Shouting loud

Snubbed! Over half of customer interactions are ignored by brands on messaging apps


A new study has found that despite rapid increases in usage in recent years, messaging apps and social media continue to be difficult domains for brands interacting with customers. 

7th Apr 2022

A study from Sinch has found that 53% of consumers have been ignored by brands via messaging apps or social media channels over the last 12 months.

That’s despite 89% of consumers saying they want to engage in two-way conversations with brands across social media and messaging channels. 

The survey of 3000 consumers also found that 25% of respondents had said it typically takes a day or more to get a response from brands via either messaging apps or direct messages via social media.

Messaging apps dominate usage stats when it comes to personal communication channels. Over 100bn WhatsApp messages are sent around the globe every day.  

WhatsApp is the most-used social media platform in the UK with 74.8 percent of internet users aged 16 to 64. Facebook Messenger comes in third with 58.5 percent before Instagram and Twitter. Apple’s iMessage has a solid user base with 35.4 percent internet usage.  

However, when it comes to messaging apps as a customer service channel, usage is significantly lower than many would predict. This is despite apps such as WhatsApp seeing up to 150% usage increases in recent years.

“Our research shows that customers are ready to take their relationships with brands to the next level, with two-way messaging across channels that gives them the freedom to shape the conversation to their needs,” said Jonathan Bean, CMO of Sinch.

“However, because many brands aren’t yet equipped to provide this enhanced conversational experience, customers are being unintentionally ignored, which can lead them to abandon a business altogether. Activating omnichannel two-way messaging is a critical way of boosting the customer experience and forging more loyal, satisfied relationships with consumers.”

The ongoing battle brands face trying to communicate with customers via social media may be responsible for the lower than preferable response rates highlighted in Sinch’s research.

In November 2021 UK-based cosmetics company Lush deactivated several of its major social media accounts with millions of associated followers, in a stand against the “damage that they’re (social media platforms) causing” to users.

A number of other high profile brands have spoken out against the toxic environment social media can create and the challenge of running marketing and customer service interactions on such public platforms.

Sinch’s research found that chatbots were often being deployed by brands to help deal with the increasing demands of customer interactions via both messaging and social channels. 70% of respondents said they had interacted with an AI-powered chatbot at least once in the last 12 months.

Chatbot interactions across digital channels are expected to exceed 10 billion a year within the next 5 years, highlighting the rapid increasing in their usage currently taking place.

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