The Customer is Always Right with In-App Communications

As British department store Selfridge’s famous adage goes, “The customer is always right.” Talk to your customers the way that’s most convenient for them.

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The Customer is Always Right with In-App Communications

This article is the second in a two-part series on building the foundation of your commerce communication strategy. Click here to have a look at how you can build incredible customer experiences through text messages.

Around the world, 85 percent of people want to send and receive messages with businesses. At Twilio, we discovered this as we were putting together our Global Mobile Messaging consumer report. Moreover, the next generation is likely to choose messaging over other channels of service. Text messages are how your customers mainly want to talk.

But sometimes, customers want your business to respond with additional context, and across a variety of channels.

Why Should You Care?

As we established in our global report, as well as in the first article in this series, text messaging is crucial to the future of communication and notifications. But sometimes, customers are already in the middle of your app and they don’t want to exit out and text you.

Or, they want to talk about something that can’t be conveyed through text messages. They don’t quite need the contact center, but would like a quick nudge in the right direction. Fortunately, through technology like WebRTC, you can build this messaging capability directly into your mobile app.

By implementing both SMS and voice communications, your business can minimize the likelihood of a missed conversation. Think of a more sophisticated, and much less annoying, version of Ryan’s startup, WUPHF.com, in The Office.

The key is to provide customers with the flexibility to use the best communication method, whenever they like. For example, Instacart goes the extra mile by adding a web chat synchronized with SMS conversation to make customer communication even clearer.

To reduce common delays with back-and-forth emails between your team and customers, and to express details or sentiments that are tough to describe through messaging, combine text messages with real-time voice calling, chat, and video inside your mobile and web apps.

What Goes Into Creating In-app Communications?

What Goes Into Creating In-app Communications?

Your business can use text messages to get to know the customer better before they reach customer support. You can do the same when you embed voice, messaging, and video capabilities in your mobile apps and websites. This additional context will help set the customer support team up for success as well, if the customer wants to connect with them.

For example, booking systems, online concierges, mobile CRM, and similar utility tools can use these in-app communication methods. That helps them turn their convenience capabilities into necessities, especially through increasingly fragmented software.

Your business can also mask phone numbers in order to enable customers to reach your support team directly (in case a call drops, for instance), but without running the rare risk of the customer calling them personally.

Masked phone numbers call flow diagram

To enable companies to build in-app communications, Twilio provides platform-specific SDKs for JavaScript, iOS, and Android. The SDKs support voice, video, IP messaging, and skills-based routing capabilities that can be embedded directly in your business’s existing applications.

On the back end, Twilio’s cloud communication platform powers the SDKs so your customers get high quality, low latency, and highly reliable communications anywhere in the world.

Final Thoughts

As a complement to text messages, seamless in-app communications could make the difference between a poor customer experience and a great one. Have a look at how these businesses use in-app notifications:

Don’t let your customer support and relationships become transactional and rigid. Use both text messages and in-app communications to create experiences that people want to come back to, again and again.

This article is the second in a two-part series on building the foundation of your commerce communication strategy. Click here to see part one, how you can build incredible customer experiences through text messages.