One of the newest avenues for companies looking to build upon their customer service strategy is text/SMS. With research from Gallup showing that Americans use their cell phones more for sending and/or receiving texts than any other function—and that text messaging was the preferred communication method for Americans under the age of 40—it makes perfect sense why text is being so warmly embraced within the enterprise.
Considering just how prevalent text is, it’s understandable why enterprises wish to expand customer service into this medium. Here are three reasons specifically why text for customer service is taking off:
Customers prefer it: Not only does research show that customers use text more than any other phone function, but that customers actually prefer text for customer service over rivaling communication methods. For example, an August 2014 Harris Poll found that 64 percent of consumers prefer to send and receive text messages for customer service as opposed to traditional phone. There are plenty of reasons why customers may prefer text today. For instance, it’s convenience; in addition to trying to fix whatever problem warrants service, customers likely have several other business and personal issues to handle at the same time. As such, having to maintain a constant connection with a customer service agent can be difficult and frustrating. Those customers polled by Harris agreed, with 81 percent saying they find it frustrating to be tied to a phone or computer to receiver customer service.
Businesses can better engage with customers: Many companies today have taken text messaging a step further by embedding pictures and videos into their messages, making service experiences even more interactive and helpful for customers. This practice could be especially helpful in areas like technical support, in which an already frustrated customer attempts to complete the even more frustrating task of trying to fix a piece of technology that has gone haywire. This can also be helpful for nurturing customers along their purchasing lifecycle. For instance, perhaps transactional data shows that a customer recently purchased a new tent. The retailer can then push out an automated text message that includes a video demonstrating to the customer how he or she can set up the tent in less than five minutes. These kinds of interactive text messages can help companies maximize the value of their products and bolster the impact of their customer service.
Businesses can collect and analyze more data: Finally, text messaging will become even more effective in customer service due to the predicted boom of the text analytics market. A report by Allied Market Research, for instance, found that the global text analytics market will experience a CAGR of 25.2 percent over the next six years. The growth of this industry inevitably means an increase in data generation, allowing businesses to hone in on the data that is being collected via text. Thus, businesses can gain even more insight into how to best provide service to their customers through this communication mode.
The popularity, effectiveness and improved analysis of text messaging make it the next go-to avenue for customer service. Perhaps you’ll explore and employ a wing of your customer service division that is dedicated to text messaging.