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Makro debuts instant customer care via WhatsApp

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Customers can access the info they want, when they want it, says Makro.
Customers can access the info they want, when they want it, says Makro.

Makro customers are now able to directly engage and connect with the retail giant, following the launch of its chat commerce facility available via WhatsApp.

To bring the chat service to life, Makro partnered with Clickatell, a global customer engagement company. Clickatell already powers app-based chat services for organisations such as MTN and Absa.

Makro’s chat offering enables shoppers to track orders, view current catalogues, access a digital store card, locate nearby stores, and have frequently asked questions instantly answered via chat on WhatsApp, according to Clickatell.

“Customers can now access the information they want, when they want it, without having to endure a lengthy phone call or escalate potential queries,” says Kerry Ho, Makro head of digital marketing.

“This bold step towards the future of customer service ensures customers have the best experience on their own terms. The addition and implementation of exciting functions in WhatsApp aligns with Makro’s mission to help our customers fulfil their aspirations of living better lives, running better businesses, and saving them time and money.”

Clickatell chief marketing officer Nirmal Nair believes the introduction of chat commerce by big retailers such as Makro is going to be a big trend in SA. “Big forward-thinking brands like Makro have realised the impact of self-serve engagement and customer experience through popular messaging platforms. Consumers will expect the same of all such brands.”

Nair goes on to say convenience and simplicity will drive chat channels on apps like WhatsApp.

“With chat commerce, engaging with businesses on chat applications becomes just as simple as connecting with friends and family – eliminating the need for going to mobile Web sites, downloading apps, multi-step authentication or jumping through payment steps.”

“Retail is currently one of the most competitive environments and ensuring customer satisfaction must be the number one priority for business leaders in this sector,” notes Clickatell co-founder and CEO Pieter de Villiers. “Digital transformation will ensure sustainable growth, and we are looking forward to developing our partnership with Makro as they continue on this exciting path.”

Commenting on the business value of chat commerce on the African continent, Nair says: “Every smartphone user in Africa is an active user of a messaging app such as WhatsApp. With chat commerce, consumers can connect to a business through this same app by simply adding the business’s phone number as a messaging contact. This simple approach instantly opens up the opportunity for businesses and mobile consumers to access each other.

“Further, chat commerce is 24x7, always on. Consumers can now purchase products and solutions in a secure environment anytime. We expect chat commerce to transform the way consumers find, discover and purchase what they need. On the African continent, we should expect to see more digital-only businesses, digital payments, wallets and a rapid increase in the population embracing the chat economy.”

To connect directly with Makro, customers can add 0860 300 999 as a WhatsApp contact, scan a QR code, or via this link.

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