OpenMarket and Zipwhip Research Reveals that Consumers are Texting Toll-free Numbers for Support

Over 50% of the Attempted Messages Were Sent to Fortune 100 Financial Services Companies

OpenMarket, a leader in enterprise mobile engagement, and Zipwhip, a cloud texting platform and service provider, today announced that a surprising number of consumers in North America are attempting to send text messages to toll-free numbers. The research indicates that consumers are turning to mobile messaging for customer support from Fortune 100 enterprises and other businesses, however, those requests are going unanswered which is a poor customer experience.

Text-enabled, toll-free numbers represent the newest frontier in Enterprise-to-Person (E2P) messaging. In fact, consumers are already texting companies’ toll-free numbers without a call-to-action. Text-enabled toll-free numbers allow companies to send and receive texts from their existing toll-free numbers. As soon as a number is text-enabled, businesses can provide support via SMS, the most frequently used capability of a mobile phone. For example, “Call or Text us at 1-800-YOURNUMBER” is a call-to-action that provides consumers with the flexibility to decide how to engage with businesses and enables them to control the pace of the conversation.

According to a recent Harris Poll[1], 81% of consumers are frustrated being tied to a phone or computer to wait for customer service help. Sixty-four percent of people prefer text messaging versus calling for customer service, and another 44% would rather send a text than stay on hold[2]. In addition, mobile messaging is also the preferred communication choice for the crucial, smartphone generation – the millennials. Now outnumbering baby boomers, 77% of millennial consumers are likely to have a positive perception of companies that offer texting.[3]

The findings also showed that consumers expect to be able to engage via text messaging with companies across a broad spectrum of industries, including Automotive, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Entertainment, Financial Services, High Tech, Insurance, Retail, and Transportation. Financial services companies have experienced the greatest demand by consumers for adding SMS to their existing toll-free numbers. Where mobile app usage and SMS banking alerts are already widely available in this industry, the research revealed that 231,805 message inquiries were attempted to be sent to the largest North American financial services organizations.

“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.”

“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.”

OpenMarket is the leading E2P messaging provider for Global 2000 enterprises via short codes, long codes and text-enabled toll-free numbers. Today, OpenMarket processes more than one billion mobile messaging interactions per month, connecting businesses to over three billion users and six billion devices worldwide. The company services over 400 enterprises globally, including four of the top 10 most respected global brands[4].

For more information on text messaging solutions in the US and Canada, please visit: http://www.openmarket.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Text-Messaging-Solutions-US-Interactive-April-2015.pdf

To learn how to use one-way and two-way SMS messaging to deliver better customer service, watch this video: https://vimeo.com/126499748

About OpenMarket
OpenMarket, a division of Amdocs, helps enterprises use mobile to transform their business. OpenMarket provides mobile engagement solutions for organizations to optimize their operations and enhance relationships with their customers and employees. Major enterprises choose OpenMarket for our domain expertise, service flexibility, demonstrated performance and reliability, global scale, and corporate maturity. We provide smart, interactive connectivity to more than 200 countries, enabling businesses to engage with nearly every mobile user around the world. Our clients trust us to power their mobile business. For more information, visit www.openmarket.com.

About Zipwhip
Zipwhip, a Seattle-based cloud texting provider, pioneered the concept of utilizing the cloud to enable existing mobile, landline, and toll free numbers to send and receive text messages from any connected device. Additionally, Zipwhip offers a carrier-grade cloud texting platform to help mobile and landline operators modernize the texting medium. Its technology introduces trailblazing functionality while holding true to the distinct culture of texting that consumers have grown to love.

About Amdocs
For more than 30 years, Amdocs has ensured service providers’ success and embraced their biggest challenges. To win in the connected world, service providers rely on Amdocs to simplify the customer experience, harness the data explosion, stay ahead with new services and improve operational efficiency. The global company uniquely combines a market-leading BSS, OSS and network control and optimization product portfolio with value-driven professional services and managed services operations. With revenue of $3.6 billion in fiscal 2014, Amdocs and its more than 22,000 employees serve customers in over 80 countries.

Amdocs: Embrace Challenge, Experience Success.

For more information, visit Amdocs at www.amdocs.com.

Amdocs’ Forward-Looking Statement
This press release includes information that constitutes forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements about Amdocs’ growth and business results in future quarters. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be obtained or that any deviations will not be material. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause future results to differ from those anticipated. These risks include, but are not limited to, the effects of general economic conditions, Amdocs’ ability to grow in the business markets that it serves, Amdocs’ ability to successfully integrate acquired businesses, adverse effects of market competition, rapid technological shifts that may render the Company’s products and services obsolete, potential loss of a major customer, our ability to develop long-term relationships with our customers, and risks associated with operating businesses in the international market. Amdocs may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future; however, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These and other risks are discussed at greater length in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2014 filed on December 8, 2014 and our quarterly 6-K form furnished on February 9, 2015 and May 11, 2015.

Media Contact:
Nick McDonald
Barokas PR for OpenMarket
Tel: +1-206-264-8220
Email: openmarket@barokas.com

[1] “The High Demand for Customer Service via Text Message,” Harris Poll 2014.
[2] “The High Demand for Customer Service via Text Message,” Harris Poll 2014.
[3] “The High Demand for Customer Service via Text Message,” Harris Poll 2014.
[4] “The Harris Poll 2014 RQ Report: A Survey of the U.S. General Public Using the Reputation Quotient,” Nielsen, April 2014.