The recent years have witnessed a great shift in the marketing paradigm as everything is going customer-centric. ‘Chat Marketing’ has surpassed all other marketing tools and strategies and proven its worth in nearly doubling the client conversion rate and growing businesses exponentially. The new ‘WhatsApp for Business’ initiative that was officially launched in January 2018 has kicked off with the rolling out of the WhatsApp business API from August 1, 2018. The meteoric rise of messaging apps and the expansion of social media platforms has boosted the implementation of ‘chat marketing’ for better customer experience and higher sales.
The sun that dawned in the 90s and brought the internet along changed the course of the business world. E-commerce is roaring loud and claiming industries across various domains. In fact, retail e-commerce is projected to cross the 4.5 trillion USD mark by 2021. Customer interaction and customer relationship management have been the key driving factors in the success of e-commerce.
What is the reason behind the phenomenal success of online businesses? The answer lies in the ‘customer-centric’ marketing approach that keeps the focus on the customers and their requirements.
Beginning as web assistants and reaching the smartphone apps
Chat marketing evolved when there was a need to keep customers interested in communication with the company and existing methods of emails, SMS, phone calls, and newsletters were failing. A small window that waits at the corner of the website page, aiming to interact, understand requirements, and accept queries, soon started functioning on multiple grounds and became the first choice of contact from a customer’s end. In a recent survey, it was found that over 60 percent of customers return to websites with a live chat option and, in fact, live chat has become the most preferred communication channel for customers across all industries.
Today, marketing with chat has spread its arms and grasped the social media platforms as well. Messenger from Facebook and other platforms are greatly used by companies to interact with their potential clientele. The spread of smartphones also facilitated the way for live chat applications and now people can interact with companies through chat while using their mobile applications. Features like real-time response and 24/7 live assistance with chatbots, interactive conversations with customer service reps, quality customer experience, newsletters, and easy feedback make live chat the best marketing tool for sure growth of the business.
Approaching customers where they really hang out
WhatsApp has acknowledged the outright success of chat marketing and foreseen the glorious future of customer servicing with messaging apps. That has been the reason that the messaging app – with over 1.5 billion users worldwide – has decided to monetize the business potential that chat marketing proposes through WhatsApp.
The golden rule of success that business oracles speak of is to approach the potential customer in their comfort zone, where they really hang out. The records of past five years have shown that messaging apps are growing their user base even faster than the social networking apps; this, in turn, makes WhatsApp the biggest platform for utmost utilization of chat marketing.
WhatsApp for Business, with over 3 million users, was initiated with the intent to allow businesses to interact on a streamlined platform. Now, the recent global launch of the Business API will soon exhibit great changes in the sales, marketing, and customer service domains of companies across the world. The benefits that chat marketing encashes are its multi-functionality and multi-usability, as companies can incorporate CTA icons, GIFs, images, documents, hyperlinks, and much more with an interactive and easy look for their customers.
The scope of chat marketing and use of messaging platforms
Chat marketing has overcome all the drawbacks that earlier customer interaction tools had. Whether it was undefined response time, or long hold periods on-call, or time-consuming boring mail letters, live chat has not just changed the face of CRM but has made the interactions, purchase, queries, and feedback a cakewalk for the customers. Be it websites, mobile applications, or the messaging apps, businesses focused on their growth and expansion are seriously diving deep into the tech-ocean to find out the best chatbot automation algorithms, and teams of chat reps for an excellent customer experience.
Although WhatsApp hasn’t opened all the cards on the table, the prospect of chat marketing through the world’s biggest messaging app will open new horizons of business growth and success for companies across the globe. Let us wait for the future to show what advanced technology, AI, machine learning, human intelligence, marketing tactics, and exceptional business innovations can get out of chat marketing.
Vipul Garg is the Co-founder and Head of Marketing and Design at Morph.ai, a leading marketing automation tool.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)