Every customer wants their interactions with a brand to be easy and to get them the result they’re looking for, whether it be answers to questions or to make a purchase. Today, consumers have a number of options for ways in which they can communicate with their favorite brands — and messaging is their most preferred way.
In our recent report on “The State of Social Conversational Commerce: 2022,” over 1700 consumers in the EU and the US told us that they enjoy having one-to-one conversations with brands. Most importantly, they told us why they prefer messaging over other channels. These insights can help marketers struggling with customer engagement to see why messaging is the way forward.
Top Reasons Why Consumers Want to Message
60% of EU respondents and 51% of US respondents said that if they could choose the way to engage with a brand online, they would choose messaging over email and a phone call. Why do they enjoy messaging with brands? Because messaging is faster and more convenient.
They prefer messaging because it’s faster, which was the number one reason for EU respondents and the number two reason for US respondents.
What does “faster” mean? According to our respondents, they’re messaging with brands most to learn more about products or services, and other pre-purchase questions. If they want to make a purchase and have questions, messaging is a fast way to get answers. Then, a chatbot can guide them to the specific products and services they’re looking for, which can result in sales in the moment.
They also prefer messaging because it’s convenient, which was the number one reason for US respondents and the number two reason for EU respondents.
Specifically, respondents say that it’s convenient because they can choose what and when to reply. Automated messaging allows brands to always be available to their customers when they have questions or want more guidance — even in the middle of the night. That’s why respondents love to message. They can interact with a brand when they’re browsing for products or services and don’t have to wait until “normal business hours” to get their answers.
Another way that messaging is convenient? It offers the ability for customers to have one place where they can come back to the conversation. Think about a text message with a friend or family member: You simply pick up where you left off. Consumers enjoy messaging because they can simply pick up where they left off with a brand, and have their conversation with that brand sitting in their inbox. A single back-and-forth also allows brands to message opted-in customers with new products and offers, and pings them right on their lock screen with recurring notifications.
The result? Consumers who come away with a positive experience from messaging make purchases. They’re also more inclined to buy from brands that offer messaging, too.
Negative Experiences with Messaging
Consumers enjoy messaging with brands because it’s fast and it’s convenient. So it should be no surprise that consumers who had negative experiences messaging with brands say it was because the brand was too slow to reply to them, or never replied at all. This is neither the speed nor the convenience that they expect from messaging.
Of course, customers who come away with negative experiences from messaging are less inclined to make purchases with that brand. They’ve even abandoned purchases when the brand took too long to reply to their message.
Fast and Convenient, or Slow and Unresponsive?
If customers are looking to interact with your brand online, where will you be? Will your brand be slow to respond to messages, have your chat set to “Away,” or send potential customers to other, less convenient communication channels? Or, through automated one-to-one messaging, will you be ready and available when customers need you, and answer them in a fast and engaging way?