Viber: Becomes a super app by adding new features

Viber (Rakuten Viber) announced today two major worldwide releases as a new stage in the evolution of business and user interaction through the application. The new features include a searchable Business Inbox and Merchant Account, which will be the next step in Viber’s long-term strategy to become a super-app.

According to research, which Rakuten Viber Chief Revenue Officer Cristina Constandache mentioned in a meeting with journalists in Athens, 71% of consumers expect companies to offer personalized communication and 82% of businesses plan to implement a strategy to provide better value to the customer through services. With both users and businesses in mind, the changes brought by Viber are a step towards providing a better customer experience and brand loyalty.

Aiming to improve company-to-user communication, Viber is introducing Business Inbox to the world – a dedicated folder for company-to-user interactions, accessible directly from a user’s normal chat screen. The function allows all business messages from official business accounts to be stored and organized in a folder (such as a bank notification, an order confirmation from a delivery service, a special offer from a store, etc.).

The Business Inbox will be activated as soon as the user receives their first business message. For users who have chatted with businesses in the past, once the Business Inbox folder is created in their chat list, all business messages will go there by default.

Business Inbox will allow users to customize their Viber experience and organize interactions with brands in the most convenient way for them: ● Pin a specific brand’s chat to the top of the Business Inbox

● Move any company from the Business Inbox to the main chat screen.

● Pin any business chat to the top of the main chat screen.

At the same time, it becomes easier for a user to find the latest notifications from a business: the folder will be pinned to the top of the chats screen by default, and business messages will not be mixed with personal conversations. Business Inbox will enable more effective communication between companies and users to improve customer service, increase brand loyalty and increase sales.

Another step towards a better customer experience is the new Merchant Account, where users will be able to discover all the ways to interact with a company in one place. It will house all business information, services and conversations on Viber under a single, searchable business entity:

● Users can search for these accounts (businesses) by typing the business name in Viber’s main search bar.

● Users logging into a Business Account will see the company’s title, logo, trademark, description, contact information and communication channels available on Viber. The account can also be promoted to others, increasing brand visibility.

● Companies 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’re looking for.

The new searchable Business Accounts will give users more power: they will be able to find companies, not just wait for them to find them, and initiate contact with businesses themselves. Business Accounts will also improve the customer experience: users who want to connect with a business on Viber will be able to choose their preferred channel and enjoy a minisite experience within the app. Meanwhile, companies will streamline their communication with customers and create seamless customer experiences.

Viber will continue to expand the capabilities of Business Accounts after launch, adding more communication channels at users’ fingertips, more services in a single account, and extended features such as location, business calling, and more.

With Business Inbox and Merchant Account, Viber aims to further increase users’ security and trust when working with a business. All business messages from verified businesses will go to the Business Inbox by default, a folder that won’t be accessible by personal accounts trying to impersonate a business. A valuable addition is the “blue mark” that helps users identify verified brands. Merchant Accounts will display all business information in one place where users can easily access and review it.

“The recent additions to Viber provide a strong foundation for introducing additional features as part of the company’s strategy to become a super-app,” says Cristina Constandache – Chief Revenue Officer of Rakuten Viber. “This strategy aims to improve the usefulness of the app for users and expands the ways in which different companies can connect with their audiences in a natural way, resulting in added value for both sides. By adding more features, services and communication channels, Viber can deliver more value to both users and companies.” The two functions are gradually becoming available worldwide, including Greece, from January 23, 2023.

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