Nine reasons your customers want to be able to text support

Texting is one of the most used forms of communication. In the United States alone, 5.5 billion text messages are sent daily. So maybe it’s not so much of a surprise that your customers want to be able to text your business when they need support. Few things are more frustrating than when you’re trying to solve a problem and just end up sitting on hold. And texting offers an alternative for you and your customers.

If your business doesn’t already offer texting support, then here are the nine reasons you should..

1. Customers spend a lot of time on their phones

People in the U.S. spend an average of 3 hours and 10 minutes on their cell phones each day. Mobile commerce, or purchases made on mobile devices, is expected to account for 45 percent of the total market in the U.S. by the end of 2020, according to Business Insider

Besides people using their phones for more than personal communication and shopping, they are also working from their phones. All of this points to the fact that your customers are already spending more time on mobile than anywhere else. And nothing is more accessible to a mobile user than texting. So it is high time that your business starts texting your existing support. Meet your customers where they are.

2. Your customers prefer texting

Now that we know customers are already on their phones, but does that also mean they want to text businesses? Yes. 

Customers want to be able to text your support team simply because they prefer texting over long-winded support calls. Reportedly, 52 percent of customers prefer texting over other support communication channels. 

Another reason why texting should be preferred is that it has a 98 percent open rate. That means your customers will read your message nearly every time, which only makes it easier for you to resolve all of your customers’ support questions. 

If you meet your customers where they want to talk they’ll view your business more favorably too. Research shows that 65 percent of consumers feel positive toward businesses that they have the option to message. 

3. Speed

The average response time for texting is just 90 seconds. On top of that, 95 percent of texts are read within the first three minutes of being received. This is way quicker than your average email response time and thus will make your customer feel valued. 

Part of what can help to speed this process up is a good texting platform that your customer support team can work with. Such a platform can host all of the support messages, where they can see, respond to, or share messages. Some texting platforms like Textline can even integrate with your favorite customer support tools like Freshdesk and Slack. These integrations make responding and managing customer support requests easier.

Another reason why texting is simply better when it comes to speed is that texts are inherently short. You’re limited to 160 characters and so are your customers. Realistically, there’s only so much one can squeeze into one text that naturally forces the sender to keep the message simple and clear. 

4. Reduced active wait

Customers don’t like waiting. Nearly 60 percent of customers said they would hang up if put on hold for more than a minute. Texting eliminates that hold time and gives your customers more of their day back. The beauty of texting is that it’s quick, convenient, and doesn’t interrupt your customer’s day.

Texting also comes with built-in expectations around timing and the natural flow of conversations. While responses are expected, there’s an understanding that it may take a bit of time. This differs from live chat, which expects near-instant replies. 

With texting, even if you think there might be a wait for getting your customers some help, you can use a simple text to let your customers know that you are working on an answer but it might take a bit of time.  This will help them to continue with their day without sitting by the phone waiting.

Let’s look at the following example of one such situation.

5. More privacy

Anyone who’s been a customer has probably felt that sense of dread knowing when they have to call customer support. They need to plan to be in a private place and potentially wait for a break from work. Texting offers you the option to contact support discreetly at any time. 

This added privacy can go a long way in keeping customers happy. Plus, they can text at nearly any time in their day means that they don’t have to plan their call or use their personal break or lunchtime waiting on hold.

6. Texting offers MMS

It’s not only about the words between you and your customers, you can share more than that.

You can share more than just words with your customers. With texting services for businesses, you get MMS too – the ability to share photos and images. This can help you understand the issue better and arrive at necessary resolutions quickly. 

A customer might send a photo of a damaged item, or maybe of a job they’re requesting a quote for. Texting makes it easier for them to reach out to you with a small time commitment. You can also send links to bills, or PDFs of invoices. 

Take a look at the following example of when it might be helpful for a customer to send a photo:

7. Written record

Customer support is a continuous interaction that requires multiple revisits to previous conversations for maximum benefit.

With a phone call, the closest thing you’ll get to a written record is the notes left by the customer service agent who last spoke with a customer. This can lead to customers waiting while the current agent looks into any previous call records.  However, with texting, there’s an actual written record. Of course, there can still be notes to assist the written records, thus offering a richer background to help the customer support team close tickets faster.. 

8. Texting offers low impact personal connection

Your customers don’t solely want to hear from you, 85 percent of them say they want to be able to interact with you. Texting allows you to have that two-way personal communication without increasing time output or sacrificing relationships with other customers. A benefit that comes with texting is that it’s a familiar form of communication. Your customers are used to texting with friends and family, so you can adopt that friendly tone when you contact them as well. 

There are some points of contact that simply make more sense via text than via phone call or an email. Customers are sometimes more open to offering feedback or responding to you through a text.

 An example of this is simply following up with a customer after they made a purchase to see how they like it. It also allows for increasing their loyalty or potentially selling them another product. The personal touch which texting offers can go a long way in improving your relationship with your customer.

Look at the example below:

9. Texting is less stressful

When it comes to making a phone call, your customers just don’t want to do it.  Nearly 59 percent of customers would prefer to use almost any other channel than make a call. Part of the reason for that is that phone calls can be stressful.

Bad hold music, long wait times, and the potential for being passed from one agent to another are all big drawbacks for customers that can force them to opt for a different customer service provider who prefers texting over voice calls.

Now that we have reached the end of this blog post, we would like to briefly summarize everything we talked about – Texting is a very powerful tool to interact with your customers. When you align your customer support initiatives with topline texting services, you can rest assured that not only customer experience, but your retention rates will also improve. 

If you are convinced and would like to know more about text-based services for your customer support, then please feel free to check out our Freshdesk integration with Textline

P.S: We’re excited to announce a new content partnership with Textline, working together to highlight the benefits of business texting for customer support. The three-part series: “Meeting Customers Where They Are” will be published over the coming weeks. Textline and Freshworks will also be hosting a webinar on December 8, highlighting the different ways business texting can help you meet your customers where they are.

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