CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HeyWire Business, the leading enterprise mobile messaging service, today announced the results of its recent customer support preference study. The survey of more than 700 consumers found that over half of respondents – 52 percent – would be likely to text with a live customer support agent, and that the same percentage would prefer texting instead of their current method of reaching customer support. These findings confirm the growth of text messaging as a preferred means of communication for consumers of all ages.
In fact, some 53 percent of consumers ages 18-34 said that they’d prefer to use electronic media – email, web chat, text or social – instead of the phone for customer support. Echoing the results of the company’s earlier research that found a majority of professionals are already using text messaging to conduct business, consumers are also moving away from voice and seeking to use text to engage with companies for customer support. This trend can only be expected to increase, as younger users increasingly indicate a preference for text over traditional phone communication.
Key findings from the research:
- Texting Customer Support – Over half of respondents – 52 percent –would be likely to text with a customer support agent. Similarly, 52 percent would prefer texting customer support over their current preferred method of communication.
- Millennials & Gen Y – 53 percent of those 18 to 34 years old prefer electronic media – email, web chat, text or social – to the phone for customer support.
- Social Media is Not the Preferred Option – 75 percent of consumers would rather text with a customer support agent than correspond with them via social media.
- Consumers are Frustrated with Customer Support Options… – 79 percent are frustrated with their available customer support options, 51 percent said they had only a “low” to “fair” satisfaction with existing means of customer support communication – and 89 percent said they wanted choices for how they could contact customer support.
- …but Text Can Help – 31 percent of respondents said it was important for text to be an available support option, and 47 percent said that texting could improve their overall satisfaction with customer support.
The research demonstrates strong interest by consumers in using text to address customer service issues and illustrates the emerging opportunity for businesses to increase customer satisfaction using text.
According to Meredith Flynn-Ripley, founder and CEO of HeyWire Business, this research confirms a compelling trend. “In today’s world, consumers increasingly prefer texting in both their personal and business lives and they are clearly seeking text conversations as a fast, efficient customer support option.”
“The research highlights what many of us feel today – no one has time to wait. Customers are expecting real-time responsiveness to their support issues and want solutions that provide immediate answers,” continued Flynn-Ripley. “HeyWire LiveText gives businesses the text conversation solution they need to keep up with customer demand – and does so using each company’s existing 1-800 customer support number.”
Some additional highlights of the research include:
Options Improve Satisfaction
- Consumers Are Frustrated – Consumer frustration with customer support is clearly an issue today. 79 percent of consumers are frustrated with their available customer support options.
- Options Are Wanted – 89 percent of respondents responded that it is important to them to have different options (phone, email, text, chat) available for customer support – and 31 percent said it was important for text to be one of these options.
- Text Improves Satisfaction for Many – When asked if texting would improve their customer support satisfaction rate, almost half – 47 percent – responded that it would indeed improve their satisfaction.
Social Media Is Not The Answer
- Say No To Social Media – One of the more surprising results, given the growth of social media channels such as Facebook or Twitter, is that 75 percent of consumers would rather text with a customer support agent instead of correspond with them over social media. For all of social media’s connective benefits, the research showed that consumers would still prefer a direct connection with those than can solve their problems to sending a question into a public social channel that may or may not reach the right person.
Interest in Texting for Customer Support
- Say Yes to Live Texting Support – In addition to the 75 percent of respondents that said that they’d rather text with a customer support representative than correspond over social media, 28 percent would rather text than use the phone, 26 percent would rather text than use email and 22 percent would rather text than use web chat to solve their problems. The interest in texting is all the more surprising, given that it is a feature simply not yet offered today.
- Text Me Back Is Wanted – Almost half of respondents (49 percent) said that they’d be interested in a “text me back” feature, similar to the “call me back” feature used when people are tired of waiting on the line for customer support. This is a significant amount of interest for a feature not typically available.
Frustration with Customer Support
- Spending Too Long On Hold – Spending time on hold is a major source of frustration for consumers. 38 percent of respondents have spent 10-30 minutes on the phone with a customer support representative, while over half (56 percent) actually said that they’ve waited an hour or more to have their problem solved.
- Root Canals Are Preferable – Some 66 percent said that they’d rather have a root canal without anesthesia, a tax audit or have dinner and drinks with their mother in law than wait on hold for a customer support representative.
- Bad Experiences Make Customers Walk – Respondents were asked what they were more likely to do when they had a bad customer support experience. 40 percent said that they’d be more likely to tell friends and colleagues about their bad customer support experiences; 30 percent said they’d be less likely to buy products and services from that company in the future; 13 percent would be less likely to recommend that product or support to a friend; and 17 percent would be more likely to try a competing product or service.
“The research clearly shows just how important it is to get customer support right and provide all the channel options available, including text conversations – not the typical automated SMS alerts or notification approach,” continued Flynn-Ripley. “With a majority of consumers interested in quickly connecting with customer support via live texting, businesses that offer this new channel will immediately stand out from the competition.”
The full research report is available here and can also be seen here as an infographic.
About HeyWire Business
HeyWire Business is the leading enterprise mobile messaging service that drives business communications and customer support. The company is a pioneer in bringing cloud-based mobile messaging to business landlines and existing customer support 1-800 numbers, connecting businesses and professionals securely and reliably with anyone in their business world – both coworkers and customers. Partnerships with leading business technology providers extend HeyWire Business’ reach to more than 25 million business people and major call centers. For more information, please visit http://www.heywire.com.