If technology is advancing, then we have to assume that so are the people who are using it. When was the last time you saw someone in a telephone box making a call? Not for a while I’d guess, unless of course they’re using it as a shelter from the Irish weather whilst swiping away on their smartphone. Humans are experts at jumping on the evolutionary bandwagon and communications technology is no different, as we adapt to its ever-changing environment.
However, there seems to be a slower more cautionary approach from businesses to this technology evolution, particularly within the contact centre or customer services sectors in that they are persisting with outdated communication methodologies, even though the rest of us have moved on.
Take for example mobile messaging. Originally set up as a tool for communication between people, it is now used more than ever within business functions. It’s not a new technology by any stretch of the imagination, but it has been adopted as a must-have investment. So why are contact centres not following industry trends when it comes to utilising this medium?
The consumer usage figures are extraordinary for Mobile Messaging. According to Pew Research Centre, nearly 80% of all mobile phone users send and receive mobile messages, and this rate is closer to 100% among millennials and young adults. So, if your contact centre or customer service department has still not adopted mobile messaging as an addition to email and voice, then there is a high degree of certainty that by not adapting your approach to your customers habits you may miss vital opportunities to cater for their needs.
Customers Want Mobile Messaging.
Mobile Messaging is the new email. Actually, no it’s not, it’s better than email. In terms of open rates mobile messaging storms ahead with 98% compared to 12%. Your customers are very comfortable with this form of communication and much prefer mobile messages for its flexibility and convenience. As an example of this, how many of you currently receive a text message each week reminding you to put your bin out for collection? Can you imagine if you didn’t get that text for a couple of weeks? It wouldn’t be long before you became an unhappy customer. Maybe you would pick up the phone and ring their contact centre or customer service department to complain.
According to industry research, call center wait times are one of the biggest bugbear for consumers. The vast majority – 95% to be exact – feel like five minutes is the longest you should ever have to wait to speak with an agent. Now, what if the contact centre had a service in place that uses both mobile messaging and email in the same solution and would allow your customer to send a text message via their mobile, directly to the email of a customer service agent and for that same agent to have the ability to respond via the same email address, which then ends back on the customers handset as a text. Not only would this reduce those customer hold times, it would have a major impact on cost reduction while also adapting the contact centres approach to your customers habits. Enabling a mobile messaging solution not only relieves call center congestion, but it also gives customers the option to communicate in real time rather than being stuck on hold, while each passing minute is another nail in your customer retention model.
The days of only having a telephone line to make and receive calls with your customer is gone and email is not the answer either. The modern consumer expects businesses to provide multiple channels of engagement. If I still have to call you when I need help, then it is you that is not getting the message.
Written by John Waters
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Republic Of Ireland
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