Messaging as a Product Feature


Aspect has lead the conversation about how businesses must rethink the way that they offer service to their customers, from breaking down silos between internal organizations all the way to breaking native mobile applications into their components, resulting in Disposable Apps on messaging channels.

Tobias Goebel recently followed up on Disposable Apps in a comparison to Google’s recently announced “Instant Apps” to show that (native) app fatigue has become a pain point that even the most significant app producers have to factor into their design language and user experience. These apps are very likely to become a bridging technology so that people are able to get even more out of their interactions with companies in both the virtual space and in physical spaces. While a disposable app can quickly connect a potential customer to a business that they might not have interacted with before (think walking through an airport and texting the local taxi company for a specific size vehicle), they can also improve the interaction with existing, daily business relationships that make the product itself better and more engaging.

I tend to start each week with good grocery-buying intentions, making a meal plan, getting specific ingredients and trying to stick to the plan. But, things tend to go sideways and instead of having 60 minutes to make a particular dinner, I might have 20-30 when my newborn adds his voice into the mix. So I end up improvising and I’m left with a mishmash of ingredients that don’t necessarily go together for the next meals. My grocery list is stored simply in the Notes app of my phone and I delete things as they get used, so the list of what’s left is quickly accessible and able to be copied and pasted elsewhere. Disposable Apps

When I walked into the store recently, I wanted a quick disposable app that allows me to me input the food that I have and come back with a recipe and the remaining items I need to buy to produce the meal. It’s not that far-fetched! While you can do similar things on the web right now, you don’t get the benefit of integrating into a grocer’s inventory and shelf mapping system to tell me specific brands, sizes and locations. Since time is my biggest concern, getting through the store quickly and efficiently (to say nothing of paying to have the store organize these for me ahead of time) would be a huge improvement to my life and shopping experience.

A disposable app could allow me to text free-form the ingredients that I have (fresh produce, meat/seafood or dry items like rice/beans) and use NLU feeding data to a knowledgebase to return links to recipes that tell me what and where I need to get the rest the items for my new dinner. Going a bit further, we understand the power of messaging as an entry point that adds value to the existing functionality in native applications. A simple barcode reader using the phone’s camera could allow me to scan in pantry items to receive recipe suggestions from both the grocer and the manufacturer when I’m at home with more time. We’ve now created significant value for the consumer, the vendor and the manufacturers who have an even better idea of the consumer’s tendencies and how to better engage with them moving forward.

Messaging has the potential to enhance not only customer service interactions, but also to enhance our use of products and services in real time.