The little faces which are making big changes to how we do business…
A picture is worth a thousand words, and so is an emoji. But are we overstepping the mark to bring them into business communications?
Research shows that customers are as much as 95% more likely to open emails if they contain emojis and playfulness, suggesting the those little messaging icons, those symbolic facial expressions, are rapidly becoming a valued tool in the marketing world.
Emojis in live chat support appear to be no exception, as we appear to be utilising the emotional communication that a little yellow face can convey.
Emojis in business – polite or unprofessional?
More than anything else, your customers want to be understood. Second to this, they want to feel like they are talking to a human being, not one of the many chatbots that appear to be popping up unwelcome all over the customer service world. Research shows that the use of the little emotional icons can help portray a level of compassion and friendliness not possible with simple text communication. In fact, a study carried out a Penn University shows that the use of emojis increased customer satisfaction by 78% compared to plain text.
As figures suggest, business related text chats don’t have to be cold and faceless anymore, nor do they have to stick to traditional professionalism, in fact, the average, modern customer prefers the odd smile thrown in, or a sad face of compassion, or even the exchange of a little humour with their customer service agent. And why not?
Do emojis bridge the gap between texting and face-to-face communication?
We’ve all been misunderstood by text, and we all have that friend who comes across grumpy and unresponsive with one word answers, answers which would be coated in a polite tone when face to face. This has made us ultra polite by text, but we have little patience for elaboration, so in came those little yellow faces to echo our expressions. It is no surprise that they made their way into the world of business, like any other successful new way of doing things.
Live chat makes customer service more personal
Alex Cropper, customer service manager and live chat specialist at Manchester company PMC Telecom, beleives live chat makes the gap between agent and customer closer than ever. “People are busier than they’ve ever been, they want fast, effective results from their interactions with customer service staff. The days of sitting around on hold and being passed from pillar to post in a call centre are gladly becoming a thing of the past because of live chat support systems.” He said.
“Live chat is faster, more personal, and frankly easier for everyone in the modern world, especially when you come across someone who needs help and assistance buying the right office headset or telephone system. You can share links, speak in black and white so there is nothing to be misheard, and best of all, you can build a relationship with your customer. Emojis used to be different, they were more informal than they are now. Not only has that changed for the better, it has actually become a very efficient way of building a rapport – which is all round good for business. So why not?”