Rakuten Viber soars past superapp status with major global updates

Viber introduces Business Inbox and a Commercial Account to help improve customer experience and increase brand visibility

According to research reports, 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions, and 82% of organizations plan to implement a value enhancement strategy to deliver a better customer value through services. With both users and businesses in mind, Viber’s updates are a step toward providing a better customer experience and brand engagement.

Aiming to enhance brand-user communication, Viber introduces Business Inbox globally – a dedicated space for brand-user interactions, accessible directly from an individual’s regular Chats screen. The feature allows for all business messages from official brand accounts to be stored and organized in one folder (such as a bank notification, an order confirmation from a delivery service, a special offer from a store, etc.).

Business Inbox will be activated once the user receives their first business message. For users that have had conversations with businesses in the past, all the chats with businesses will move to Business Inbox automatically once the feature is released. Once the Business Inbox folder is created in the Chats list, all business messages will go there by default. Business Inbox will let users customize their Viber experience and organize the interactions with brands in a way that is most convenient to them:

pin a specific brand’s conversation at the top of Business Inbox;
move any brand out of the Business Inbox and into the main Chats screen;
pin any business conversation to the top of the regular Chats screen.

At the same time, the latest updates from a business will be easier to find: the folder will be pinned to the top of the Chats screen by default and business messages will not mix with personal Chats. Business Inbox will enable more efficient communication between brands and users to improve customer service, increase brand engagement, and drive conversions.

Another step towards better customer experience is a new Commercial Account, where users will be able to discover all of the ways to engage with a brand in just one place. It will host all business information, services, and Chats on Viber under a single searchable business entity:
Users can search for these accounts (businesses) proactively by typing the name of the business into Viber’s main search bar.
Search results will be grouped under the new “Businesses” section.

Users who enter a Commercial Account will see the brand’s title, logo, verification badge, description, contact information, and communication channels available on Viber. The account can also be forwarded to others, increasing brand visibility.
Brands will be able to add up to three addresses, a website, a phone number, and a description of up to 1000 characters to make sure users can find all the information they are looking for.

The new searchable Commercial Accounts will give more power to the users: they will be able to find brands, not just be found, and initiate communication with brands proactively. Commercial Accounts will also improve customer experience: users who want to connect with a business on Viber will be able to choose the channel they prefer and enjoy a mini-website experience within the app. Meanwhile, brands will streamline their communication with customers and create seamless customer experiences.

Viber will continue to expand the capabilities of Commercial Accounts post-launch, adding more channels of communication to be available at users’ fingertips, more services under a single account, and extended features, including booking, location, calling a business, and more. Later this year the app will introduce more managing opportunities for small and medium businesses.

With Business Inbox and Commercial Account, Viber aims to further increase user safety and trust when engaging with a business. All business messages from verified brands will go to Business Inbox by default, which will be inaccessible for private accounts trying to impersonate a business. A valuable addition is the “blue tick” that helps users identify verified brands. Commercial Accounts will display all business information in one place.

“This milestone update is Viber’s next step as a superapp that acts as a convenient one-stop-shop for all brand-user communications and interactions. It will be the foundation for other superapp features we will gradually introduce to increase the value of the app to the user and expand ways in which brands can connect with their audience,” says Ofir Eyal, CEO of Rakuten Viber. “More features, more services, and more channels of communication equals more value for users and brands, in fewer steps.”

The two features will be available globally starting January 23, 2023.

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