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Customers Want Text Support From Businesses

Do you provide text support to your customers? If you’re still working through telephone or even email alone, you might be missing out on a golden marketing opportunity. A new survey from Zipwhip reveals that customers are demanding rapid-access support via text (both SMS and via the web) at a faster rate than ever before despite the fact that text isn’t “new.” Here’s what the study results tell us – and how you can get text support “right” as you move forward into 2019.

Running the Numbers

Zipwhip used SurveyMonkey to source opinions from around 1000 consumers. They also surveyed 1000 businesses ranging from SMBs to major international corporations. Their goal? Determine how much of a gap existed between what consumers really want and what businesses think they want.

Around 75 percent of consumers reported feeling extremely frustrated when they found themselves unable to contact a business by text. This includes communication efforts directly initiated by the consumer and failed attempts to respond to text message alerts or shortcodes sent by businesses.

Sixty-seven percent of consumers reported feeling more comfortable with having access to text support for setting or cancelling appointments. Around 23 percent preferred to receive important notifications only via text instead of by phone or email.

As for businesses, 56 percent reported using text support almost entirely for scheduling, showing that they aren’t totally out of line with what customers want. But numbers for other mentioned use cases, such as customer support, billing support, or even employment, were much, much lower.

Text Versus Email

One of the most surprising things about the study was that it illustrated how much consumers prefer text over email, especially for certain forms of support, such as billing or getting fast answers to questions.

In fact, the study also revealed that around 74 percent of consumers send more texts per day than emails. Those who do prefer text were almost universally unlikely to ignore a text, especially compared to email, where inbox spam filters might block the send before they even see it.

Unique Marketing Benefits

The fact that consumers were so much less likely to ignore a text message also had long-standing benefits for businesses marketing services. Around 74 percent of consumer respondents stated that they respond to text support messages in under an hour, lessening the risk of a customer dropping out of the funnel. By comparison, only 41 percent of people reported responding within the same time frame via email.

The study also highlighted the fact that most customers (around 61 percent of respondents) will not install a new app to communicate with businesses. Instead, they prefer to use their pre-existing SMS text system – something that flies in the face of current app marketing knowledge.

So what does all of this mean? Essentially, if you haven’t focused on providing support via text, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity – but you can’t just provide a textable support inbox and call it a day. You need to be cognizant of how your text support functions and which facets of the system may cause frustration (such as the inability to respond to shortcodes or alerts).

Most importantly, you shouldn’t be afraid to listen to feedback from your customers. If they tell you they’re frustrated with their inability to text you to ask specific questions, use it as a learning experience. The sheer potential here makes it worthwhile.

Need help getting text support right? Contact Go Digital WSI today and move your digital marketing system forward the right way.