As more messaging options become available and popularized on our mobile devices, industries are trying to stay relevant and offer communication via messaging to their customers. While this trend is often one that is welcomed by consumers, there are cases in which a well-designed app is far superior to the chat option.
Do we really need to chat?
An important thing to consider is whether or not the transaction is one where you truly need interaction with a person. When Facebook first demoed it’s messaging bot, it chose to showcase placing orders from a pizza store a flower store.
In both these cases, interacting with a salesperson simply isn’t necessary. In fact, visually seeing the different flowers that can be added to a bouquet or the toppings that could be put on a pizza is far more important then human interaction, and so a well-built app is superior to a chat-bot taking an order.
There are many businesses with models similar to the pizza and flower shops, where you may find it convenient to interact with a sales person in a store simply because they are there, but the crucial information you need is not gathered by talking to them, rather by perusing the items themselves. In these cases, there seems to be no reason to introduce messaging options.
Messaging for faster flow of information
There are, however, instances where messaging can streamline the way we do business. Any industry where appointments are made, for example, can utilize messaging to allow customers to receive up-to-date information without waiting on hold for a receptionist to become available. Who wouldn’t love to be able to message their doctor’s office to find out how late their doctor is, instead of rushing in to the office on time, only to wait in line for a hour with a sick child in tow?
Financial institutions can allow customers to request and receive information about their accounts or the stock market simply by messaging, eliminating the need to log on to a computer or set up an appointment with their banker.
It’s industries like these, where there needs to be a flow of information, that the use of messaging to allow a faster, automated flow of information can truly add value to the experience.
Think before you jump!
It’s easy to jump on the messaging band-wagon and offer your customers a messaging experience, but smarter businesses will ask themselves whether the messaging option truly offers an added value to the customer. In many cases, it can be a more efficient and time-saving way for a customer to get crucial information. In other cases, however, the messaging option offers an inferior user experience when compared with a well designed app.