Report: Shoppers want more SMS options

By Kristina Knight, BizReport

SMS and chatbots may hold the keys for upgraded customer interactions. That’s the takeaway from a new OpenMarket report which indicates that about half of US and UK consumers would like to see more SMS and/or chatbot options for engagement with their favorite financial services brands.

Retailers and travel/hospitality contact options via SMS also ranked high on the list. However, while consumers say they are open to this type of contact with their favorite brands, fewer than half are currently hooked in to SMS options with their financial institutions.

“Chatbots are getting a lot of attention on the promise of transforming customer interactions, yet to date, there’s been little insight from consumers themselves supporting whether or not they would find value in chatbots as a way to communicate with brands,” said Jay Emmet, general manager for OpenMarket. “The survey findings prove that chatbots are more than a short-lived fad. They are an untapped mobile engagement solution that consumers and business could benefit from both from a convenience and financial perspective – a strategy that businesses should be incorporating into their 2017 customer experience initiatives.”

Other interesting findings from the report include:

• 75% of consumers report they are not currently hooked into SMS contact for travel brands, hotels
• 62% say they aren’t getting SMS messages from favored retailers
• 49% of those surveyed say they ‘would like’ more conversational SMS messaging options with brands