Why Messaging is becoming the new customer connection tool
10 August 2018
With any business, relationships are everything. And as we know every relationship starts with a conversation. This has been true since the dawn of commerce. But today, people and businesses are increasingly connecting through a powerful, personal new medium: messaging.
According to a recent Facebook study, people’s use of mobile messaging apps has been on a meteoric rise. By the end of 2018, 78% of the world’s smartphone users will message every month. And the growth is only expected to continue: By 2021, it’s predicted that the global user base for mobile messaging apps will have risen by a further 23%.
And it is no surprise that the way people communicate with each other fundamentally has an impact on the way they expect to communicate with businesses.
For those of you that run Facebook pages for your parks I expect you have seen a rise in the number of Facebook Messenger messages this season. Being an Admin on several park Facebook pages I have seen it firsthand – from park guests querying their booking (at 2am in the morning) right the way through to guests checking opening times for the pool or raising customer service issues.
Welcome to the future of consumer communication.
How Messaging is changing consumer behaviour?
First and foremost this method of communication is almost 100% mobile based. Although it’s possible to sync a smartphone with desktop and enable remote messaging – most users prefer to message via their smartphone. This puts your guests well and truly in the driving seat – being able to message your park whenever they choose.
But here’s the sting in the tail…. your guest’s time is precious and that’s why this method of asynchronous contact is appealing: your guests will often expect immediate responses, but respond themselves whenever it’s convenient.
Messaging gives your guests a direct line to your business which also opens opportunities for you as a park to streamline the booking process and offer a more personalised level of customer service.
Guests using messaging to connect with you have a certain set of expectations:-
- Easy to use
- Anywhere, any time
- Real time/fast
While convenience and reliability are both important elements of a positive customer experience, response time may be the key that unlocks meaningful connections with your guests. Among people surveyed by Facebook across four markets who message businesses, the majority expect a faster response than if they had used a more traditional mode of communication – like email.
The sense of human connection that a messaging conversation brings can also give consumers the confidence to convert. The majority (2/3rds) of those surveyed in the UK say that being able to message a business helps them feel more confident about the brand.
How parks can take advantage of messaging
- Be more creative with your communication
People are messaging more – and are doing so more visually. Here’s your opportunity to play to your guest’s visual expectations in messaging. Express your park’s personality with emojis, enticing imagery and even immersive augmented reality experiences. After all, the path to making a booking is increasingly paved with visuals.
- Manage expectations
In some cases, consumers have built-in expectations around messaging based on how they message friends and family. Your guests expect responses – and prompt ones, too.
- Use auto-responder or chat-bots
The expectation of an immediate response is one of the main driving forces in business interest in bots. Use these tools to let people know if you won’t be available or take your customer service to another level and see how chat-bots can enhance your guest conversations.
Businesses are using messaging in many ways – some powered by people, others by bots and many by a combination of the two. Determine the right way to scale your park communications based on your strategic needs and the expectations of your park guests.
Facebook study – “Global P2B Communication Methods & Preferences” by FactWorks (Facebook-commissioned online survey of 18,157 people aged 18-65.