We've all heard the misconception that communicating over text via mobile decreases the personal touch. But, quite to the contrary, it's actually an effective, engaging way to connect when you're in the palm of someone's hand.
Why? It allows for extreme personalization of the experience, and an unprecedented level of context so you never have to explain your predicament twice. And context is exactly what makes a human-to-human conversation so captivating.
Messaging is a powerful way to provide confidence and support, and to connect in a way that is trusted and familiar. According to Chris Messina of Uber, we'll all be interacting with brands over apps like Facebook M, WhatsApp, etc. by the end of the year—and it will be a totally normal thing.
This shift presents a massive opportunity for brands to nurture the kind of relationship we're all hoping for: truly differentiated, valuable, meaningful.
Mobile messaging has changed consumer expectations for good. Consumers want access to a live person, 24/7, and they don't want to wait on hold. In this era, brands that can find the right balance of human and tech will make a lasting impression. That means engaging with the right amount of personalization—and adding value at every touch point.
To survive and thrive, brands need more than the right tech; it takes a human-to-human connection. Read on for tips to develop more human connections for your brand through mobile messaging.
Four Tips to Humanize the Experience
Mobile consumers demand convenience and access to information. After all, consumers engaging on mobile are welcoming brands into the same space they share with friends and family. So, it's critical that brands add value—not just take up space.
Below are four tips to message your way to a more meaningful consumer connection.
1. Personalize the experience
It's easy to get caught up in the all the tech innovation happening and lose sight of the art of personalization. But messaging enables one-on-one, personal connections at our fingertips. With behavioral insights on your side, a personalized experience can win a consumer over for life.
2. Provide a seamless experience
Forget omnichannel; consumers are on channel-overload. After all, you wouldn't halt an in-person conversation only to resume the same discussion over the phone. As more and more features make their way into messaging, the more it will be a one-stop-shop for consumers.
All-encompassing mobile messaging apps will keep conversations in one channel and simplify the path to a more connected experience.
3. Show emotion
Consumers want more than short answers and quick fixes to their problems. They want a meaningful connection. With messaging, brands can act quickly with empathy, warmth, and patience—giving consumers the personal connection they crave.
(Related read: "How to Have a Great Conversation with Anyone")
4. Use real-speak
Consumers want to feel they're in friendly, empathetic hands. Conveying a deep understanding of the situation keeps consumers content. But tapping into consumers' emotions must be done with the right balance of warm and positive language while not losing sight of the "why" behind each issue.
Stay away from industry jargon and be careful with the use of acronyms. Instead, demonstrate your expertise and empower consumers with in-depth knowledge of the business, products, processes, systems, and policies.
When consumers know they're communicating with a real, live person who takes their concern to heart, it's a better overall experience—which they will remember.
Examples of Brands With a Human Touch
Some brands are already adding the human touch through messaging, on any device.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline (NDVH) understands that in some situations, messaging can offer more privacy and anonymity than the phone. For victims and survivors of domestic abuse, messaging gives them the digital wall they need to feel comfortable asking for help. The NDVH uses data collected through an algorithm created by LivePerson (where I work) to quickly provide help to visitors at the right time.
"If I jump out at you too quickly saying, 'Hey! I want to help you,' that can scare someone off," says LivePerson CEO and founder Robert LoCascio. "That's not good if you're trying to get someone to buy something—but with sensitive situations it's even more subjective and more important to help quickly."
Fairhaven Health, a fertility and wellness company, is another organization giving consumers the personalized attention they need with messaging. A connection-based customer experience is critical to the Fairhaven mission, as families beginning their conception journey often turn to the Internet for answers, only to be met with an isolating experience. Thanks to mobile and Web messaging, Fairhaven can provide high-touch, secure care to visitors who need it most.
Fairhaven's messaging platform enables the team to be proactive with solutions and recommendations, allowing them to be there for consumers whenever and wherever they are, while also providing a more private channel to discuss sensitive issues.
Brands that can intelligently use technology to deliver a converged, connected consumer experience not only realize the importance of messaging but also take advantage of the opportunity to establish a closer, human relationship with the consumer.
The Impact of More Meaningful Relationships
Messaging has transformed the brand-to-consumer relationship. It's fulfilling needs more efficiently, with the right balance of convenience, context, and personalization. What's more, messaging connects brands with consumers whenever and wherever it's convenient.
The possibilities to create more meaningful connections are endless if brands are willing to be human.