Survey: Consumers Want More Text-Based Support

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Seventy-two percent of respondents in a recent poll say that real-time texting would further improve their customer support experience, suggesting that it would be beneficial for meetings industry professionals to enhance their use of the communications tool.

The survey was completed by 500 consumers from ages 18 to 64 across the United States by UJET Inc., a provider of customer support communications and solutions. Questions focused on e-commerce, transportation and on-demand food delivery. The results were released in a new report, Optimizing Channels for Customer Support.

Customers Prefer Text-Based Interaction

Although millennials and Gen Zers are leading the way toward more text-based communication with live agents, customers across all ages believe texting customer support with inquiries would best improve their customer service experience in the future. Considering 90 percent of adults over 50 are using smartphones, it makes sense that a more convenient form of customer service communication will be adopted, no matter the age group.

Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of respondents said they would prefer to text with an agent in real time, as compared to 42 percent who would prefer to talk to agents via live video.

Email support, and use of in-app messaging and chat, both came in second (70 percent) as the method of communication respondents thought would be most helpful in the future; while email support is not quite as immediate as text messaging, it is almost as convenient.

Being able to visually show an agent what you’re seeing can be incredibly helpful. Two-thirds of respondents favored the idea of uploading and sharing a photo so the rep can visually understand the problem.

Nothing Beats the Human Touch

There are a handful of ways for customers to interact with customer service reps, but those methods of communication mean nothing if the customer doesn’t have a satisfactory experience. When asked what element of customer support has the greatest influence on the overall support experience, “helpfulness of agent” was at the top of the list, voted up by 19 percent of respondents.

Talking on the Phone Remains No. 1

Although respondents believe text and in-app messaging will make their experience better, respondents are much quicker to pick up the phone (46 percent) or send an email (32 percent) when contacting customer support; a slightly higher percentage is likely to contact an e-commerce company, such as Amazon, by phone (53 percent) or email (36 percent).

These two have long been the main form of communication for some time, so it makes sense that they will remain the primary modes of communicating with customer service.

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