Three days before Halloween, visitors to Taco Bell’s website and social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, were greeted with a shocking message: "The new way to Taco Bell isn't on Twitter. It's #OnlyintheApp."
In lieu of promoting its new mobile ordering and payment app, the Mexican fast-food restaurant wiped out its entire social media presence except for a single post with the hashtag #OnlyintheApp for three days. The app allows customers to conveniently pay for their orders with a credit card before they arrive to the restaurant. The social blackout is clearly a provocative call-to-action directing consumers to download Taco Bell’s app. But why did they do it and did it work?
The tech world is still abuzz around Facebook’s recent acquisition of WhatsApp and its lofty $19B price tag, and the key themes presented in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress last week only confirm that real-time messaging is taking over communication, as we know it.
Whether you think WhatsApp is worth $19 billion or not, the fact is that rich, real-time, digital communication has a major impact in the world and the potential to become more important than the Internet itself. Imagine a world where everyone is always connected, everywhere they are – this world is imminent and brands need to be prepared.
Most agree the cost per interaction with live chat is lower than with any other human-assisted channel. One major reason for the cost efficiency is that agents typically handle concurrent chats, whereas agents are able to assist only one customer at a time when providing phone and email support. But getting the optimal value out of that investment requires the right technology platform combined with the right operational processes and expertise.