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04/17/2016

Almost Two Thirds of Consumers Would Prefer Customer Service Via SMS Messaging

 

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Is SMS messaging the future of customer service? Numerous indications point to ‘yes.’ A new Harris Poll commissioned by OneReach found that more than 60 percent of consumers would prefer texting a business with a question or concern than taking the time to call. SMS messaging provides a wealth of benefits should companies decide to make the switch, in addition to happier customers.

 

The Findings

The nationwide OneReach study that surveyed more than 2,000 adults found that 64 percent of consumers preferred text messaging to calling with customer service questions, and 44 percent of consumers who text regularly prefer to press a button to start a text conversation rather than waiting to speak to an agent. Other findings include 77 percent of text-savvy consumers ages 18 to 34 generally having a positive view of companies who utilize SMS messaging, and 81 percent of consumers agreeing how frustrating it is to wait on the phone for a customer service agent to respond. 

 

The Benefits

Benefits stemming from SMS messaging use by various companies are many and include: 

 

  • Decrease in Phone Costs: Texting reduces call volume by as much as 40 percent. Phone calls cost between $6 and $20 per call, while SMS messaging costs between $2 and $5 per chat. 
  • Improved Customer Service: Since it’s clear consumers are all about text messaging over phone calls, companies that opt for the former are improving their customer service images and creating more satisfied customer bases.
  • Fewer Agents Required: Switching from phone calls to text messaging allows agents to respond to numerous chats at one time. This reduces the number of agents required for customer service purposes, which again lowers costs. It also improves service quality, as managers can give each agent more attention. 
  • Transcript Reviews: Text conversations are similar to web chats, in that they provide easy transcript access for review purposes. Calls are more challenging to monitor and manage, and therefore make it more difficult to extract and learn from resulting data.
  • Automated Surveys: Text surveys enjoy a higher response rate than email and phone surveys at 20, 15, and 9 percent, respectively. Companies simply set up automation for outbound text surveys, which they can send out as soon as the conversation is complete. Surveys sent out immediately also result in more accurate responses, as the conversation is still fresh in consumers’ minds. Companies can subsequently review these responses and make adjustments as needed.
  • Internal Uses: Yet another text messaging positive is with regard to internal company use. Managers can use texts to remind employees about project updates, entering how many hours they spent on a project, which again results in more streamlined business processes.

 

SMS Messaging Works for the Company As Well As the Consumer

It’s clear that SMS marketing wins over email and phone calls in regard to both the consumer and the company. It allows companies to get the very most out of communication technologies, while saving money and improving relations with clients and employees. 

 

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