Customer service has never been closer or quicker.
"As the software that powers platforms such as Snapchat, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger improves and becomes more nuanced, these forms of communication will mainstream in the customer service sector and we’ll see people increasingly speak to brands as easily and informally as they would with their friends," according to the Mintel report.
What's more, brands are increasingly looking to take customer service in-house in order to avoid damaging public glare and also to nurture closer relationships and greater customer loyalty.
“In food and drink, we’ll see brands utilise platforms such as Snapchat for social media campaigns. This will allow customers to interact with a brand’s logos and visuals in new and personalised ways and give people an incentive to share them amongst their friends – something that may lead to greater awareness and recognition.”
The benefits work both ways, according to Mintel, but expect the challenges that inevitably come with the expectation of real-time responses.
“For consumers, this will be convenience nirvana, as they will have unprecedented access to official brand channels. For brands, it will give them an opportunity to nurture closer, more private customer relationships and dialogues through social media but it may also pose some major new challenges as they seek to ensure they can realistically offer constant and reliable communication,” says Cottney.