How to improve customer engagement: Use conversational messaging

  • Harriet Franklin
  • Solutions
  • Customer Experience
  • 2021
November 30, 2021

Customer engagement: A man sits in front of a laptop with a smile on his face.

Prithvi Yoganand, product management director for Customer Service Management at ServiceNow, co-authored this blog.

How we communicate with each other has changed, thanks in large part to rapidly evolving technology. Every day, we spend time online and on our smartphones. We’re accustomed to rich messaging with family and friends using images, videos, and emojis to help make our point and highlight our meaning. We also communicate asynchronously, meaning when we have time and it’s convenient for us.

Increasingly, consumers expect to engage with organizations the same way. Meeting customers on their terms, their timing, and their channel of choice isn’t always easy for businesses and institutions to do. Many organizations are revising their customer engagement strategies and augmenting their traditional channels to focus on conversational messaging. ServiceNow can help.

Concentrate on conversations

Conversational Messaging for ServiceNow® Customer Service Management enables organizations to accelerate the adoption of messaging and quickly deploy conversational experiences with WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and LINE to better engage and serve their customers.

Conversations can be initiated by the customer, an agent, or the system. Once an interaction has begun, customers get immediate help from either a live agent or a Virtual Agent with natural language understanding (NLU)—which can understand the user’s statements and initiate the right response. Additionally, these conversations can extend over many days to maintain continuity of experience for the customer.

Meet them with messaging

Conversational Messaging provides a flexible messaging framework that allows organizations to engage with their customers or constituents wherever they are. The framework not only provides integrations with popular messaging channels out of the box, but it also allows organizations to add adapters for connecting to other messaging channels used by their customers.

Once these conversational integrations are set up, configured, and enabled, organizations can accept customer-initiated messages and start engaging with them directly. For example, customers can send a message to start a conversation and quickly resolve a product issue (see Figure 1).

Customer-initiated message about a product issue that launches an interaction with Virtual Agent

Figure 1: Customer-initiated message about a product issue that launches an interaction with Virtual Agent

The Now Platform Rome release enables organizations to use WhatsApp and LINE to send system-initiated messages to update customers on key information. These messages can be non-actionable (providing a status update or confirming an order) or actionable (asking for more information or taking a next step). Actionable messages can then launch the Virtual Agent dialog to help customers perform an action, such as initiate a return or exchange a product (see Figure 2).

System-initiated message for product delivery with options to return, exchange, or send feedback

Figure 2: System-initiated message for product delivery with options to return, exchange, or send feedback

The Rome release also added the ability for individual agents to initiate messages directly to customers using WhatsApp and LINE. Agents can compose new messages or continue an existing conversation with the customer at any time.

Create engaging experiences

Rich messaging goes beyond traditional texting to create better experiences for both customers and agents. It enables communications with pictures and videos, as well as engaging graphical elements, such as controls and buttons, that allow users to make choices and take actions.

For example, a customer can initiate a conversation to ask about an appointment and then use an interactive calendar to schedule and book that appointment at their convenience (see Figure 3).

Customer rescheduling an appointment using Conversational Appointment Booking

Figure 3: Customer rescheduling an appointment using Conversational Appointment Booking

Agents can also see chat transcripts of a customer’s previous messaging interactions from their workspace so they know exactly what information the customer was given and what they did with it. Agents can then initiate rich messages to keep the conversation moving forward and help the customer take the next step.

Simplify services

Additionally, the Rome release introduced the Messaging Service, which allows customers to purchase SMS and WhatsApp services directly from ServiceNow at favorable, pre-negotiated messaging rates.

Previously, ServiceNow customers who wanted to use messaging channels (such as SMS and WhatsApp) needed to acquire services and negotiate separate contracts with multiple vendors on their own. With this offering, ServiceNow simplifies the process by managing and billing the customer for SMS and WhatsApp access.

By enabling customers to interact with your organization from the channel of their choice, you can enrich your engagement, reduce the likelihood of expensive escalations, and deliver more productive experiences for customers and agents. Learn more about how Conversational Messaging can help improve customer engagement and satisfaction.

© 2021 ServiceNow, Inc. All rights reserved. ServiceNow, the ServiceNow logo, Now, and other ServiceNow marks are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of ServiceNow, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Other company names, product names, and logos may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.


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