Category

Mobile

Why Your Mobile Strategy Isn’t Complete Without Text Messaging

By | Mobile, Texting | No Comments

mobile strategy

In today’s world, customer service is no longer restricted to a simple phone call. A recent report from Dimension Data found that digital interactions account for 35% of all contact center interactions.

In fact, customers are so vested in the idea of emerging channels that contact centers have ranked it their number one priority. As digital use climbs, nearly 75% of contact centers predict an increase in non-voice interactions within two years. Over 40% expect a decrease in voice traffic in that same time period.

Some of this digital dominance can be attributed to smartphones, which have exploded in popularity over the past few years.According to Pew Research, over 64% of American adults now own a smartphone, up from 35% in 2011. But it’s not just limited to the U.S.—one in five people across the globe own a smartphone.

Global smartphone users typically spend 2 hours and 30 minutes a day on their phone, trumping tablets, computers and even television for the most time spent in front of a screen. Smartphones are also dominating the connected device market, and are predicted to surpass 1.7 billion units in global sales by 2017.

And customers are certainly app happy—there are 224 million active app users in the U.S, a little over 70% of the population. And over85% of time spent on a smartphone is spent in apps.

But let’s break this down a little bit.

Why Your Mobile Strategy Can’t Rely on Apps Alone

Of the 85% of time spent in apps, 32% of this is games and 18% is Facebook. The rest of the time is broken up between news, productivity, and other apps (see below). And while it’s true that 91% of top brands have an app, unless you’re a big hitter like Facebook or Amazon, you’re going to have a hard time getting a customer’s attention.

Part of this is because 42% of all app time spent on smartphones takes place within an individual’s most-used app, and 75% of time is spent in their top 4 apps. For the average person, those are most likely going to be social networking apps and games. Think about it–what are the most commonly used apps on your phone?

In addition, apps aren’t exactly a high-earning channel for companies. Gartner predicted that 93% of mobile apps will be free by 2016, and for those apps that do generate revenue Apple and Google also take a 30% cut. Granted, most enterprise apps are free for existing customers, but creating these apps can be a time-consuming process that cost an average of $270,000 to develop and deploy Creating apps for different platforms (iOS, Android, even Blackberry) and deploying regular updates can significantly increase costs.

For companies that do develop an app, there’s no guarantee that customers will use them. Four out of five customers spend most of their time in their top five apps, meaning a service app may be overlooked altogether. Customers may have 30-40 apps installed on their phone, but Google research found customers only use about 12 of those apps within a 30-day period.

And apps aren’t always guaranteed to work—according to Pew Research, over 50% of consumers have experienced a problem with a mobile app. But, perhaps the most worrisome fact for businesses is that 79% of consumers will only retry an app once or twice before abandoning it. Despite the fact that every day over 50 million mobile apps are downloaded, 95% are abandoned within a month.

The good news is that you don’t have to rely on an app to provide great customer service or self-service.

Why Texting Needs to Be Part of Your Mobile Strategy

A recent study by Pew Research found that text messaging is “the most widely-used smartphone feature.” Not only do 97% of American smartphone owners use text messaging, but they use it more frequently than any other channel. On a global scale, 90% of people text at least once a day, sending over 11 billion texts daily. With usage like this, why haven’t more businesses picked it up?

To their credit, some businesses have. Over 37% of contact centers offer SMS, with 23% planning to add it in the coming year.

Your company can begin adopting text messaging using these following steps:

    1. Guide agents on proper use.
    2. Integrate it with other channels.
    3. Decide between long codes and short codes.
    4. Find a balance between automation and live agents.
    5. Identify text support targets.
    6. Create text support discovery mechanisms.
    7. Identify what success looks like.
    8. Recognize customer problems.
    9. Have a customer experience plan.
    10. Create a text support rollout plan.

Companies that have adopted texting have received an overwhelmingly positive response from customers. Customers shipping packages with UPS or FedEx can opt-in to receive automated texts that track their shipment and medical organizations can send patients reminders about when they should take their medication. Contact centers can send customers personalized texts based on service history and past interactions, increasing customer satisfaction.

Conclusion

Apps are a highly-used communication channel, but for most businesses, the upfront cost and predominant use of gaming/social apps don’t justify the investment. That’s why texting is such an essential part of your mobile strategy–it can do almost anything apps can do. It’s fast, it can be professional but personal, it’s easy to use, it’s in real-time, it picks up where you left off, it connects to the Internet, etc. There are some situations where an app will work better, and that’s okay. But before you move ahead with a mobile app, ask yourself one question:

Can I use text for that?

To learn more about why texting is an essential part of your mobile strategy, download the whitepaper here.

