Four Pillars of a Great Customer Messaging Experience

People tend to communicate with friends and family through text messages, making mobile a natural medium to talk to businesses. Here’s how to get started.

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Four Pillars of a Great Customer Messaging Experience

This is the first article in the six-part series: Building a Blueprint for Mobile Messaging

In a relatively short time, mobile messaging has eclipsed all other modes of communication as the way we connect, share, and engage in conversations. It’s how people prefer to communicate today.

Based on our experience with companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Nordstrom, we’ve learned the best practices of mobile messaging firsthand. In order to help you navigate the mobile messaging landscape and develop your company’s strategy, we created a framework that we call The 4 “I”s Framework for Mobile Messaging.

The four pillars of the framework are: Interfaces, Integration, Intelligence, and Infrastructure. Let’s take a closer look.

four i's mobile messaging framework

1. Interfaces

Interfaces are the messaging channels you use to reach your customer, which include SMS, push notifications, in-app chat, and dedicated messaging apps. Email and voice communications are additional interfaces. There will likely be more than one interface that works for your customers. Here’s a brief summary of each:

  • SMS or “Short Messaging Service” is the granddaddy of messaging, with its invention dating back to 1992, and is still the most-used mobile feature.
  • Many businesses opt to add full-featured chat directly to their web or mobile app. Contextual information such as recent activity in the app and data typed into fields can be shared between parties over chat.
  • Push notifications let an app send one-way messages, badges, and alerts even when the device’s screen is locked and the app is closed.
  • Messaging apps have been the most exciting interface in recent years, and include Facebook Messenger, Viber, Apple iMessage, WeChat, WhatsApp, and Kik.

mobile messaging interface

In our Blueprint for Mobile Messaging ebook,we’ll take you through the messaging options in detail so you can make the best choices based on what your customers prefer and what you want to communicate to them.

2. Integration

Mobile communication needs to work in lockstep with the natural flow of business, using information that’s relevant to each stage of the customer journey. When you integrate information from your CRM, ERP, and other enterprise systems that may contain customer shipping information, past orders, or ongoing support issues, your communication will be much more effective.

Integration gives customers a more personalized, and efficient, experience. Internally, with this additional context, businesses can pick the most convenient way to communicate with customers, including the best timing and the most useful interface for the message or task.

3. Intelligence

Messaging is more than just exchanging content between people. It involves a tremendous amount of intelligence to analyze content, deliver the message to the right person (or bot), and respond in the context of that interaction. It’s also a very powerful solution — giving businesses the ability to communicate with more users at scale, at a far lower cost.

Intelligence can help you engage with larger numbers of customers without sacrificing the quality of the interaction. Today, artificial intelligence powers chatbots that respond to customers, and can be seen in apps like Microsoft Skype, Facebook Messenger, and Slack.

Sometimes, businesses harness both human and artificial intelligence, with chat bots supported by human agents. In this approach, a bot is a first-to-respond entity that falls back on a human agent if it doesn’t know how to respond effectively. Facebook M, Fin, and Clara are examples of this type of bot.

4. Infrastructure

When adding messaging to your software, you used to have two choices: build everything from scratch, or buy an off-the-shelf SaaS solution. Recently, a new method has emerged: cloud building blocks for messaging. With cloud building blocks, services are delivered from the cloud using APIs. You effectively get the customization of a build-your-own architecture with the ease of an off-the-shelf solution.

What's next?

In order to truly set yourself apart from the crowd, you need to prioritize the customer experience and use your mobile messaging technology effectively. Once you’ve discovered the right channels for your company and created a strategy for communications, you’ll also learn how you can design and build an experience your customers will love.

In the Blueprint for Mobile Messaging ebook, we show you exactly how to apply each of the four pillars of mobile messaging to your business. They’re crucial to navigating the increasingly important, but complicated, world of mobile messaging. We’ll also show you how Dell used these pillars to generate more online sales with SMS notifications, and how they implemented their system in just four weeks.

Up Next: Learn more about the different types of messaging channels