How important is messaging for loyalty marketers when they communicate with their customers?

Consider the following two eye-opening statistics from a new report from Aberdeen Group titled, “Customer Messaging: Happy Customers, Productive Employees, & Better Financials,” which was commissioned by Sparkcentral:

Companies that use messaging achieve a 24.5 percent year-over-year increase in return on marketing investments.

Companies that use messaging achieve 2.9 times greater annual increase in NPS compared to All Others (12.3 percent vs. 4.3 percent). Customers are happy when they can get their needs met with minimal effort.
Besides text messaging, which has been around for more than 20 years, customers today have numerous messaging options such as Facebook and Twitter, in-app messaging, along with third-party messaging applications such as Messenger, WeChat, and WhatsApp.

The report reveals that 41 percent of organizations currently use messaging as part of their channel mix for customer service conversations; 15 percent are considering adopting a messaging platform for customer service soon.

When employees are engaged, companies avoid the costs associated with employee turnover, retaining the knowledgeable and experienced talent who are the key to sustained growth, the report notes. Increased levels of employee engagement are also correlated with higher levels of productivity and better performance overall, especially in terms of customer service. These results are reflected in changes to a company’s net promoter score (NPS), a common measure of customer satisfaction.

What’s more, the report says, messaging helps improve employee engagement because it allows employees to serve customers using a technology they are comfortable and familiar with. Also, compared to some complex systems messaging is intuitive for agents to use when addressing client needs. The mechanics of messaging also provide employees with easy insight into a customer’s transaction history. This, in turn, helps employees personalize conversations to better meet the needs of customers.

Aberdeen’s February 2017 CEM study showed that 55 percent of companies use at least 10 channels to interact with customers. While the specific channels used will vary from company to company, the importance of delivering consistent conversations across relevant channels does not.

While traditional channels, such as the phone and email, still play an important role in handling customer issues, they often require that consumers initiate contact and stay on the line while waiting for issue resolution, the report says. By contrast, messaging allows customers to send a message to an organization and receive support without needing to “hold.”

Messaging, the report notes, provides a level of historical visibility that makes it easier for employees to personalize customer conversations. As a result, messaging helps improve customer satisfaction, enhances employee engagement, and drives real financial results. But, simply adding messaging to your channel mix isn’t enough to achieve maximum results. Marketers should employ best practices and track performance using relevant metrics.

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