Long Live Text

Customer Service
Younger customers are interested in using text messages for their support needs.

In today's omnichannel world, customers are using multiple touchpoints to connect with organizations they do business with. While the phone was the most common means of customer support a few years ago, this is now sharing space with emails, social media, and text messages.Research launched by HeyWire Business yesterday shows that customers, especially the younger generations, have a preference for using electronic media--including email, web chat, text, or social media--over traditional phone calls for their support needs. In fact, 53 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds interviewed said they would prefer using electronic media to connect with customer service.

Further, text messages are gaining popularity for support needs. In fact, the study found that 52 percent of respondents would use this form of communication if it was available. And while social care has gained traction over the past years, 75 percent of consumers said they would rather use an SMS to communicate instead of correspond with a customer service agent over a social channel.

According to Meredith Flynn-Ripley, HeyWire's founder and CEO, said the results weren't surprising. "There's an overriding preference for text over voice communications so it seems obvious that consumers would rather text than talk," she told 1to1 Media.

The reason why 31 percent of respondents said text was an important support option and 47 percent noted that texting with an agent could improve their overall satisfaction with customer support lies in the characteristics of this means of communication. "Text is efficient, fast, and timely," Flynn-Ripley stressed. Customers, she noted, have been increasingly leaning towards quick resolutions, and text messages have the added bonus of being less intrusive than phone calls.

Flynn-Ripley said while a number of organizations have introduced functions that allow agents to call customers back so that they don't have to wait on the line, features that allow organizations to send a text message are gaining popularity.

Unsurprisingly, younger generations who grew up with mobile phones are more likely to access text support. Further, text is more likely to be used for simpler interactions that don't require a long or complicated conversation.