With tools such as Messenger, WhatsApp and direct messaging services on platforms including Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, sending a direct message to a business is becoming the new normal when customers want to speak to a company… and it stands to reason that they expect a reply!
If you are using these tools for your business, do you have a plan in place for monitoring for messages, and ensuring your customers receive a quick response?
The use of smartphones and the internet mean that we all now live in a 24/7 world, so you may need to reply to messages on Sunday morning or late at night – whenever your customers need you! But just remember, work-life balance is important and sometimes, a late reply is better than no reply if replying would have a negative effect on you or your family.
Another thing to remember about instant messaging is that it removes the opportunity for customers to ‘cool off’ if they have received a bad experience – one that may not necessarily have seemed so bad if they had to wait overnight to contact you, for example. Bear this in mind in your reply, don’t be defensive or angry in response as this will just exasperate the situation.
However, if you give your customers the opportunity to contact you privately via messaging for good or bad experiences, or product/service queries, you keep the contact discreet – lessening the risk of reputation damage if they make their complaint public.
Overall, at Bright Eye Deer, we think that messaging businesses is a positive move. It gives small businesses the increased opportunity to connect with customers and allows for greater communication. As it becomes more widely used by customers, we expect that businesses will begin to see messaging become the ‘new normal’ away from emails or telephone contact.