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The importance of OTT channels for key communications

10 November 2020
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OTT (over-the-top) channels, like Facebook Messenger, Viber, and WhatsApp, bring another level of enrichment, reach, and security features to messaging – and are the future of communications. 

 

Background 

In this article, learn more about the importance of multichannel messages and their role in key communications, as well as some suggestions on how to implement this yourself. SMS has been known to be a reliable and effective messaging channel. As the market has developed, people’s habits have changed, and the world has evolved, new channels have emerged. They are often more relevant to certain customers, though SMS still plays a large role in communications.  

Why use OTT channels? 

More and more people, especially younger generations, prefer to send and receive messages using these OTT channels for a variety of reasons, such as:  

  • OTT channels provide a comprehensive solution where customers can do everything in one place, like ask questions, view pictures and videos, get directions, or click on links. 
  • Users can participate in group chats, start conversations, or receive messages. 
  • Users are able to engage at a deeper level by sharing various types of media and reacting to content. 
  • The only thing needed for multichannel communications is an internet connection, often meaning they are cheaper than SMS in some countries. 
  • OTT channels can be accessed across devices, whether that is on a computer, mobile phone, or tablet. 

There are also several reasons why your company should implement OTT channels. Based on the popularity of these channels, you increase the chance of reaching your target group, while also adding value and a richer customer dialogue. By using these channels, you can get: 

Reach 
  • WhatsApp has 2 billion global users 
  • Viber has over 1 billion users 
  • Facebook Messenger has 1.3 billion users 
  • SMS is app-dependent and doesn’t require an internet connection 
Attention 
  • By communicating on the preferred channels of customers, you can better capture their attention 
  • Channels enable rich features, meaning your content is more engaging 
  • SMS has an opening rate of 98% and a read rate within 3 minutes 
Security 
  • Many channels offer GDPR compliance 
  • Apps, like WhatsApp, are end-to-end encrypted 
  • Several channels allow you to connect your brand and logo, so customers can trust the message is safe 
Ease of Use 
  • OTT channels gather all features and functions into one channel 
  • Ability to have a two-way dialogue 
  • Simple set-up with LINK Mobility 

 By using OTT, you are not only being present and available in several communication channels, but you are also leaving it up to the customer to decide on where they want to be reached.  With OTTs you can gather all features and functions into one channel. With WhatsApp you can send documents like contracts, videos with instructions or audio recordings of conversations. You can: 

  • show locations like pick up points 
  • give instant customer feedback  
  • use notifications for delivery, services and other inquiries.   

This two-way interaction creates an enriched customer dialogue in the preferred channel of the consumer. 

 How to leverage OTT channels 

OTT channels have endless uses. They can include notifications, marketing, and customer service. They cover day-to-day messages or crisis-related information. Here are some ideas of how you can best utilize multichannel messaging and stay in touch with your customers: 

  1. Notifications, reminders, and confirmations

Use notifications through SMS or other apps, such as Viber, for things like click and collect and updating customers about delivery times, store hours, or how to collect packages. You can also send reminders for health services, payments, and invoice details. Provide confirmations for online orders, received payments, or booked services. OTT channels are also great for internal communications to efficiently reach your own employees. 

  1. Rewards

Reward loyal customers or entice new customers to make purchases with special deals. You can use coupons or send out discounts through SMS or other channelsEncourage certain behaviors using rewards, such as a discount for making a purchase online. You can also combine a coupon with other information, such as a reminder about opening hours or a survey collecting data. 

Keep in mind that certain OTT channels, like WhatsApp, don’t allow marketing messages. Learn more by contacting us. 

  1. Surveys

Learn what your customers want or prefer by using surveys and collect valuable data to use for your business. Increase response rate by sending the survey on the preferred channel of the recipient or by offering a discount to those who respond. With LINK Collect, which uses SMS, you can ask for responses and get information which will increase customer satisfaction and retention. 

  1. Create a conversation

Customers want to be heard, and this is possible by starting a two-way dialogue. They will feel more involved and you can gain valuable insights into their wants and needs. There is also an opportunity for up-sales, cross-sales, and re-sales, increasing conversion rates. 

  1. Send urgent information

There are times when you need to send urgent information, like emergency updates, closures, changes to opening hours, or new hygiene measures. With OTT channels, you have high read rates and engagement, as well as the opportunity to reach as many people as possible by sending messages on their preferred channels. Having multichannel capabilities means you can find the right communication channel that is optimal for critical and urgent information. 

 

As a CPaaS provider, we offer many of the OTT channels that your business will find valuable and relevant for your customers. To learn more about why multichannel capabilities are important or how to use these different channels, get in touch. 

 

Sources 

https://www.messengerpeople.com/global-messenger-usage-statistics/  

https://mobilesquared.co.uk  

Get in touch

LINK Mobility is Europe's leading provider within mobile communications, specializing in messaging and digital services.

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