You have probably heard the term "attention economy". Every day we turn on our phones, read the notifications, go to our favourite bookmarked news sites, maybe even check out a podcast. It's a sequence of actions that actually doesn't vary very much. We spend a lot of time looking at the smartphone screen. Even when we are watching television, we have a small screen in our hands, and we are commenting on what we are seeing, maybe on twitter, or maybe with our friends and family on WhatsApp. It's fun. They also tend to happen in groups of actions. Alexa calls these 'Blueprints'. Google calls them 'Actions'. The net affect of it is that there are less and less opportunities for random, spontaneous and unplanned interactions. There is a moat closing around the customer and the enterprise needs to find a way across.
The problem for companies is that we need to find a way to gain some of this share of attention. One way of approaching this issue is to think about "content snacking" and "task snacking". If I am watching TV and I open my WhatsApp and see that my cable company has messaged me about my outstanding bill, and it's polite, I may respond. Quick back and forth in short conversations bites establishes that, out of the full £89 I am due to pay, I can pay £40 and keep access to my premium sports package. This is attractive enough for me to be able to respond with a simple Yes, to pay this amount.
Just as with any snacks, having them available in the right place, at the right time, is key to their adoption. For instance there is a reason that sweets and candy are at the check out counter. In messaging there are likely to be certain time frames where customers are more likely to respond to specific collections, or payment requests. Being in the customers Messenger, messaging history, or even just establishing that you can be contacted over this channel will increase the amount of contact you are able to achieve with your customers
My provocation question is "what might change if customers knew they could contact us over their Messengers?". I think the answers might surprise you.