#SFSNYC: Broadly CEO: Brick-and-Mortars Need to Become Messaging Centers

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Phone calls and contact forms are dead, but what about websites? Not so much, said Josh Melick, CEO of Broadly, at Street Fight’s annual summit in New York Wednesday.

Consumers no longer want to talk on the phone, Melick said. Instead, they expect the ability to communicate with their dentist, veterinarian, or pool cleaner easily and electronically.

With this trend showing no signs of stopping, websites—especially those of local businesses—need to become messaging centers. “Business is often won or lost in conversations with customers,” Melick said, adding that the little guy struggles to keep up in today’s conversation-centric world. “They have real work to do,” he said.

Adding website- and app-based messaging services can increase consumer engagement for businesses by a factor of three. Following up on reviews, another customer communication channel growing in importance, can increase positive reviews by three times, Melick said.

In order to help these businesses build easy chat services, Broadly offers messaging development, chat bots, review follow-ups, and direct integration with point-of-sale systems for retailers and service providers.

“That’s the playbook for local business today,” Melick said.