MessageBird, the Amsterdam-based cloud communications platform backed by Accel in the U.S. and Europe’s Atomico, is unveiling a new product today that aims to make it easier for enterprises to communicate with customers across various channels of their choosing.
Dubbed “Programmable Conversations” (yes, really!), the product takes the form of a single API that unifies customer interactions across multiple channels into a single conversation thread. Out of the box these include WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, Line, Telegram, SMS and voice interactions. The idea is that by providing a consolidated view of a customer’s entire communication history with an enterprise, customer support agents and other customer-facing staff will have the firepower to stay on top of their game in terms of the customer service they provide.
Or, put another way, more communication channels inevitably lead to fragmented conversations, which, especially when multiple support staff are involved, can lead to a degradation of service. Programmable Conversations is an attempt to help solve this problem.
In a call with MessageBird founder and CEO Robert Vis, he told me that more broadly enterprises — and fast-growing startups — no longer have the luxury of dictating how and through what channels customers converse with them. Traditionally, customer service would be delivered via a dedicated phone number, but the plethora of established and emerging online messaging and communications channels has radically increased the number of options customers have and expect.
However, this creates a headache for businesses as each channel needs developer time to be integrated into an existing CRM or business process and additional staffing to service conversations across multiple channels.
It is this heavy lifting that MessageBird’s Programmable Conversations takes care off — keeping conversations in sync across multiple channels, for example, isn’t technically simple — thus cutting down on not just initial implementation time and cost, but also continued maintenance and upkeep.
Vis also explained that Programmable Conversations is designed to enable comms for enterprises that are global — including scale-ups with global ambitions from the get-go — in terms of the territories, carrier integrations and messaging platforms the company supports.
“Delivering communications experiences that improve customer satisfaction and loyalty has to be a focus of businesses today,” adds the MessageBird CEO in a statement. “Consumers today want to connect with businesses in the same way they do with their friends and family – on their own time, via their preferred channel with all the context of previous conversations. With Programmable Conversations enterprises can now easily build a modern communications experience while reducing the burden of their often over-tasked developers”.