Live chat is a powerful customer service channel that improves your support team's efficiency and productivity. Reps can field multiple cases at once, and automation like workflows and chatbots streamline conversations for faster resolution.
But, live chat isn't just something that businesses like to use. Customers use live chat all the time and many chat with peers on a daily basis. Except, instead of calling it live chat, we often refer to it as texting, messaging, "DMing," or, for a throwback, instant messaging.
Mobile messenger apps have become incredibly popular over the past few years. In fact, messaging apps now have 20% more active users than social media networks. And, 55% of consumers prefer to communicate with businesses using these apps over other communication channels.
As a customer service team, it's your responsibility to work with customers on the platforms that they're most comfortable using. Many mobile messaging apps can now be integrated into help desks, allowing you to log conversations and create tickets for follow-up support.
In this post, let's explore some popular mobile and social media messenger apps. We'll look into their features, their advantages, and any additional reasons why you should integrate these apps into your service platform.
Popular Mobile Messenger Apps
Facebook Messenger is arguably the most popular mobile messenger app. It has 1.3 billion monthly active users which is expected to nearly double by 2021. And, it's tied to a powerful social media platform that consistently attracts and engages new users.
Because of its popularity, Facebook Messenger is easily integrated into most help desk solutions. It has features like instant replies, automated messages, and personalized greetings that improve your team's productivity. And, chat threads are easy to initiate. Customers simply click on the "send message" button and it triggers an immediate conversation with your team.
WhatsApp has the most users out of all the platforms on this list with two billion active users in over 180 countries. For many people, WhatsApp provides a cost-effective alternative to texting, especially when communicating internationally. Unlike most standard SMS messaging, WhatsApp doesn't charge its users to send messages to different countries.
WhatsApp hosts a range of features that are useful for customer service teams. For example, it has voice messaging that records speech and sends it via text. It also has a document sharing tool that lets you send PDFs, spreadsheets, slideshows, and more to your customers. Together, these features allow your team to provide in-depth troubleshooting steps that guide customers to solutions without overwhelming them.
With over one billion monthly users, and 500 million using the platform daily, it's hard to ignore Instagram as a viable customer service medium. And, Instagram Direct has plenty of cool features that support professionals can use to provide better service to their customers.
One unique feature that Instagram supports is video chat. If a customer is having trouble understanding what your rep is trying to say, they can launch a video call directly from the chat interface. Reps can also loop in other teammates while on the call, so they can escalate issues without having to end or transfer the chat. This helps support teams avoid costly friction and provide delightful customer experiences.
Twitter is an excellent channel for customer service because it promotes the rapid sharing of information. It has 330 million users and 67% of businesses are actively using the platform.
With Twitter being an open forum for customer opinions and questions, direct messaging provides a private space where businesses and customers can exchange information. Rather than working on a complicated issue over a series of tweets, direct messaging creates a 1:1 channel where communication is consolidated into one thread. Reps can search for past conversations and recall important details from previous interactions with your followers.
WeChat is China's most popular messaging app with over 1.1 billion users on the platform. Since some social media networks aren't available worldwide, WeChat provides alternative options for people to communicate digitally.
One cool feature that WeChat provides is its barcode scanner. Instead of asking people to provide personal information, WeChat users can scan a unique barcode that automatically adds contacts to their database. This not only saves users time but provides additional security for sensitive information.
LINE is a Japanese messaging app that's similar to WhatsApp. It has 217 million monthly active users who can text, call, and video chat for free. Customers can also follow their favorite brand accounts and receive updates and coupons that your business shares. And, for a little added fun, LINE has over 10 thousand stickers and emojis that can be used to spice up chat conversations.
Telegram is a cloud-based messaging app that prioritizes security for its users. It has 200 million active users and aims to have over one billion by 2022.
To ensure security, Telegram provides a few unique features that protect messages from falling into the wrong hands. For instance, businesses can encrypt messages to prevent unauthorized access, and even set "self-destruct" timers that delete the message after a certain period of time. This is particularly useful for B2B businesses that may be exchanging sensitive information that hackers would have an interest in.
Skype is a messaging service that turns 20 years old in 2023. Even though it's one of the earliest messaging apps to go to market, it's still a popular service with over 300 million people using the platform monthly.
Skype is perfect for 1:1 customer service because it hosts a variety of communication options. You can call a customer, chat with them face to face on video, or simply send instant messages back and forth. This is ideal for smaller customer service teams that don't have a large customer base and can afford to spend more time working with customers directly.
For more live chat tips, read about SMS customer support.
Originally published Apr 24, 2020 8:00:00 AM, updated June 09 2021