Today, consumers are more ready than ever for messaging-based interactions with their favorite brands. The mobile fever that has swept the world – 4 billion of the over 7 billion people on the planet use a mobile phone, and 1 billion of those are smartphones. Technologically savvy companies have changed with the times, adopting digital channels for customer service to be where their customers are. But China and WeChat, in particular, have stood apart from the rest.
Forty-three percent of China’s population uses instant messaging. WeChat is a messaging platform that has dominated that market, with over 800 million monthly active users worldwide as of October 2016 (and almost 98% of users are under age 50). To leverage the sheer volume of people on the platform, WeChat has turned itself into an all-in-one solution for much more than messaging. People can send texts and voice messages, launch a call or a video call with their contacts on WeChat, publish texts, short videos related to their lives, read news, share articles, pictures, songs or videos on their walls, and interact with other contacts. In terms of practical needs, the platform includes bill paying, reservations, e-commerce and sending money. Since Chinese people use it for everything, Chinese brands have figured out how to use it to stay closer to their customers.
WeChat is the perfect platform for engaging in personalized, convenient conversations with customers, and the wide array of tools it facilitates means that virtually any customer service task can be integrated through it. Customers can even make purchases directly through the platform. And since users must follow a brand and indicate what type of news they want to see from it, it’s a non-intrusive way to share promotions, updates and special deals.
Those who do business in China would be smart to make use of this tool, and those who do business in other countries will wait anxiously for a similar solution to be made available worldwide. For more on WeChat and how companies use it to create a smoother customer journey for Chinese customers, read our full white paper: Does Chinese Instant Messaging Hold the Key to the Future of Customer Service