2016 Predictions: Mobile Messaging Creates Better Customer-facing Business

By Steve French, Global VP of Product Management and Marketing, OpenMarket for RCR Wireless

OpenMarket sees strong potential from mobile messaging to improve customer interactions

Editor’s Note: With 2016 now upon us, RCR Wireless News has gathered predictions from leading industry analysts and executives on what they expect to see in the new year.

Enterprise mobile technology has dramatically evolved in recent years, driven by the increasing number of millennials in the marketplace and the fact that most customers prefer messaging over voice for customer service communications. However, 2016 will prove the best is yet to come. While much of the focus has been on internal use cases for improving employee collaboration, there are a number of ways organizations will look to enhance the customer experience by delivering prompt service and easily accessible information via mobile messaging. So what will be the driving factors for the customer-focused landscape over the next year? Below are some trends we expect to drive change for organizations looking to deliver a better customer experience via the mobile channel.

One-two punch: preferences for quick communication and easy access to info will drive mobile Web and mobile messaging usage

Today we have access to a variety of mobile applications; in fact, Statista shows there are more than 1.6 million apps available, but most people use about four per day. Even though apps are popular, popularity doesn’t mean they are being used once downloaded. In fact, 80% to 90% of the apps downloaded by consumers are used once and then deleted, according to Compuware. Brand business-to-consumer applications are not excluded from this finding. Although businesses develop impressive apps, consumers continue to struggle to find value in them, resulting in deletion. One of the main reasons apps are deleted is poor user experience, especially when businesses require too much information upfront or the app’s value is not clearly evident to the consumer.

To improve customer experience and meet the demand for easily accessible information, in 2016 we will see businesses move away from mobile applications and start to utilize a mix of mobile websites and text messaging to communicate with consumers. Globally, people spend 2.7 hours on the mobile Web per day. Additionally, 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of delivery. Given the preference for mobile Web and mobile messaging’s ability to directly deliver information that will be read quickly, utilizing both channels will only strengthen a business’s communication strategy.

Zero tolerance: consumers will drive a go mobile or move on attitude toward customer service

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2030, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce. With this emerging generation, one bad experience can result in a lost customer and one that shares his or her bad experience with their network. In fact, 86% of customers will quit doing business with a company if they encounter poor service. Today, just a 1% drop in service is equivalent to a 15% drop in customer satisfaction, making it even more important for companies to cater to millennials’ preferences for quick and accurate interactions with a brand when they really want it.

In 2016, we will see more companies utilize mobile messaging to improve customer service experiences. If there is one thing millennials dislike it’s being told they are a “valued customer” while waiting on hold for an extended period of time. Today, 64% of millennial consumers prefer texting a company for information versus calling them and 77% of them have a more positive perception of a company they can reach via mobile messaging. Given that the majority of today’s consumers grew up with text messaging, this preference makes sense and is estimated to increase to 85% by 2020, according to Gartner.

Additionally, mobile messaging-based customer service will enable company representatives to manage multiple inquires at once, allowing them to resolve more inquiries and close customer service tickets at a higher rate. This means companies will have the opportunity to grow customer retention rates and increase repeat business, helping them create long-term loyalty and revenue opportunities in the process.

Mobile messaging will become the ‘secret sauce’ for call centers seeking deeper data insights on their customers

In order to determine a customer’s journey, it is important for call centers to capture a 360-degree view of their clients. In 2016, we will see call centers use mobile messaging to build out customer profiles and gain deeper insights into purchasing preferences. Mobility provides a variety of data types, including structured and unstructured data, which deliver customers’ contact information, transaction information and their interaction history across phone, chat, email, social media and yes, even mobile messaging. By leveraging the information provided from mobile messaging interactions, call centers will become a hub of customer insights – allowing them to better understand their customers and deliver the first-class service today’s mobile consumers expect.

The mobile Web and mobile messaging will be key drivers over the next year for improving business processes and customer-facing initiatives. Additionally, as more millennials join the workforce and demand quick, easy-to-access information, they will expect to engage with businesses on a personal level by using their preferred communication channel. To meet these requirements, businesses must consider integrating text messaging into their customer service strategies and communication plans. Companies looking to give consumers the quick interactions they are looking for will set themselves apart from the competition, and those that don’t will lose out on consumer mindshare and key business opportunities.

Steve French currently serves as global VP of product management and marketing of OpenMarket, a leading enterprise mobile engagement company. Prior to joining OpenMarket, Steve was the VP of global marketing at NewBay Software, a leading cloud services company. French was previously director, global marketing for Tekelec, a mobile data management vendor. He has also held a variety of product management, product marketing, and finance positions at several communication companies, including Hatteras Networks, Global Crossing, Tellium and Nortel Networks.