Is SMS the way forward for customer support?

Published on 21 January 2015 by in Latest News

A study has revealed that three-quarters of consumers said that they would rather communicate with a customer support agent through text than through social media. This suggests that while social media is a convenient outlet for venting frustration over service issues, consumers want a more personal, flexible response.

iStock 000028923862 Small 300x199 Is SMS the way forward for customer support?Results from a HeyWire Business study, a mobile messaging service, indicated that there is a strong interest from consumers to interact with businesses via text to address customer service issues. 31 percent of respondents said it was important for the text facility to be an available support option, with 47 percent saying that texting could improve their overall satisfaction with customer support.

numero believe this highlights an emerging opportunity for businesses to enhance customer experiences through text.

“In today’s world, consumers increasingly prefer texting in both their personal and business lives, and they are clearly seeking text conversations as a fast, efficient customer support option,” Meredith Flynn-Ripley, founder and CEO of HeyWire Business, said in a statement. “The research highlights what many of us feel today—no one has time to wait. Customers are expecting real-time responsiveness to their support issues and want solutions that provide immediate answers.”

Many organisations now recognise the importance of keeping their customers informed. Airline companies are well known for using text as part of their services. British Airways provide the option for consumers to interact with them via text instead of phone, streamlining their customer service. They also use text messages to alert passengers about flight delays, gate changes and cancellations.
Banks are also well known for their text services, with banks such as Halifax, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland sending text alerts when consumers are nearing their overdraft limits or when new payments have been arranged.

Texts are in fact more prevalent than consumers think as they are regularly used in our everyday lives to inform users when a taxi arrives, a parcel isiStock 000023910436 Small 300x199 Is SMS the way forward for customer support? delivered or sent as an appointment reminder. With 90 percent of all SMS read within three minutes of being received and an average open rate of 98 percent (versus 22 percent for email), and the fact that every mobile device is capable of reading a text message, SMS is a great way to reach out to anyone.

Texts are an easy format to get closer to customers. Unlike email addresses, the majority of consumers don’t easily give away their phone numbers multiple times throughout the day, so to receive a text from a business can add a more personal touch. Phone numbers are a unique piece of trust that people share with great caution, so businesses shouldn’t use text as a marketing tool to bombard customers with sales and promotions.

numero predict that as mobile devices become increasingly available and accessible this will enable brands to enhance their customer experience offering through text messages, as a convenient customer support tool to enhance consumer satisfaction.

numero offer  i-Text as an excellent customer relationship tool, providing both an additional communication channel to deepen customer relationships and a way to reduce agent workload, and therefore improve service levels. i-Text keeps customers fully up-to-date with everything from their latest order to account status, reducing the number of inbound phone enquiries. To find out more contact one of the numero team today.


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