Everyone can relate to being sat on hold for hours on end trying to get through to customer service; however, new research published this September documented a change in proceedings, with one in three Brits now preferring to reach customer support via WhatsApp.
A world away from the previous order of things, these new findings have sparked expert debate around whether or not businesses should adopt a more comprehensive omnichannel presence, with WhatsApp being front and centre of this new way of operating.
There seems to have been a substantial change in how we like to be contacted as consumers, with just under 50% of the UK population preferring to reach customer service via WhatsApp, with most of us opting not to speak to an actual human being.
Why Do ⅓ of Brits Prefer to Use WhatsApp to Reach Customer Service?
The findings of September’s report gave us a greater insight into customer expectations, while it wasn’t shy in pointing out the need to change in order not to be swept aside by the winds of change.
The report said:
“More than half of Brits admit they get frustrated if they have to wait more than five hours for a response from customer service. When businesses extend their methods of communication beyond the norm (i.e. just phone or email), they build an omnichannel presence that ensures no stone is left unturned, so to speak.
“WhatsApp, in particular, is still really only at its early stages, so there’s a huge opportunity here for companies to engage on a platform that’s used by more than two billion users worldwide.”
As a population, we are spending excessive amounts of time on our phones. 7/10 people said they can’t go less than five minutes without checking their unread notifications, while the report found that 48% of people use their phones between four and eight hours a day.
So, with this in mind, as the report noted how people spend more than 50% of the day on their phones, is there any wonder why we now expect to reach customer service via WhatsApp?
How to Use WhatsApp for Customer Service Success
Launched in 2018, WhatsApp has transformed how we communicate with one another. WhatsApp also empowers brands, businesses, and Google Ads experts to use the app to reach their audience directly, contacting them in a way they respond to.
So, in the wake of this recent report, here are a few things to bear in mind when it comes to incorporating WhatsApp into your marketing strategy.
Use WhatsApp to Revolutionise Your Customer Service
WhatsApp is a complex business communications tool, and so it’s hugely vital to do your dewdiligence before deciding whether or not it’s the best channel for your business endeavours. Firstly, we encourage you to identify a particular pressure point that WhatsApp may help solve; you also must want to actively improve your customer service strategy.
Indeed, once you’ve identified these pressure points, you can then start to build upon your communications strategy.
Prioritise Two-way Engagement
Once you’ve begun implementing and delivering your communication strategy via WhatsApp, now is the time to start encouraging two-way conversations with your customers, encouraging a comprehensive interactive experience.
69% of customers would rather use their phone than deal with somebody in person, so it’s important to capitalize on this and remember, they want to speak to you as much as you want to speak to them – just maybe not over the phone.
Comply with GDPR
GDPR compliance always needs to be a priority anyway, but it’s even more important when it applies to contacting customers via WhatsApp. So, it’s vital that you understand GDPR in terms of how it applies to the social media app and its role in the customer service landscape.
Never forget: It is a businesses’ sole responsibility to inform customers of their GDPR rights, and this means keeping a secure record of their preferences, data, and consent, and contact details, amongst other important details.
Avoid Spamming the Customer
While we encourage the use of WhatsApp to connect with customers and make their purchasing journey more seamless, that said, this doesn’t give you permission to spam them with constant WhatsApp messages.
Best practice dictates that you should use WhatsApp to communicate with existing loyal customers for such things as one-to-one conversations and deals you believe are too good to miss.
In short, message judiciously, not frequently.