an engagement by inserting some automatic features.
Facebook Messenger is the most popular and a favorite IM application used by businesses. It gives access to users all over the world, except for users in China. Communication with customers is established through the company’s Facebook page, which of course includes a standard Messenger feature, allowing you and the customer to send messages to one another.
Facebook is a pioneer in this technology, although WhatsApp has now overtaken the number of users, estimated to be around 1.3 billion and that is a very big number!
Besides, it is also possible to use special codes so that offline users can be directed to Messenger conversations with your business. These codes will definitely help you to increase customer engagement.
Facebook Messenger can also be inserted as a plugin on your website. It can also be used as a Customer Support Service that usually appears on websites of businesses.
Facebook continues to innovate and has recently launched the Lightspeed Messenger App, which is an effort to bring a lighter version of the original Facebook Messenger, making it faster and more suitable for customers in developing countries who may not have been connected to the Internet with qualified access speeds.
If you are considering including WeChat into your business communication strategy, it is best to review where your customers originate from. If any of your customers are from China, the answer is you probably have to due to its popularity there. WeChat has advantages such as external applications and WeChat work, which is dedicated to internal communication.
Although it is not as popular as Facebook and WhatsApp, there are many success stories of advertising services on WeChat. To include WeChat into your business, you must create a WeChat official account.
Despite only reaching out to 200 million active monthly users, Telegram has proven itself to be a reliable IM application, especially in countries experiencing thee tightening rules surrounding social media activity and sending IMs.
Telegram also has several features that are very suitable for businesses to use, such as public groups and channels. This public group, which has recently become known as supergroups, can accommodate up to 100,000 users.
This Japanese application also has a reach of about 200 million active monthly users. This IM app may not be very popular globally but has grown in popularity in parts of East and Southeast Asia such as Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Thailand. Like WeChat, to start a business with LINE, you must create an official LINE account.
Line as an IM tool also offers an enterprising solution called “Line Biz Solutions”. It offers marketing solutions for businesses based on three main services: Line Account Connect, Line Ads Platform, and Line Sales Platform.
All three LINE services can be used to effectively boost customer engagement from boosting purchase intent to increasing brand recognition and awareness.
Choosing the Right Solution for Your Customers
Seeing the massive impact of IM and understanding that customers nowadays want ease, accessibility and fast responses from businesses, it may be time for your business to consider incorporating IM. As the technology is frequently updated and provides quite notifications for users, this will ensure that customers are constantly engaged by your company.
However, we understand that choosing the right platform may be confusing for you. Is WhatsApp the best option since it reaches out to the most number of users or is Facebook a pioneer in this matter?
Our solution allows you to consider and incorporate as many channels as you can, to optimize and reach out to more customers. If you are confused over the many channels, using a multichannel solution can help you manage the plethora of response threads that your customer service team may have to face with by, funneling all the messages that you have received into one dashboard. Interested? Click here to learn more about how multichannel will help you to improve your business communication strategy.