OpenMarket – September 3, 2015
For decades, 1-800 numbers have been the go-to channel for customer service in corporate America. They’re the numbers that consumers call when they need help with an issue or have a complaint. However, while 1-800 numbers aren’t at a risk of extinction, the way in which they’re used could be changing – sooner rather than later.
The Value of Text-Enabled 1-800 Numbers
At OpenMarket, we understand the need for corporate texting capabilities. Consumers are attempting to send text messages to numbers that can’t receive texts. In fact, many messages go nowhere, meaning that customers are frustrated, and businesses aren’t able to answer questions or deal with issues.
According to our research, consumers want to be able to send and receive text messages, especially from financial services companies. In 2014, 85 percent of attempted messages are sent to major financial corporations. So, if you’re in the financial services industry you should definitely be considering text-enabled 1-800 numbers. However, the demand for texting capabilities is also growing in other industries and sectors.
It’s a challenging issue, to be sure. It requires an entirely new customer service process and means that businesses have to learn, and teach, new methods. However, the results appear to be well worth it. Take, for example, one of the case studies we worked on for our study. By simply changing its opening greeting to say, “Feel free to hang up and text this number instead if you want faster service,” 40 percent of callers proceeded to do just that. While that’s anything but scientific proof that text-enabled 1-800 numbers are effective, it goes to show that people are willing to try it.
8 Reasons to Use a Text-Enabled Number
There are a number of reasons to consider using a text-enabled number for your business, including the following:
- Preferred method of contact.
According to data gathered by Infomate, texting is highly preferred over talking. The large majority of Americans would prefer to text a business, rather than make a phone call and wait for a response on the other end. In fact, Americans spend an average of 26 minutes texting per day (compared to only six minutes on voice calls).
- Reduces call volume.
Are your phone lines constantly tied up? Do your customers have to wait on hold for 5, 10, or 20-plu minutes? Are you continuously hiring new customer service reps? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could benefit from text-enabled numbers. They allow you to reduce call volume, free up customer service reps, and eliminate many of your customers’ frustrations.
- Everyone texts.
You may think only the younger generation texts, but that’s not true. People of all ages and demographics are now text-savvy. While virtually all millennials text, 83 percent of Generation X’ers text, as do 69 percent of Baby Boomers. Furthermore, 85 percent of African Americans and 87 percent of Hispanics use SMS.
- Enhances contact. From a business point of view, text-enabled capabilities enhance your ability to reach out to customers. In addition to being directly contacted by customers, you can also reach out to them. While phone calls are considered obnoxious, texting offers and advertisements isn’t viewed quite so intrusively. This allows you to stay in touch with customers without annoying them.
- Simple and traceable. In addition to being well-received by consumers, sending SMS marketing messages is extremely effortless and easy to track. You don’t have to worry about creating some elaborate mockup and getting it approved or printed. Simply develop some copy and click send.
- Progressive positioning. Surviving in a competitive marketplace is all about proving to customers that you’re more in touch with their needs and concerns. By investing in 1-800-enabled texting, you’re setting yourself apart as progressive and in-touch with consumer trends. It’s just another way you can position your brand as modern and innovative. While this may not be a long-term benefit (as more businesses will undoubtedly adopt text-enabled numbers in the coming years), it’s certainly an immediate and beneficial byproduct.
- Minimal customer commitment. Sometimes consumers simply want to learn more about a company or the products they offer without being forced to provide lots of information. SMS is perfect for these inquiries, as it’s non-intrusive and quick.
- Another lead generation strategy. From a very practical perspective, having a text-enabled 1-800 number means you have another channel for generating leads. As you know, you can’t ever have enough leads.
OpenMarket: The Leader in SMS Messaging
This leads us to the technology. If people are interested and willing to try SMS messaging, it’s up to the technology to satisfy the demand.Otherwise, it’s just an unmet need that frustrates and creates a barrier between customers and brands. That’s where OpenMarket comes into play.
We work with a number of large enterprises to design innovative SMS solutions that meet – and exceed – expectations. With our technology, you can use landline and toll-free numbers both to send and to receive text messages with customers and provide a better experience. This allows you to leverage existing numbers, use the channels that customers prefer, and reduce call volume (all resulting in lower overhead and more satisfied customers).
Through our enterprise-grade network, you can rest assured your messages are secure and stable. Our messaging platform makes sure your messages reach their target destinations, while our active monitoring responds to changing network conditions. Our platform doesn’t require any downloads or configuration and has built-in multilingual support for all international character sets.
If you’ve never considered SMS messaging as an integral part of your customer service strategy, now may be the time. At OpenMarket, we’re the global leader in SMS messaging and would love to build a long-term relationship with your business. For additional information on our services and solutions, please contact us today! Our global support experts are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year. As a company that looks to help other organizations improve their customer experience, we look forward to showing you how mobile messaging can transform your business.