Companies generally provide tech support through phone or email, so when some companies began providing it through text messages, there was some anxiety. According to practicalecommerce.com, there are 4.3 billion people carrying SMS-enabled devices, and of those, 96% send text messages on a regular basis. Those who have used text-based tech support as opposed to the phone-based alternative typically prefer texting. A Harris Poll study found that 64% of customers who text prefer SMS to phone for customer service.
A lot of this has to do with the fact that customers can receive support in a loud or crowded place and not worry about being able to hear their technician. A technician can help multiple people at once through this particular type of support using a text chat interface. It would be impossible for one agent to simultaneously help out more than one customer over the phone at the same time.
Due to increasingly complex products and services being offered to consumers, tech support demand is only increasing. The quality of tech support being delivered by text has become so advanced that it is possible to gradually evaluate the issue the customer in question is attempting to address. A few simple questions being answered by the customer will allow the tech support professional to determine what sort of issue they are having and how they might go about solving it. With the necessary information in hand, a tech support professional can then begin to thoroughly research the issue.
Customers submitting information via text as opposed to over the phone is a much more expedient option, freeing up more time for technicians and increasing productivity. With the existing technology that is out there, it is possible to navigate through a tech support system via texting very quickly. A tiered or tree system will allow a consumer to navigate the system and provide information about their problem quickly, making it both faster and simpler for the technician to address the customer’s questions.
The cost of implementing this customer service option could involve the use of additional technology at the workplace, but the learning curve therein will be vastly outdone by the expedience and accuracy of support being delivered. During the initial phase of creating a text-based tech support system, it is important to still allow customers to call in. This wa,y they can still receive support the way they are used to. It is also worth considering that the average response time to an email is 90 minutes, while the average response time to a text message is 90 seconds.
As customers become aware of this new system and try it out, they will use it more than the traditional alternative (phone). By providing tech support over text messaging, companies will be able to get customers the help they need on a channel they use, and all in a time frame that works for them.
To learn more about your customers’ channel preferences, download the 2014 Harris Report here.
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