Why is Facebook business messenger so popular?

Daniel Bailey, Zendesk
- Leadership - Jun 17, 2016

Today, messaging has already surpassed email as the most popular digital communication channel. By 2018, 3.6 billion people are set to be using some form of messaging; that’s 90 per cent of all internet users.

Last year, Facebook launched the business use of its Messenger platform. Now, with over 800 million active monthly users, it has signalled a calling point for other companies to consider messaging as much more than simply an ‘add-on’ form of communication.

So with its undeniable growth and popularity, how and why has business messaging become so in demand?

Essentially, messaging has completely changed the way that brands interact with their customer base. As people become increasingly demanding of businesses to deliver customer service in a way that is both personalised and convenient, we are moving towards a model of ‘conversational commerce’.

Customers are impatient and time-poor; not only do they want their questions and queries solved quickly, they value the ease messenger platforms bring. Unlike email or phone interactions, business messaging is almost instant and as we continue to move away from traditional forms of communication, the need for swift, on-the-spot engagement will only continue to grow.

While companies may operate in silos, customers don’t. They have no interest in how your business runs internally, they simply care about receiving a seamless experience. Ultimately, whether they’re choosing to engage with your brand on the phone, on email, or indeed on a messenger platform, customers just want a quick and simple solution.

Since messaging interactions tend to occur in short bursts, businesses need to be able to move quickly from one conversation to the next, all the while keeping it easy to assign, own and progress conversations. This means that any customer issues will be solved as soon as possible, resulting not only in a satisfied customer, but freeing up valuable time for customer service teams to assist others.

The customer/business relationship is complex, and companies should never be under the impression that their customer service offering is complete. With technology, consumers and the wider industry constantly developing and evolving, it’s essential that the messaging platform businesses are choosing is scalable, with the ability to grow and adapt. The flexibility the service offers will have a significant impact on customer interactions and how businesses stay competitive.

Unlike more traditional forms of customer communication such as phone or email systems, messaging provides companies with the ability to widen the reach businesses have in not just accessing customers, but having customers access them. Businesses can deliver automated customer support, e-commerce guidance, content and interactive experiences through message platforms, all across different devices.

As the market becomes more and more saturated, and with businesses’ concern growing about attracting and retaining customers, messenger platforms are an effective way of connecting people to a company. They make conversations easy to start and have ignited the industry at a time when businesses are competing on a stand-out customer offering more than ever before. With a challenge to stay relevant, and as messaging continues to thrive, we may soon find ourselves in a position where it affects the way businesses not only interact, but even sell.

By Daniel Bailey, Director of Northern Europe, Zendesk

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Read the June 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine.

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