The idea of using messaging as a conduit for marketing and customer service has been gathering steam since Facebook declared its intention last year to let businesses connect through its standalone Messenger app.
One startup benefiting from that burgeoning interest is Philadelphia-based Relay Network, which counts Cox Communications, Comcast and Citizens Bank among the big companies using its private messaging service with appreciable results.
Cox, for example, started using the Relay app in September 2015 to manage communications centered on upgrades by approximately 2 million people to its new digital video services. Customers who opt-in receive private, personalized notes related to their accounts, reporting on status and letting them know about related offers. The telecommunications company recorded a 40% reduction in recalls to its customer support team (compared with previous upgrade cycles) as well as 13% fewer field service visits, according to data shared by Relay.
Elsewhere, Citizens Bank is using Relay’s app as part of an information service created to drive higher completion rates for student loan applications. The bank noticed that applicants were missing reminders that were sent via regular mail or left as part of voicemail messages. Since creating the “Citizens Bank Wire” service, Citizens has seen a 10% increase in the completion rate for its loans. Almost 85% of all applicants, especially millennials, use the service, according to Relay.