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Industry Research : New Aspect Software Research Shows Consumers Would Rather Use Messaging
New consumer research from Aspect Software shows compelling data that consumers are more than ready for messaging-based brand interaction.
The Aspect Consumer Experience Index shows that 38 percent of consumers would rather use messaging apps like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp to engage with customer service versus phone calls. The findings are even more compelling when viewed with a recent Dimension Data report that found customer support organizations anticipate a 35 percent drop in voice interactions with consumers over the next two years.
But it’s not just consumers’ growing preference for non-voice channels that is driving the shift, frustration with customer service as a whole continues to plague the brand experience for many customers. A year ago, the Aspect Index found that 32 percent of people would rather clean a toilet than contact customer service. This year that number has climbed to 42 percent. Consumers are clearly calling for a change in brand engagement and messaging-based customer service just might be the answer.
"We believe that texting and messaging will very soon become the simple and central interaction point for the entire customer service ecosystem, giving companies the ability to create the intelligent, automated, interactive text conversations their customers desire," says Joe Gagnon, SVP and chief customer strategy officer, Aspect. "Messaging holds the potential to improve the speed and quality of consumer engagement - It's clear that customer service is the new marketing and customer-company messaging offers a differentiated and competitive advantage for those brands who are ready to engage."
What kinds of interactions and transactions are consumers interested in conducting with brands?
43% would order food delivery
41% would ship, change, or track a package
33% would make a doctor’s appointment
26% would book an Uber ride
22% would check bank accounts
21% would make a hotel or car reservation
"Messaging in customer service has evolved from a nice-to-have into a must-have capability. Forty-five percent of brands have already incorporated messaging within their support activities. When incorporated seamlessly within omni-channel programs messaging helps firms retain more consumers and grow client spend," says Omer Minkara, Research Director, Contact Center & Customer Experience Management, Aberdeen Group.
In this "age of the consumer" there is a growing need for companies to engage their customers through messaging. The Aspect Index found that if consumers start a brand interaction with a message, 75 percent of them said they still want the ability to talk to a live person when needed. Notwithstanding their growing preference for text over talk, there are clearly times when consumers want to engage a live person...and to do so without a lot of effort. So, like all interaction channels, messaging must be approached as a frictionless part of a larger customer service experience.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, February 1, 2016