A checklist for CX leaders: what to look for in a digital messaging solutions provider

Brands must meet customers on their messaging channels of choice to deliver great CX. But what do you do when channels change frequently?

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When customers want to message each other, or their favorite brands, they have many channels to choose from. That’s great news for consumers, but it can be a challenge for Customer Experience (CX) leaders as they try to meet consumers on their channels of choice.

With digital messaging channels becoming increasingly popular for delivering two-way customer interactions, CX teams are now tasked with managing the different rules, regulations, and best practices associated with each messaging channel. How can they deliver the best messaging channel experiences to customers, while making the most of the unique features that Apple Business Chat, Google Business Messages, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp, have to offer?

A new report from Forrester that dives into how digital messaging channels have evolved from a nice-to-have to a must-have might have the answer. It recommends that companies work with a digital messaging solution provider to get to market quickly, overcome the challenges associated with channel fragmentation, and deliver a seamless customer experience across all channels.

When trusting such an important part of your customer experience to a partner, you need to know you’re choosing the right organization to work with. This blog looks at the four things CX leaders need to consider when selecting their digital messaging provider.

Do they offer access to all channels to avoid future complexity?

More messaging channels mean more choice for your customers. That’s excellent news for customer satisfaction scores, but only if you can keep up with a complex, fragmented ecosystem of messaging channels.

As identified by Forrester, only 4 out of 14 digital messaging providers offer access to all channels. Making sure your digital messaging provider has the capabilities to manage all the rules and features of every channel will ensure your business delivers a seamless experience to customers, regardless of the platform they choose to engage through.

Even if your customer journeys are not currently active across all channels, working with a provider that supports them can help future-proof your CX offering. It means if you choose to start messaging customers on new channels in the future, you won’t need to add extra, stand-alone solutions to support them. Because if you do need to seek out an alternative provider for a different channel, this will further complicate the challenge of channel fragmentation.

And with more social channels, such as Instagram, adding brand messaging capabilities, a trusted digital messaging provider will keep your business one step ahead of the game.

Do they balance an API approach with co-creator flexibility?

All digital messaging solution providers offer channel APIs as standard, but it’s essential that you evaluate the additional tools and support that a provider offers as part of your decision-making process.

With such a complex communication ecosystem, does the provider offer consultation services to help get solutions live quickly? Can they analyze the problem and offer advice on use cases that will have a tangible impact on customer experience and key KPIs? Are they experts on crafting and delivering messaging programs themselves?

An important differentiator is do they offer a central platform for managing all customer communications, with the ability to integrate multiple systems into customer journeys? This can help you overcome the barriers often associated with disparate legacy systems. More importantly, it helps you more closely integrate your digital messaging use cases with your CRM, marketing, and customer service channels. This lets you pull on data from across the business to automate and orchestrate end-to-end personalized customer journeys, and deliver an omnichannel experience with interactions that flow across channels.

Can they accelerate the time-to-market for new customer journeys?

The speed at which businesses can adopt new messaging channels is becoming crucial to CX. This has led to organizations competing to attract top developer talent, which is having a knock-on effect of creating a shortage in skilled coders and inflated salaries.

For this reason, low-code capabilities should be at the forefront of a CX leader’s mind when weighing up different solution providers. Low-code tools and pre-built integrations will help to quickly create complex customer journeys with minimal manual coding and developer input.

These tools will not only speed up time-to-market but will also democratize Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) for the rest of the business, allowing teams like marketing and operations to build their own solutions. This will help the business be more agile to changes in customer needs and less reliant on specialist developer skills.

Will they keep pace with your brand’s roadmap for CX transformation?

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced both consumers and businesses into digital experiences at an unprecedented rate. As a result, CX leaders need to look for a trusted provider that can adapt to an uncertain future, and keep pace with their digital customer experience roadmap.

To future-proof their business, CX leaders need to keep up with new channel offerings and be ready to integrate them into their brand messaging strategy quickly. They need to be confident that their provider will integrate and offer new channels as they enter the digital messaging space. Along with channel flexibility, they need to ensure their provider can be agile to their technology roadmap, owning the ability to offer custom integrations into any new systems that a business may implement.

Limitless opportunities for customer experience transformation

Digital messaging channels will increasingly be at the forefront of managing a range of use cases across the customer lifecycle. They offer an unbridled opportunity to be where your customers are, delivering conversational interactions that help to improve CX and champion convenience.

With the right digital messaging provider onboard to guide your company through each step, tackle challenges with channel fragmentation, and help to optimize your messaging program, you can ensure your digital customer experience roadmap offers a smooth ride to CX success.

For more insights, download Forrester’s Third-Party Messaging Platform for Customer Service Report

For more information on how digital messaging platforms are enriching customer interactions and how to pick the right solutions provider, download Forrester’s Third-Party Messaging Platform for Customer Service Report