10th - Jun - 2016

Customers Want to Use Text Messaging for Customer Service

We are familiar with businesses using text messaging to send outbound communications in the form of marketing promotions, notifications and alerts. Customers want the ability to do more than just receive messages via text; they want to interact with businesses using text messaging. Using SMS or text messaging has been in use for some time, especially in the financial and retail industries – where customers use inbound text messaging to request account balances or to obtain product information or coupons. Recent survey results and articles show customers want to use text messaging in addition to traditional voice calls when interacting with customer service.

Customers want the ability to use the same contact number, in most cases the company’s toll free number, to both call and text customer service. It’s a no-brainer as to why: it all boils down to convenience. One phone number that can be used for both voice and text, just like if we were calling or texting a friend. Most of us can relate to the following scenario: we have a question that we know requires speaking with a customer support representative. So we take a deep breath and call the customer service number where we are greeted by an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system that presents us with a menu of options, “Please press 1 for account information” , “Please press 2 to pay your bill”, and so on, with the last one being, “If you would like to speak with a customer service representative please press 9 now”.  So we press “9” and we hear, “Please hold  while I transfer your call”. Then voilà, the pièce de résistance is we are greeted with this recording, “All our customer service representatives are currently busy serving others.  Your business is important to us, please stay on the line and you will be served in the order in which you were received.” And then we are left on hold, keeping our fingers crossed that we’re not disconnected before the customer service representative picks up our call.

Now, if the company enabled text messaging, a customer could simply send their question via SMS, just as if I was texting my friend, and either get a text message sent back, or an actual phone call back from a customer service representative who can provide an answer. If text messaging was supported, the customer can do this easily and conveniently using their mobile phone, with no app installation required. The ability to simply text is the convenience factor customers want.

Though customers want the ability to text, they also really want to speak with customer service. In fact, current surveys show many customers want to be able to speak to a “live customer service representative”. However they are frustrated by the process to reach a live person and the amount of time they have to waste in order to speak to someone.  Not only are customer frustrated, but this is costing companies a lot of money, how much? $1.6 trillion is the estimated cost of customers switching due to poor service.

It’s easy to see: there are huge benefits to be gained by enabling an existing contact number, like a toll free number for SMS to provide customers a way to conveniently interact with a business. If you are interested in enabling an existing toll free, or would like to obtain a toll free number for texting contact Mblox today at sales@mblox.com or to learn more about Mblox’s toll free text service visit our website.

Author: Mitzi Mori
Originally posted on mblox.com

Signup for Blog Updates