SMS Text messaging technology is enjoying a resurgence as a way for customers to contact business’ sales and service. It’s widely viewed by customers and agents alike as a pleasant alternative to voice. Over 80% of people use text messaging specifically for business, and according to CDC research only about 40% of household in the United States still use a textless landline.
With SMS text and smartphone messaging apps changing the way consumers communicate in their every day lives, companies are also changing how they interact with customers to reflect these new trends. The reason is obvious, texting for customer service is cheaper than phone support while remaining a key source of revenue.
Here are four benefits to text message customer service.
One of the most desirable features of texting a business is that it gives customers privacy while they get service on the go. Text lets customers reach out when voice calls just aren’t possible. For instance, text is handy while commuting to work on a busy subway, or waiting for a table at a loud restaurant. Businesses that offer text messaging for customer service say it sets them apart by adding convenience for their customers’.
Cost Effective/More Efficient than Voice
Businesses that have implemented text report dramatic cost reduction for every voice call deflected to text. According to Customer Think, text constitutes a 40% cost-savings over phone. This is because texting provides the opportunity for agents to serve more than one customer at a time, saving your company time and money. The popular 2-way text messaging customer service platform InTheChat, reports that its clients can concurrently support 3-to-5 customers in active discussions. With each text message being limited to 160 characters, conversations are quick, questions are to the point and replies can be kept short. Allowing customers to respond when it is convenient for them, adds a level of service that standard call center phone lines do not provide.
2-way text messaging customer service can concurrently support 3-to-5 customers in active discussions
Experts at Harvard Business Review agree that there are a variety of ways contact centers can help generate revenue for your company. Foremost is that the most repetitive inbound support questions are the most obvious places for product/service improvement in your business. Eliminate the need to call, improve the product. Support has long been a friend to the sales process. In online retail abandonment is a problem that can be curtailed with a quick question to customer service. When service is available through digital channels like text, shopping cart abandonment is reduced. Lastly, high-level customer service can inform of product features, upgrades and expansions that can solve customer problems.
It’s no surprise that customers want quick and easy interactions when they need support, but many customers aren’t getting it. 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent, and 67% of customers expect a response from a brand within 24 hours or less.
The most important reason to make customer contact easier
No one wants to be tied down to a lengthy phone call, and more importantly, companies don’t want high call abandonment rates which can lead to customer churn.
Text messaging as a customer service channel gives your customers freedom. The freedom from phone lines, freedom to multitask and freedom to go on with their day, while still getting amazing service. According to an ICMI study, “67% of consumers want the ability to contact companies via text” while 52% of consumers prefer to use a channel other than the phone when contacting a customer service, so why not give customers what they desire?
As customer service expectations increase, companies are embracing SMS as a channel to interact with customers that text messaging is more than a cost savings to contact centers. It’s also a productive way for contact centers to generate revenue for business. By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and products as the key brand differentiator, so successful companies need to start creating an easy and convenient environment for their customers.