We all know how difficult it is to predict the future.
Sometimes, we see a product announced in a wave of publicity promising to revolutionize the way we do business.
The product may or may not succeed. Success is dependent on many factors including the timing, the nature of the product, it’s price as well as many other factors.
The success depends on whether we, as individuals or businesses, accept the product.
Sometimes the least impressive products succeed.
Sometimes we have “slow burners” where products don’t succeed initially but eventually take off.
One product that can be classed as a “slow burner” is Microsoft Messenger which was released in 2011.
Fast forward to 2018 and many people are predicting that Messenger will dominate in 2018.
There are now over 1.3 billion users and 60 million businesses using Messenger.
This may come as a surprise to many people who may dismiss the product as rather simple and limited. However, Facebook has quietly been developing the product.
Some people are suggesting Messenger will become the single most important channel for brands, retailers, companies and individuals to interact with their audiences.
Some of the applications include :
Mobile phones are so popular now and are fast becoming the primary source of media, with average phone time exceeding a staggering 5 hours per day.
If brands want to communicate with their customers they must be pro-active in using applications like Messenger. The brands that successfully implement their mobile messaging strategies will be able to communicate with customers in more direct and relevant ways than ever before.
On-site Messenger chat
You have probably seen the small, round Messenger widget in the corner of many web sites. The good thing about this is that we can navigate away from the web site but we will still see when somebody becomes available and replies to our chat. This is already a winner with many companies who find it easy and fast to communicate with us.
Customer Service Automation
This is a real game changer. As customers we all expect first class service.
There are a host of products that are automating the chat.
Many of us have waited patiently on the phone waiting (sometimes ages) for somebody to answer the call. Now this will be replaced by applications like Messenger.
You will see a host of new products based on automating Messenger and are called bots.
This sort of application is likely to revolutionize the way we do business.
It is possible for companies to accept payments inside of Messenger.
As we covered above, it is very difficult to predict the future.
However, the future does look bright for Messenger for a number of reasons :
1 It is already very popular with over 1.3 billion users.
2 It makes life easy for us.
3 Developers are releasing new products every week to improve the functionality of the product.
4 Facebook has considerable expertise and sufficient funding to drive Messenger forward.
It will be interesting to see whether the predictions materialize in the next 12 months.
If the predictions are correct, then, as with all new technologies, there will be winners and losers. Those organizations that do not adopt this type of technology will be left way behind by those that do adopt it. Improved customer satisfaction will really drive the innovators forward.