By Lauren Kindzierski, HGS VP of Solutions and Capabilities
Earlier this year, HGS released a white paper on this year’s top 10 customer experience disrupters—those that are sure to alter the CX landscape this year. Over the next couple of months, we’ll dedicate a blog to each of these CX game changers. Here we dissect Disrupter No. 6, Emergence and Benefits of Automated Text Message.
In 2015 and 2016, we saw some leading-edge brands start to offer two-way text message as a customer service channel. Unlike one-way text message alerts, two-way text messaging allows your brand representative to communicate with your customers through SMS messaging. Soon, we’ll see an exponential increase in the number of companies offering text as a service channel. Additionally, we’ll start seeing a “Click-to-Text” option, which will allow customers to contact customer service via text message after visiting a company’s website from their smartphones. With the click of a button, customers can now launch a new SMS to the customer service phone number. They’ll also continue to leverage text customer service with evolving text message automation to drive issue resolution. It’s convenient for customers who prefer texting (as many consumer plans include unlimited texts whereas competing messaging options require data usage) and a win for businesses, because they no longer require an expensive agent on the other end of that two-way text.
When it comes to automated text messaging, chatbots provide conversational automation, described this way because the customer is having back and forth dialogue with a bot. Companies are increasingly adopting automated text messaging to drive issue resolution. According to recent HGS webinar results, companies are strategizing the use of this channel, with 65% reporting that they are “thinking about launching text as a channel.” With 24% of our attendees already launching this as a two-way, conversational solution and 6% employing text as a one-way, automated solution, we understand these results as signposts for text in action. Text messaging can be beneficial in terms of increasing rate of resolution and reducing costs by implementing automated text messaging which doesn’t require the presence of an agent. An automated text messaging service can process more customer service requests than one human agent can on simple queries like ‘Where can I find the nearest brand store’? What’s more, automated texting gets repetitive query resolution out of the way, freeing up time to concentrate more on important drivers like strategy, CSAT, and quality.
According to a recent Harris Poll survey on behalf of OneReach:
- 64% of consumers with texting capabilities would prefer to use texting over voice as a customer service channel.
- 77% of consumers with texting capabilities aged 18–34 are likely to have a positive perception of a company that offers text capability.
- 81% of all consumers agree that it is frustrating to be tied to a phone or computer to wait for customer service help.
The above statistics signal a change in the way text messaging is being used by customers and companies. Conversational text messaging is a simple, effective channel of communication. A customer doesn’t need a data plan to send a text message whereas email, apps, social media, chat all require Internet usage. What’s more, when using a channel like text messaging, companies can reduce the customer effort spent in trying to contact them.