In today’s mobile-led world, there is no doubt that messaging apps are becoming the preferred means to communicate with friends, family and even work colleagues. So the announcement that WhatsApp is going to add video calling features has been met with mass excitement.
But while the ability to have video conversations with family and friends is a huge benefit – there really is nothing like seeing your loved ones live – it’s not so clear what effect this is going to have on the business community. Is Facebook presenting an offer that businesses can’t refuse? The short answer is no.
WhatsApp users are surpassing the 1 billion mark, that’s almost 15% of the world’s population that businesses could target. Today, many businesses are integrating social media platforms into their customer experience and this trend will soon be the norm. Businesses are striving to deliver seamless, contextual and pleasurable experiences for their customers – based on their favorite apps.
Key to driving this trend is how open these social apps are and howeasy it is for businesses and the developer community to integrate them. That means not only with other social platforms but also with business applications that enterprises use such as the contact center, CRM system, and many others.
While WhatsApp is still closed, the most highly-used social apps in Asia are taking a different approach. WeChat in China and LINE in Japan – which are used by another 15% of the global population – have taken the “open innovation” path, and delivered a platform upon which businesses and developers can innovate new solutions and applications, and integrate with other software vendors.
So a large BPO in Japan can offer a fully integrated customer experience solution that gives a true edge in customer engagement. Taking this a bit further, when social media apps are open, and present a platform for innovation, transforming experiences to include virtual assistance, automated chatbots and artificial intelligence becomes easy and fast and the competitive landscape becomes more exciting, dynamic and relevant.
Whatsapp had announced their intention to integrate into enterprise in August of this year, but as yet has not progressed very far. On the other hand, sister app Facebook Messenger has taken a leap ahead by not only integrating into the enterprise, but providing Chatbot integration for customer services as well.
The question is when will Mark Zuckerberg actually merge the two applications together, bring the best of all worlds under one App, and providing a phenomenal customer Omni-Channel experience linked into AI tools like Speechbots like Amelia, chatbots and business intelligence tools at the same time?