Image from Pixshark. Edited. Labeled for reuse with modification.

mobile phones

Mobile Phones Aren’t Even Phones Anymore

By | Apps, Mobile, Trends | No Comments

This guest post is written by Olga Grigorenko, a freelance writer for Fueled.

We can all remember the days when we memorized our friends’ numbers, carefully recorded new contacts in address books, and coquettishly wrote down our digits on party napkins. Telephones were lifelines and phone calls were indispensable. But then mobile phones happened, and our means of communication changed drastically. Exchanging contact information became far more simplified and reaching anyone over the phone became significantly easier. Phone calls could now be made on the go – anywhere, anytime.

Read More

conversational bot

The Perfect Tool(s) for Joining the SMS Bot Gold Rush

By | Automation, Big Ideas, Mobile, Mobile Payments, Texting | No Comments

Through the history of the Internet, we’ve seen a bots of all flavors (scrapers, viruses, worms), all often giving bots a bad name. They’re small bits of code that can carry out a host of malicious actions–stealing web content, screwing up web analytics, and encouraging click fraud.

This all sounds pretty dire, but more recently, the concept of bots has been harnessed for more and more good. And one of its new and improved forms is  conversational SMS bots. Read More

customer service trends in 2015

Year End Review: Customer Service Trends in 2015 and Beyond

By | Big Ideas, Cloud, Communication, Contact Center, Customer Experience, Customer Service, Mobile, Self-Service, Texting, Trends | No Comments

As we look back on 2015, it’s tempting to refer to that age-old adage: “The more things change, the more things stay the same.”

This year, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

That’s because 2015 was the year the technology really made its presence known in customer service. Automation, artificial intelligence, social media, CRM integrations, texting–all were major customer service trends in 2015.

Read More

mobile payments in africa

What the U.S. Can Learn from Mobile Payments in Africa

By | Big Ideas, Mobile, Mobile Payments, Texting | No Comments

Mobile payments have exploded in popularity just within the past year—40% of U.S. consumers have used mobile payments in 2015, compared to just 8% in 2014. In fact, mobile transactions are expected to surpass half a trillion dollars ($560 billion) in 2016, and Gartner predicts that mobile commerce will make of 50% of all U.S. digital commerce by 2017.

So why the startling change?

Read More

mobile strategy

Why Your Mobile Strategy Isn’t Complete Without Text Messaging

By | Mobile, Texting | No Comments

In today’s world, customer service is no longer restricted to a simple phone call. A recent report from Dimension Data found that digital interactions account for 35% of all contact center interactions.

In fact, customers are so vested in the idea of emerging channels that contact centers have ranked it their number one priority. As digital use climbs, nearly 75% of contact centers predict an increase in non-voice interactions within two years. Over 40% expect a decrease in voice traffic in that same time period.

Some of this digital dominance can be attributed to smartphones, which have exploded in popularity over the past few years. According to Pew Research, over 64% of American adults now own a smartphone, up from 35% in 2011. But it’s not just limited to the U.S.—one in five people across the globe own a smartphone.

Read More

I Tried To Text Domino’s for Pizza And Had a Horrible Customer Experience

By | Automation, Big Ideas, Communication, Customer Experience, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service, Gripes, Mobile, Mobile Payments, Texting, Use Cases | 4 Comments

Tired of ordering pizza over the phone? Domino’s understands—that’s why they’ve launched AnyWare, letting you “order your favorite oven-baked goodness on your favorite devices.”

I’m not going to lie—this is a pretty awesome use case (in theory). With AnyWare, you can text, tweet and even use your Smart TV to order pizza and more, and all you have to do is send a pizza emoji.

Read More

The ‘Magic’ Model – How To Instantly Build Your Own SMS Concierge Service

By | Customer Service, How To, Mobile, Mobile Payments, Texting, Use Cases | No Comments

After graduating from YCombinator back in February, a startup called Magic, an SMS concierge service,  went viral, wowing Americans with the prospect that they could order almost anything via text message and have it show up at their door – not to mention the $12 million investment they garnered from Sequoia Capital, with a $40 million valuation). After provisioning a Twilio number and rolling the service out to a few friends, the service suddenly skyrocketed in popularity, thanks to some well-placed features on Product Hunt and Hacker News (and just good old word-of-mouth).

Investors and companies are now starting to see the value of SMS (finally!), and so are emerging Magic competitors. Entrepreneurs around the world have begun innovating on the “Magic” model, spanning from straight up copycats to various niche-specific spins on the model – for example, the SMS concierge service for travelling performers and staff in the music-touring business. If you have an existing or potential SMS concierge business in mind, you’ll be very glad to know just how easy it is to equip yourself with the right tools and services to make it happen.

Read More