Integrating messaging apps into CRM
WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are increasingly being used as customer-service channels. Customer service is an integral part of CRM. Nonetheless, messaging apps aren’t always integrated with CRM systems.
The Customer Interaction Group (CIG) has found that international companies especially choose to integrate messaging apps directly into their CRM environments. Going against the trend, Dutch companies are more hesitant about that integration.
Messaging apps are popular among consumers. According to Telecom Paper’s most recent research, WhatsApp is installed on 11.2 million smartphones in the Netherlands (92% of all phones). Facebook Messenger comes in second, with 57%. February 2016’s Aspect Consumer Experience Index reports that 38% of consumers worldwide prefer using a messaging app (like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp) to making phone calls.
Fragmented customer view
CIG reports that while Dutch companies are using such apps as a contact channel, they're still mostly being used in pilots or as standalone solutions. International companies are the exception. CIG is increasingly being approached by such companies for guidance with the integration of messaging apps with CRM systems. According to CIG, this is a result of the fact that they've invested large sums of money in CRM solutions, and without support for the integration of messaging apps, the customer view can become more fragmented. Integration can prevent that.
Preference for texting among youth
Young people are embracing these new means of communication even more rapidly than older consumers. CIG takes note of this by the fact that there are many universities among its new international clients, which seems to confirm that young people have a preference for texting in their communication with companies and institutions. CIG believes that companies will increasingly be faced with new integration-related issues. Besides WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, messaging apps include Line, WeChat, Telegram and Snapchat. In the near future, companies will also be faced with the need to integrate chat bots into their CRM environments.