I doubt anyone needs much convincing that social media apps are the new kings of corporate communication and customer relations in Kenya.

A major event occurred in the past week that went under the radar of most mainstream media but captured the attention of the keenest digital marketers in the country: Housing Finance (HF) Group launched a WhatsApp banking product. While corporates have increasingly been leveraging WhatsApp to respond to customer queries and complaints, Housing Finance is effectively the first major company in Kenya and the larger East and Central Africa region to use WhatsApp to provide core services to customers.

Services that HF Group’s customers will access via WhatsApp include; opening banks accounts, transferring funds, applying for loans, buying goods, and paying bills. What this means is that account holders with HF Group essentially no longer need to find their way to the banking hall as combined with the HF Group mobile app, customers can access all the major banking services via their phones.

In the wider perspective, HF Group’s move demonstrates the new reality that digital media is the new king of corporate communication and customer relations. Within most business organizations, WhatsApp has replaced emails and group chat apps, such as Slack, as the communication medium of choice for project teams and departments. Team members can use WhatsApp to share documents and media files showing the progress on team projects. Supervisors and managers are also increasingly relying on WhatsApp groups to communicate instructions to their juniors.

WhatsApp has also improved communication between customers and businesses. Customer enquiries that, just a few years back, would take more than 24 hours for customer care staff to respond via email can now be dealt with instantly via WhatsApp. Major companies have employed dedicated social media managers to respond to customer enquiries via all the main social media platforms, including Facebook Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and LinkedIn.

Businesses are also increasingly digitizing their payment requests, verification communication, and invoices. Obviously cognizant of the important role of social media apps in the future of corporate communication, customer relations, and marketing, all the major social media companies have launched business versions of their social apps. Clearly, social media apps are the new kings of corporate communication and customer relations in Kenya.

Agetake Kreatives is a creative agency in Eldoret, Kenya involved in formulation, development, and application of digital marketing strategies. You can reach us on info@agetakekreatives.co.ke, +254734877508, or through our social media pages.