At the time of writing, most companies provide customer support services through traditional channels. Those channels include tickets, phone calls, emails, and instant messaging, among others.
These methods inevitably fall short. All of us have been in a situation where we found ourselves deeply frustrated by poor customer support.
Those disappointments and frustrations didn’t come because companies or customer support representatives didn’t do their jobs. Rather, those shortcomings are built into the channels through which customer support is provided.
The contemporary customer support professional has more tools at her disposal than ever before. However, a lot of companies still fail to implement the kind of innovative solutions that optimize customer support.
In the current landscape, where it so easy to integrate different communications and support systems, there are no excuses for failing to move forward.
One example: numerous studies have shown that text messaging is the communications channel most favored by customers. Customers are interested in receiving promotional and informative communications and want to be in direct contact with the brands they love.
Keeping this in mind, what are the factors preventing organizations from implementing innovative solutions? More importantly, what do enterprising organizations have to gain by moving forward?
Myths Creating Barriers to Change
Many businesses fail to innovate. This is largely due to the following misconceptions about the use of SMS applications.
Misconception #1: SMS messages are spam. Customers don’t want to receive them.
This is true, to a point. But only if you pummel your customers (without their permission) with one-way conversations promoting your products and services.
However, what if your customers want to ask you a quick question via text, but you can’t provide a convenient answer because your customer support system lacks the capacity? What if your customers opt-in to receive SMS messages from you?
SMS messaging capabilities absolutely have their time and place. Learning how to optimize them is essential.
Misconception #2: The technology is old.
Your tech capabilities are aging, but certainly not outdated. More than 97% of people use SMS messaging for everyday communication. This “old” technology offers the advantage of being well-established, and nearly everyone knows how to use it.
SMS communications also require no preconditions (such as apps and/or internet connectivity).
Misconception #3: Text messaging can be expensive.
Not anymore. The relatively high cost of messaging means it used to be the exclusive privilege of large corporations. However, rapid technological development (and falling prices) means that text messaging is now available to any SME at competitive prices.
Misconception #4: You don’t have the time, information, and resources to implement and maintain an SMS communications system.
Engaging your customers via text messaging is a lot easier than you think. The only thing your company needs to do is find a local solution provider. Fortunately, there are numerous local SMS solution providers who can easily integrate SMS messaging into existing helpdesk systems.
Current Trends in SMS Communications
Text message communication is easier and more inexpensive than ever. Just as important, survey results show that the market still has a lot of room for growth. Consider the following data points:
- 52% of customers would rather receive customer support via text than by other means.
- 44% of customers would prefer to receive information about their favorite products via text.
- 79% of companies report the belief that their customers want SMS support.
- Among marketers that currently use text messaging, more than 60% report that SMS messaging is “effective” in reaching customers.
The figures prove two important points. Firstly, a large proportion of customers is interested in connecting with their favorite products and services via text message. Secondly, that demand is far from being satisfied.
What Companies That Still Rely on Traditional Support Tools Are Missing
Failing to utilize an effective communications channel means missing an opportunity to fill customer needs. Improving your company’s ability to meet customer needs increases their satisfaction. This directly affects the bottom line and commercial viability of any company, boosting customer lifetime value and rates of customer retention.
Too many companies have failed to pick up on this, however. The failure to utilize appropriate channels can result in the failure to develop long-term relationships with entire segments of customers; most notably younger customers and females, two demographics which use text messaging more than anyone else.
The Additional Advantages of SMS Messaging
A notable but often ignored advantage of text messaging is the opportunity to deepen engagement with disabled customers. For example, customers with hearing problems can use SMS to easily contact the customer support desk and receive immediate help.
SMS messaging makes the recordkeeping process easier. Companies like yours can more efficiently log and organize the needs and preferences and customers when communication is done via text messaging. Modern data analysis tools are making this easier than ever.
Another advantage to texting? Your company can more easily engage customers with multimedia content. Messages can be enhanced with URLS, pdf attachments, downloadable information, apps, images, and videos. Those are things you simply can’t do with old-fashioned means of communication.
Our Concierge – SMS Customer Support Platform is an intuitive and user-friendly customer support platform that can be customized and scaled to suit needs of any organization in any industry. Contact us today for your no-obligation demo.
This article has been originally published on Mobile Marketing Watch on November 15, 2016. The following is an exclusive guest contributed post from Tim Fujita-Yuhas, Director of Product Management and... Read Article
- Marketing Tips, SMS Marketing
- SMS Survey
- Misc, SMS Marketing
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