Social media and texting are having a profound impact on the way customers and companies communicate. There have been some studies done by Hailo, a taxi app and by the Pew Research Center. These statistics that have been published by Andrew Prokop indicate findings that suggest the evolution. These findings include:
- Text messages represent the two most often used method of contact by cell phone (both sending and receiving) whereas the voice phone call comes in as the 6thmost frequently used method of use.
- American women text more frequently than men (14%)
- 80% of American adults text every day.
- Text messages are opened more frequently than emails (98% versus 20%)
- Americans exchange more texts than phone calls
- More calls are coming to call centers from cell phones than land lines
- One study from 2012 (source unknown) noted that text was the rated higher than voice in terms of customer satisfaction (text scored 90 out of 100 points and voice scored 77 out of 100).
These statistics raise two issues (one good and one not so good)
The good news is that by cross training support personnel to respond to both productivity can be dramatically improved by removing the dead time that occurs during lull in the arrivals.
The bad news is the incremental stress that will be perceived by call center personnel (support personnel). The fact that one service personnel has the ability to multitask multiple text messages as well as dealing with customers on the phone may have a deleterious effect on the service personnel.
The real problem is that text messaging is becoming (if it has not already become) a new dimension for supporting customers. This is an issue that cannot be ignored. It not only has occurred but is increasing in intensity as suggested by the statistics noted above.
The bottom line is that the world of on line support has just added a dramatic new dimension that can be used as a strategic advantage or if ignored will become a major deterrent to customer satisfaction and loyalty.