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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : May 27, 2015

Study: Consumers text for customer support

Consumers are turning to social media, email and online chat for customer support, but one new report indicates they're also turning back to something: texting. According to new data out from OpenMarket and Zipwhip mobile messaging is becoming a go-to for consumers, even if they don't know that a business supports customer service via text.

by Kristina Knight

Text-enabled, toll-free numbers could be a big advantage for some brands. That according to a recent report which indicates people are texting brands' toll free numbers even without being told to do so. The report refers to a recent Harris Poll which found most (81%) of consumers 'are frustrated' because they have to wait by the phone or computer for customer service assistance. The data also shows consumers prefer texting (63%) versus calling for customer service. Researchers also found 44% would rather text than wait on hold.

"Consumers, particularly those in the millennial generation, expect their customer interactions to be easy, relevant and quick," said Jay Emmet, general manager for OpenMarket. "Savvy companies need to take note and reconsider how they engage with their customers. A mobile-first strategy that leverages SMS is essential to fostering immediate two-way communication and delivering a great customer experience. For these reasons, businesses should be text-enabling their existing toll-free numbers."

OpenMarket suggests brands implement both long- and short-code options for their shoppers as well as text-enabled toll free or landline numbers so that consumers can engage according to their comfort level.

"There are more than 47 million toll-free numbers in the U.S. today," said John Lauer, CEO of Zipwhip. "Texting is too engrained into our daily communication for businesses not to support it on their main customer support lines. Our data shows that 9 out of 10 consumers prefer texting in for support after experiencing it firsthand."

Tags: customer support, mobile customer support, mobile marketing, OpenMarket, text marketing

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