Creating the ultimate customer experience today requires a whole organization approach. As it should, and it requires you to expand your thinking to encompass the entire experience. Meaning you care about what happens to or with a customer before, during and after purchasing your company’s product or service.

Therefore, from a marketing perspective many businesses have invested time and money to reach customers where they spend most of their time – on their phones. This has meant carefully considering consumer app usage and preferences. As mobile has exploded in growth in recent years, app downloading and usage has grown exponentially as well.

Forrester data as well as a 2016 study by App Annie found that users access approximately 30 apps a month and of those they use 9 daily. It seems that 25-30 apps has been the most consumers have been able to manage comfortably monthly for the past three to four years. Daily app usage includes pre-installed utility (think calendar and messaging) and email tools, which leaves about 5 apps being downloaded and installed from the App Store.

Private Brand App Challenges

Top applications vary by consumer, but data shows that social networking, communication, and productivity are many users most popular apps. People are using Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp. Each year they’re spending more time in these apps with U.S. users averaging two hours and 15 minutes daily.

However, studies are finding the use of brand apps not that high. There are of course some exceptions, but for the most part small and mid-size businesses might not have the customer base or get the needed usage necessary to make app development pay off. But these companies can still reach customers in their mobile lives by considering mobile messaging tools.

Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp each have over one billion monthly users. So yes, you’re going to find your customers utilizing these apps, especially if your business attracts Millennials, because over one third of that generation regularly uses Facebook Messenger. Additionally, there is value to your customers and your company to provide customer support through mobile messaging.

Perks of Messenger Apps

Messaging tools as a service option opens the door to creating: persistent, private, and yet fuller communication that can be handled at the convenience of consumers. For example, companies have been recording customer service calls for forever. This is good for companies because they have a record of the exchange. However, this doesn’t help customers. Whereas messaging provides both the customer and the company a complete record of the conversation that is easily accessible to both parties.

Messaging also has the potential to ward off public comments, by helping brands keep comments private. It gives customers a private channel to air their complaints and attain resolution. Perhaps this will eliminate their desire to publicly post negative feedback, which always has the possibility of going viral. Any decrease in negative public comments is a win for companies, and having an issue resolved to a customer’s satisfaction is a win for the customer.

Perhaps, that resolution will even happen a little quicker using messaging due to the capabilities inherent in the tool. Maps can be sent to help with tracking and real-time package delivery updates. And if the package or the product in the package arrives damaged, a customer has the ability to send a photo as an explanation for the needed customer support. It also gives the customer service representative the ability to reply with a frowning face emoji while they rectify the situation for the customer. Messaging supports a range of texting options that makes conservations richer and more like talking with a friend – creating a better overall experience.

Mobile messaging needs to be on the radar of organizations as they look to create a meaningful customer journey. Mobile use is only expected to rise and meeting consumers where they live can provide benefits to both customers and companies. There is value in handling a question or complaint quickly, efficiently and privately on a preferred mobile platform of the masses.