Our thoughts on the future of messaging

Our thoughts on the future of messaging
"The best part about SMS is still its ubiquity and responsiveness."

Up until now the text messaging industry has been predominantly a one way affair. Companies use this powerful channel to spruik their wares, shore up security and for instructional purposes. The humble text message is a highly respected channel. As long as companies adhere to a set of standards to ensure their messages are useful to the recipient, it enables the acceptance of SMS as a highly effective channel.

This has led to an increase of A2P messages that now exist in an SMS inbox. While it’s still a large part of P2P, and most of us still use it for private communication, it was never a good tool for group chat. Most P2P group chats have moved to applications like WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram and Discord. This has led to the belief that these channels are the future of business communications.

We have found however that any invasion into this private group communication space by brands is negatively perceived. The listening and influence by companies supplying the technology is generally met with derision, which then leads to said companies making it extremely difficult for businesses looking to communicate with people directly.

The best part about SMS is its ubiquity and responsiveness. You can easily ignore a WhatsApp group message due to the sheer volume of messages. Meanwhile, a text message is often perceived as a more important message from a business that you have opted in to. It is likely something important like an alert, reminder, appointment confirmation, 2FA, invitation, or a VIP sale. Also if it requires action, that action will be generally taken immediately. This is why we as a company are betting heavily on the SMS channel to maintain its superiority as an A2P business channel.

We will maintain a watchful eye on omni-channel offerings. If they become inherently useful to a company as a way to facilitate responsive conversations and customer journeys, then we will be on board in ways that are useful to the customers we represent.

The future of messaging is absolutely 2 way. Talking to customers throughout their CX journey is key to maintaining relationships and creating a natural dialogue. The trick will be to do this at scale. We know that it is impossible for any large company to have a conversation with all of its customers, so we are creating ways to facilitate automated ways to have all the conversations you need. Simple conversations are handled by AI, and the complex ones are transitioned to real people. The analysis and transitioning of these conversations is where the future of messaging lies.

We are inspired by some fundamental philosophies championed in The Cluetrain Manifesto.

  1. Markets are conversations

People crave human experiences. Businesses that make their interactions frictionless and more human will be more successful. We are seeing this with the advent of an entire industry called CX. The Customer Experience is an ongoing conversation that a brand has and this conversation must be personalised and frictionless.

  1. Return to the natural state of the market

During the industrial revolution conversation with your seller was replaced with broadcast communications such as television and radio. These are now returning to conversations with a seller as the primary place where people interact with your brand.

  1. Buyers have as much to say as sellers

The internet has created the ability now to access an unprecedented amount of information regarding purchasing decisions, buyers can see inside companies, get feedback, and talk to companies and other customers in real time.

Understanding this as the future of messaging.

Our company vision is:

A world in which businesses build lasting relationships with people through the power of conversation.

Our mission is:

To make business more human.

What does this mean for the future of our messaging platform?

  1. Single Customer Contact Augmentation

A customer will no longer be on many different lists, in a mess of campaigns and uploads, never knowing which is the most current contact. A contact will have a unique ID. This contact will store all messaging, contact data, behaviours such as: clicks, replies, time taken to perform actions, time of day that actions, and location information. It will NOT be a CRM, we believe that our customers will always have an internal source of truth, and our system will work to augment that database with information and behaviours it collects.

  1. Optimised Customer Journey Management

Every contact needs to be on its own journey as a customer, they have their own tastes, needs and preferences. Our system will identify patterns of behaviour by analysing interactions, sentiment of responses and preferred action times. This behaviour will then optimise automated customer journeys that are setup throughout different lifecycle points as a customer in your business. New customers, changes in purchase behaviour, churn risk etc. We then target specific messaging targeted to behaviour and most responsive timing.

  1. Conversation at Scale

No company can afford to have 1-1 conversations with every single customer. What our goal is to facilitate is to ensure that only the most critical conversations are addressed by live operators. Simple requests, what is my account balance, my email has changed, I need to pay a bill etc etc are all jobs that can be simply executed by a messaging bot. 75% of all customer service headaches can be solved quickly with some simple questions that can be interpreted and responded to through automated NLP bots.