2-Way Text Messaging for Customer Service: Not Enough Successful Implementations

2-way text messagingNew research from McKinsey & Company, a global consulting firm, reveals the difficulty customer care centers face when implementing digital “e-care” solutions, from 2-way text messaging, email and social media support.

The report is based on interviews with approximately 70 digital experts and industry leaders and a survey of roughly 4,000 European telecommunications customers. McKinsey & Company says it also analyzed about 200 key performance indicators across a number of pertinent channels, with a primary focus on the telecommunications sector (but with insights broadly applicable to other service-based industries).

The ultimate finding of the report: “Not only are companies missing growth opportunities, but they are also failing to see potential threats to established revenue.”

The problem: not enough customers are using digital e-care solutions, representing “a massive untapped opportunity for [service-oriented] companies.”

In an attempt to discover how customer care centers can improve the digital experience and draw more customers to these channels, McKinsey & Company have identified four primary factors preventing customer adoption of this approach.

1 – Poor digital experience: According to McKinsey & Company, too many e-care solutions fail to provide the answers customers are looking for. As a result, they shrug and pick up the phone. In fact, the report finds that “customer satisfaction scores for e-care are typically almost 10 percent lower than for traditional channels.”

2 – Unclear migration strategies: The report finds that far too many companies are struggling to identify a coherent strategy for moving customers to digital channels. As a result, that migration is piecemeal, unclear, and poorly implemented.

3 – Fear of losing revenue: The report argues that many companies are taking a piecemeal approach to digital channel adoption because they’re afraid of alienating their customers. But by taking such cautious steps – and often introducing half-baked digital measures – they’re doing just that.

4 – Haphazard organization and operations: The report finds that far too many companies have a scatterbrained approach to digital e-care, with less than 30 per cent dedicating an entire team to e-care solutions. The result: sloppy platforms and an ineffective approach to resolving customer problems.

To resolve these issues, McKinsey & Company first recommends firms make targeted investments in digital channels for customer service. Meaning they should pick specific channels to implement. It’s difficult to deploy all digital channels at one time for a customer contact center because it can easily create communication silos and ultimately a poor customer experience. It’s far better to deploy individual channels over time and mitigate communication breakdowns and barriers to communication by using a unified digital customer service platform.

Learn more about the McKinsey Report

Second, McKinsey suggest companies make a long-term commitment to the digital experience rather than simply dipping their toes in the water. Finally, they insist firms create detailed strategies for migration to digital channels so that all employees understand and embrace the commitment to this approach.

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About the Author: Leslie Maxwell