Keeping customers satisfied has always been at the heart of customer service. In recent years, the biggest change in customer care is the sheer number of channels through which people can contact your business. Now more than ever, response time, mobile support, and proactive service are of utmost importance. To date, traditional communication platforms, such as phone, voicemail, and email have served businesses well. However, the landscape has changed with new technologies emerging at lightning speed. What is a brand to do?
In a recent article in The Financial Post, an estimated 67% of consumers now tap social media networks for customer service. Rather than holding for hours on help lines or waiting (im)patiently for an email response, customers can head to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to shout out their grievances and be heard by a mass audience, instantly. That’s never good for any brand’s image!
A recent survey of 500 top retailers shows only 20% of questions sent via Twitter and 54% via Facebook get a response (with the average response time hovering around 27 hours). We all know that having a kick-ass social media presence is one of the most important tools in a brand’s marketing strategy these days. But relying on these platforms as your core customer care channels is a big no-no. In order to quell any problems, you must monitor your channels 24/7 so you can ensure you are aware and able to address them QUICKLY. Unfortunately, there is a tendency amongst companies to not be proactive about negative brand mentions, instead offering impersonal and poorly written responses, forgetting to resolve issues publicly so others can see, and simply ignoring social customer service altogether.
Twitter and Facebook have taken note of this and have recently provided new messaging opportunities for companies, but making full use of these channels requires businesses to invest in training and specialized software to properly support staff.
Additionally, despite the surge of new communication apps, research shows that only 4% of apps are used 1 year after download, rendering them essentially useless.
With no need to download extra software, it’s evident why texting has emerged as the preferred means of communication between businesses and customers. 97% of smartphone users in the United States are texting, so doesn’t it make sense to communicate with them in the way they prefer?
A recent survey by Harris Poll states that 77% of consumers aged 18-34 are likely to have a positive perception of a company that offers texting capability, with 64% of ALL consumers feeling the same. With texting taking up 14.1% of cell phone users’ time, why not meet your customers where they already are?
Texting is easy, efficient, fast, and inexpensive. No apps to download. No new technology. Negative interactions are contained and remain private. Customer care team stationed in a different country? No problem. Texting removes any language and cultural barriers.
Mobile messaging is the fasting growing technology, eclipsing traditional and social communication platforms, reinforcing the future of mobilized customer care in 2016. Think it’s time to revisit the way you engage with your customers?