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Customers moving from Phone to Chat... whatsapp?

Alex Vecino
Alex Vecino Founding Member | Scholar ✭✭

During this crisis, many customers have switch from Phone to Chat. Probably easier to chat if working from home with people around than phone call. There is still a way to go, but clearly it is a fast and growing channel, and Customer Support organizations are adopting the change to better serve customers:

  • Are you also creating an even more direct channel through Whatsapp (or similar APP)?
  • where do you find is the limit between asking customers for loging to web, or portals and self service as much as they can (to reduce traffic and increase self service), or make as easy as possible the communication channel to contact an agent to solve his/her concerns?

Best Answer

  • Carlos Alves
    Carlos Alves TSIA Administrator, Moderator, Founding Member | admin
    Answer ✓

    yes, lots of customers asking to use Whatsapp. We're dealing with integrations with the main ITSM tools, but always discussing security issues. MS Teams or Cisco's Webex could be of better service here.


  • Alexander Ziegler
    Alexander Ziegler Founding Member | Expert ✭✭✭

    Regarding Whatsapp I understood that the main challenge when using Whatsapp in business is GDPR: According to the GDPR rules any client can request which data a company has stored, as well request to get all data deleted once the business transaction is over. I'm not an expert, but I was told that there is no functionality where a company can easily access all Whatsapp channels from support (or other employees) and delete messages from a single Client. I'm not an expert, but this is for sure an area to investigate from a legal point of view before starting down this route.

  • DivyaAgarwal
    DivyaAgarwal Member | Enthusiast ✭

    Agree with @Carlos Alves, we are seeing a surge in demand for messenger-app based support as well (Whatsapp, FB messenger, Apple iMessage, etc.). We are integrating these channels into CRMs and with our proprietary customer experience solutions.

  • DivyaAgarwal
    DivyaAgarwal Member | Enthusiast ✭

    @Alex Vecino - To answer your second question, balancing self-service/ automation with human interactions is crucial in modern customer support. I've seen many examples of poor customer support where it's incredibly difficult to find a way to connect to an agent, while the chatbots/ self-service proves unhelpful. But self-service/ automation achieves contact elimination and deflection, that lowers support costs, reduces traffic, and improves agent productivity.

    IMO, the ideal approach is to not over-automate, and not force self-service on the customers. An option to connect to an agent should be easily available at all times. Moreover, self-service and chatbot channels should be contextual and smart enough to provide proper support and should have in-built mechanism to transition the contact to an appropriate agent seamlessly, in case they are not able to resolve customer's issue.

    You might also like this article on the same topic.

  • John Ragsdale
    John Ragsdale Member | Guru ✭✭✭✭✭

    We presented STAR Awards in October to Dell and HPE, in part because of the work they are doing with digital channels, including WhatsApp. I'd also point you to this research report, Evolving Customer Channel Preferences, we published earlier this year that includes data on customer preferences for digital channels, which varies by age and geography: http://www.tsia.com/resources/evolving-customer-channel-preferences

    Bottom line, if you have customers in Brazil and aren't offering WhatsApp support, you are behind the curve. Same with China and WeChat. And I think you are right, the pandemic is only accelerating this trend, as more work is being done on mobile devices than laptops/desktops.