Consumers want to be served on the channels they use every day, not those that happen to be convenient for your business. Research conducted with contact centers conclude that they’re enabling messaging channels for customer service, but consumers say the reality just isn’t so.
What’s interesting is, if a majority of organizations have enabled digital channels for customer service successfully, why in this research were only 5.4% of the service interactions consumers had recently resolved over digital or messaging channels?
Are companies not truly implementing these channels? Or, perhaps they’re not making it easy for their customers to find and use them?
This may be the answer:
Expectations about the responsiveness of digital and messaging channels changes dramatically from those for service interactions conducted over the phone.
Where 30 minutes seems to be the breaking point for response via phone call, over 50% of consumers surveyed expect a response on a digital or messaging channel within 5 minutes.
However, the research also found that 78% of respondents are willing to wait longer for a response from a messaging channel if their query is acknowledged. The reason 51% stated was that they wouldn’t be tied to a phone call, so there’d be no wait time. Not having to talk to an agent or needing to navigate multiple menu options were additional reasons stated by more than a quarter of consumers.
This indicates the overwhelming desire for low-effort, low-friction service interactions. It’s also an indication of how much consumers value their time. Not only that; 68% of consumers who used a messaging channel to contact a business preferred it to using either phone or email.
Contact Centers Meet Sky-High Expectations with SMS Text Messaging
Intelligent text messaging platforms enable your contact center to instantly acknowledge a service query via automated text. This means you can easily satisfy that 78% who are willing to wait once you’ve acknowledged them.
Using messaging channels for customer service also satisfies those who prefer not to speak with an agent or navigate multiple menu options.
The use of messaging channels for customer service is simple for your customers.
Here’s how it works:
You publish a keyword and short code for customer service requests, such as:
“Text SERVICE to 123456” with your service inquiry.”
Once a customer texts the keyword, your text messaging platform automatically creates a service case then triggers to send a response telling them their query was received and the case number, with an instruction to ask a question or get the status of their case. Text-to-case is a fast and highly responsive way to manage service cases.
“Thanks for your inquiry. Your case # is 109678J. We’ll update you on progress. To get status updates or ask a question, just reply to this message. ABC Company”
Because text messaging is asynchronous, all the messages related to the customer’s inquiry will appear in the message conversation on your customers’ mobile phone. All message interactions in the conversation are also attached to the customer’s record and case within the CRM. This makes getting service super easy as they don’t have to remember their case number, find your email address or jump through hoops to get their issue addressed.
Agents Use Messaging Channels to Reduce Customer Effort
Messaging isn’t just easy and frictionless for your customers. It makes your customer service agents’ jobs easier and helps them work more productively to meet your customers’ soaring expectations.
Once the service case has been created in your CRM, the case is routed to the appropriate agent who receives an alert for the new query.
The agent can reply to your customer and ask a question, provide a status update, or notify them their issue has been resolved. If it takes longer to resolve an issue and shifts change, the next agent on duty can see the entire conversational case history so they can easily continue to complete the case resolution and keep your customer in the loop.
Intelligent agent desks also create prioritized worklists within your service desk, so your agents know which cases need responses and they can always quickly find any specific case through contextual filtering.
The Bottom Line
Using messaging channels for customer service means your contact center can not only keep up with your customers’ expectations but will result in more satisfying experiences that drive higher loyalty and lifetime value.