In the digital age, conversational messaging has emerged as a transformative force in customer engagement, offering a blend of immediacy, personalisation, and convenience that traditional communication channels struggle to match. In the UK, where customer expectations are ever-rising, businesses are increasingly turning to various conversational messaging channels to connect with their audience. Let’s explore the power of these channels, their availability in the UK, and the pros and cons of each.

What is Conversational messaging?

It’s a form of communication that enables two-way interactions between businesses and consumers on their preferred channels. It combines the personalised care of in-person experiences with the accessibility and convenience of digital commerce. This approach allows for real-time, human-like conversations about commerce, marketing, and sales, making it a natural and intuitive way for customers to engage with businesses. It’s a shift from traditional, one-way notifications to a more dynamic, conversational style of customer service and engagement.

How does it differ from traditional customer support?

  1. Asynchronous Communication: Conversational messaging allows for asynchronous interactions, meaning customers can send messages at their convenience and receive a reply when a member of the team is available.
  2. Omnichannel Presence: It is conducted through various messaging channels, providing a seamless experience across different platforms.
  3. Personalisation: Conversational messaging focuses on building long-term relationships with customers through personalised, one-on-one conversations.
  4. Automation and AI: It often utilizes chatbots and AI to automate simple tasks and provide instant responses to common questions.
  5. Efficiency: Traditional support aims to resolve queries quickly, while conversational messaging emphasises thorough, authentic responses and follow-ups for sustained satisfaction.

In contrast, traditional customer support is typically more transactional, focusing on resolving issues as quickly as possible, often through single-channel communications like phone or email.

Conversational messaging, with its emphasis on relationship-building and use of modern messaging platforms, represents a more dynamic and customer-centric approach.

Channels Available in the UK

The UK market offers a huge range of messaging channels, each with its unique features and user base. The most prominent among these are:

WhatsApp Business: Universally accessible, WhatsApp boasts a staggering 98% open rate, making it a reliable choice for reaching customers. Rich messaging adds a visual and interactive dimension, allowing for the transmission of images, GIFs, and videos as well as the inclusion of buttons in messages.

RCS (Rich Communication Services): Exclusive to selected Android devices, RCS elevates the SMS experience with rich media, interactive elements, and higher engagement potential.

SMS: A widely-used platform that enables businesses to provide customer support, share updates, and conduct commerce with end-to-end encryption.

Facebook Messenger: Popular for its broad reach and integration with social media, allowing businesses to tap into a vast network of potential customers.

Instagram Direct Messages: Ideal for visually-driven interactions and tapping into a younger demographic.

Telegram: Known for its security features, Telegram is a growing platform for businesses seeking privacy-focused communication.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Each channel has its strengths and weaknesses, which businesses must consider when crafting their communication strategies.



  • High Open Rates: Nearly every message is read, ensuring visibility.
  • Wide Reach: Compatible with all mobile phones, not just smartphones.


  • Limited Content: SMS is restricted to text, and MMS can incur higher costs.



  • Rich Features: Supports high-quality media, carousels, and quick replies.


  • Limited Availability: Currently only available on certain Android devices.

WhatsApp Business


  • Platform exclusive personalisation features.
  • Messaging templates for faster interactions.
  • Integrations with your existing business systems.
  • A centralised inbox to simplify conversation management.
  • Product catalogues to showcase your products and services.
  • Advanced chatbots to facilitate automated responses when you’re busy.
  • Secure: End-to-end encryption ensures privacy.


  • Regulatory Compliance: Businesses must navigate various regulations.
  • Must be accessed via a third party provider and comply with GDPR.
  • WhatsApp’s personal solution is not suitable for business use.

Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct Messages


  • Social Integration: Seamless connection with social media profiles.
  • Engagement Tools: Offers polls, quizzes, and other interactive features.


  • Fragmented Audience: Users may be spread across different platforms.



  • Security: Offers encrypted messaging for privacy-conscious users.


  • Niche Audience: Less mainstream, with a smaller user base.


Conversational messaging channels offer diverse opportunities for businesses in the UK to engage with customers in meaningful ways. By understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each platform, companies can tailor their strategies to meet their customers where they are, fostering stronger relationships and driving business growth.

Incorporating conversational messaging into your customer engagement strategy can lead to increased satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, a more robust bottom line.

As the landscape continues to evolve, staying informed and adaptable will be key to leveraging the full power of conversational messaging.