Firing up web chat and messaging apps to make contact
Of all the myriad ways consumers can connect with companies, web chat and messaging apps are hardly used at all, according to a recently published survey. But consumers expect that to change—a lot.
Just 5.3% of internet users currently use web chat to interact with companies, but more than one-third expect they will in the future, according to a survey by Transcosmos. Similarly, around 5% use messaging apps to communicate with companies now; 43% expect do so in the future.
The dominant communications mode today is the telephone: More than 86.1% of the survey respondents said they had interacted with a company via telephone sometime in the last six months. That mode is expected to decline, but even then telephone is still expected to be the most commonly used channel to communicate with companies. Likewise, email interactions, in-store interactions and forum sites are all likely to decline but will remain significant communications channels.
The results of the Transcosmos survey stand in contrast with data from a report released earlier in the year by JustSystems. In the earlier survey, nearly 60% of smartphone users in Japan ages 15 to 49 said they used Line, the popular messaging platform, to get information from companies or brands.
The widespread use of Line would suggest that messaging apps are already in wide use for interacting with companies—no waiting for the future to arrive. But it may be that the relatively young survey group (ages 15-49, all smartphone users) was the most likely to tap into Line for these types of interactions.
In any case, together the surveys indicate that messaging and chat are likely to play a significant role in consumer/company communications in the future.