About Cross-border China WeChat Customer Engagement
WeChat has emerged as the default business platform connecting commerce in the online environment with that of the physical offline world, often referred to as O2O.
Messaging replaces Email, enhances CRM
In 2016 research from Tencent, 80% of users completed work-related tasks on WeChat, and 60% reported their new WeChat contacts are mostly work-related.
Email has been broadly replaced by mobile messaging in China, something we are now only seeing as a nascent trend in the West.
As the go-to app, WeChat is where both one-to-one and group messaging has become the primary channel for work communications in China. Moreover, the messaging platform’s architecture is designed to optimise CRM functionality.
Features that make WeChat a digital CRM asset include ID verification, pre- and post-sales service and support response features, customer analytics, loyalty and rewards programming tools, interactive content publishing and newsfeeds, and both O2O and QR code customer services.
Account Based Marketing to hack the Customer Funnel
WeChat hybrid features make it the core digital tool for a firm to engage and move a B2B target audience forward, down through and beyond the traditional customer acquisition funnel.
As described elsewhere, making it essential in maximising customer lifetime value by its integration in both your WeChat e-commerce channel and all your social CRM platforms and channels.
Regardless, your brand or firm is probably already engaged in customer sales and marketing ‘conversations’ and ‘experiences’ in the WeChat OA (Official Account) structure. This activity may be currently managed within your social media programmes or possibly allocated to customer service & support.
If your brand or firm is interacting with B2B leads on WeChat then you are in the territory of ABM (Account Based Marketing). This is an emerging model which is seeing hacks to the traditional sales funnel and flipped to achieve better B2B customer engagement outcomes.
WeChat Customer Engagement Opportunities
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) - A robust and well managed CRM system is a must for B2B companies. This also applies to any brand or product/service that has a longer sales cycle, incremental value or extended purchasing decision e.g. cars, white goods, or financial products. WeChat maintains interaction and nurtures leads in a frictionless and convenient manner. However, these conversations can usually take place on a salesperson’s personal account and not on the brand’s official account. Often, this is a partial or total loss for customer intelligence, analytics and reporting.
Customer Service - Pre and after-sales customer service are the major reasons why customers engage with members of your sales team. While it is convenient for sales to answer customer questions via personal WeChat accounts, the brand loses a valuable opportunity to document and archive meaningful customer feedback that can ultimately improve the products and services in the long run.
Brand Messaging and Values - B2B businesses often struggle with brand dilution and inconsistency as key corporate and product messaging, communications and content gets mostly disseminated through salespeople. While it is easy for brand marketing to manage the content and campaigns on official accounts, it is much more challenging to do this with communications dispersed across an array of personal accounts.
Essential WeChat B2B Platform Marketing Features
- Team & Content Management: Create on-brand content, identify acquisition channels, and admin user-level access of the official brand account for the entire sales team.
- Mobile Sales Interface: Add customers using the brand’s official account without any added friction. Access to on-brand content and campaigns.
- Direct Chat: Engage in direct chats with leads and customers under the brand’s public WeChat account for every frontline sales, marketing and service representative.
- Social CRM: Organize and save all useful customer information. Automatically archive collected data fields into the appropriate social CRM or exported CRM system.
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