It’s no surprise that businesses need several methods for interacting with customers, especially when it comes to addressing customer service needs and issues. Social media is the newest channel for customer service, alongside the more traditional contact points including phone, email, and live chat.
Is text becoming the next “big” channel for customer service issues? According to a recent study by Heywire, it might be. The study revealed that 52% of respondents stated that they would prefer to text with customer service reps to resolve issues and get assistance, while 75% of respondents said they would prefer text over social media when it comes to talking with customer service reps.
It’s no surprise that online channels have taken over preference compared to telephone conversations; however, texting seems to be something that may not be the best route for addressing customer service needs.
Personally, in thinking about preferences when I need to contact a company, it depends on who I’m calling and what the purpose is. If it’s a quick inquiry, and I can wait, email will do. If it’s more urgent, my first line of conversation (if available) would be live chat. Phone calls are not as desired, but it has to do more with the fact that 1) the hold times can be excessive at times, and 2) with companies trying to upsell at every turn, I don’t want the hassle of resolving my issues and then being upsold. There is nothing more frustrating than having an issue and a representative is trying to sell me on a newer product or service when I am already having issues with the current one.
In general, though, I think customer service issues can be easily resolved through quicker channels, such as chat or email. Texting can be another avenue, though in thinking about it, it seems like it would be “clunky” or difficult to manage, integrate into CRM, or keep track as the issues come into representatives.
The study is interesting in that it sheds light on the importance of offering a variety of channels for customers to communicate. Will text be the next big thing? Right now I’d say likely not, though the respondents in this study may change that line of thinking as text becomes a more integrated option for consumers.