The “chat” style of communication, where two parties type text back-and-forth, is wildly popular with consumers. Companies are eager to embrace this popularity because A) it’s smart to communicate in a way your customers like and B) it’s less costly than call center agents.
Facebook, Twitter and, as of last month, Apple are all happy to provide a platform for that kind of business-to-consumer chat to take place. (We’re going to talk about Apple’s new offering in our live panel discussion next week. Be sure to tune in and direct questions to our panel of industry experts.)
These platforms are free for any company to use. But is there a catch? More precisely: Is the agenda of these for-profit platforms perfectly aligned with a company that wants to use them as a channel to talk to customers? Read on for discussion of that question and two related ones.