The stats have been pouring in over the recent years. All pointing toward the rise of messaging. Messaging app users have been increasing and soared over social media app usage in 2014. The trend is so strong that some prominent brands like Uber, Tommy Hilfiger, Spotify, Taco Bell, Mastercard and more are already putting their weight behind it. They are implementing messaging strategies in customer service, marketing and sales.
Convinced by the growing popularity of messaging, Dylan Sellberg, Product manager at HubSpot writes that messaging could create entirely new divisions of a company, emerge as an entirely new line of service or even hold a new spot on an executive board.
We’re not going to focus on messaging stats in this article. Instead, we reached out to a few experts on customer experience, communications, marketing, and sales to get their thoughts on the trend. One of the most important questions was “Why should a salesperson or business owner not ignore this trend?” Their views suggest that the rise of messaging is not merely a favored style of communication, but a direction in which human communication is headed and already underway.
“Customers prefer to use social media and messaging apps more and more because it allows them to connect with companies on their terms.” — @Hyken #messengerbasedsales
A Messenger-Based Sales strategy, whether in marketing or sales, provides a lot of advantages. The most obvious and compelling one is that companies can meet customers where they are. Shep Hyken, a customer experience expert and NY Times best-selling author, puts it this way, “Customers prefer to use these social media and messaging apps more and more because it allows them to connect with companies on their terms.” He adds that companies need to adapt to meet the customer where they want as this kind of convenience creates an amazing customer experience and unwavering loyalty.
Dan Gingiss, an executive at multiple Fortune 300 companies including McDonald’s Corporation, echoes Shep’s message. When asked which social media or customer service channels a company should be actively using, Dan’s answer was, “Be where your customers are. And as customers are migrating to messaging services, so should companies.” Being available for your customers where they are increases opportunities for interaction which leads to sales or inspires loyalty that makes customers keep coming back. This is exactly what businesses want and with messaging apps and chatbots they can accomplish this 24/7.
“Be where your customers are. And as customers are migrating to messaging services, so should companies.” — @dgingiss #messengerbasedsales
An added benefit to being where your customers are is that it facilitates direct and real-time communication between you and your potential buyers, a crucial aspect of both B2B and B2C companies. According to Shane Barker, an accomplished digital marketing consultant who uses chatbots on his personal website, today’s customers expect speedy resolution of their problems and they don’t want to wait for a response after filling out a contact form on a company’s website. He believes this is why direct messaging on social media and real-time problem solving using chatbots are becoming so popular.
“Direct messaging and the use of chatbots will be the main ways in which consumers will communicate with brands.” — @shane_barker #messengerbasedsales
Sam Hurley, one of the world’s most influential digital marketers, thinks a Messenger-Based Sales approach presents a huge opportunity for salespeople and business owners. For example, “Messenger apps can be used to direct and support online shoppers in their purchase decisions, answer their queries and prompt them to buy — even upsell and cross-sell to them in real-time!”
“Whether you provide a simple chatbot, take the time to train an advanced AI-based assistant or allocate humans to be there for your potential customers 24/7, it’s definitely time to consider your options in 2019.” — @Sam___Hurley #messengerbasedsales
A closer look at a Messenger-Based Sales approach reveals even more benefits. For example, Dan explains that it is actually beneficial to both parties: companies receive customers’ complaints and inquiries via a private channel, both companies and customers have access to the chat history from any device, and all communication is asynchronous.
Now, you might be wondering why more companies aren’t taking the Messenger-Based Sales approach. We were also stumped at first. The answer is that most companies have built their sales processes around traditional email and website opt-in forms. They worked for a long time and gradually became the status quo. The problem is that changing the status quo isn’t easy even when its inefficiency is clear to see.
“Mobile messaging, and chatbots, in particular, offer consumers the one thing they really want: the help they need, when they need it.” — @alexdebecker, Founder and CGO of @ubisend #messengerbasedsales
At amoCRM, we believe that messaging is the future of sales. However, for most companies, Messenger-Based Sales is relatively uncharted territory and one they have not yet learned how to navigate. This is why Delivered was written — to provide a map for small business owners and sales teams. Delivered is a book that distills the present state of sales, explains why business owners and smart sales teams cannot ignore the direction in which human communication is headed and most importantly, how to equip their businesses for the future of sales.
You can still join the party, see what others are saying about Delivered and get your copy here.