The digital age has given us quite a bit in terms of consumer technology. From online shopping to two-day delivery, modern consumers have become accustomed to on-demand services that make their lives easier. Unfortunately for brands, this means that many consumers are looking for a hands-on service experience that can be hard to provide with conventional solutions. This need for a personal shopping experience has led to the rise of chatbots in the consumer economy.
Chatbots are by no means a new direct-to-consumer messaging feature. They are used as a way for consumers to securely message a brand online to ask a question or check in on the status of an order. In recent years, chatbots have become incredibly popular. In fact, research has found that by 2020, 85% of all customer service interactions will be handled by chatbots. While this number signifies amazing growth in the space, it also showcases the fact that there is room for further innovation.
This is where texting can come into play. For so long, consumers have had to rely on webpages and online interfaces to engage with consumers via chatbots. Now, text messaging is stepping in to give this technology a new life with consumers.
More and more consumers actually want to engage with consumers over text messages because they provide that high-level consumer experience people are looking for. 89% of consumers would rather text with a business than talk with them over the phone. So, by adopting business texting as an alternative to chatbots – and to traditional engagement channels like email or phone calls – brands can connect with consumers in a more modern, personal way.
When brands look at why customers are messaging or engaging them, a pattern starts to emerge. Typically, these messages have to do with the same general idea – where is my order, what are business hours, when can I pick up my service request, etc. – which means that brands can start to build a series of templates to help answer these questions quickly. Text messages get these messages out quickly and easily directly to the consumer.
Another factor that makes inbound text messaging more effective than traditional chatbots is that many consumers are now using their smartphones to communicate with businesses. In order to communicate via chatbot, these consumers would have to go to a webpage and use a mobile browser that may or may not load correctly with an interface that isn’t built for mobile at all. With text messages, these consumers can easily send a message to a brand straight through their smartphone and quickly receive a response with minimal heavy lifting.
So how does inbound text messaging work? The first step is to set up an easily accessible, multi-channel platform. If your inbound text line is on all on your marketing channels (Google, Yelp, Facebook, your website, etc.) then consumers can quickly add their mobile number and shoot off a text, or they can simply text you from their smartphone if they are on the go. On the back-end, these texts get routed to a single platform where they are automatically assigned to associates who are most likely to know the answer. If a consumer strikes up a conversation with a particular employee, this person can continue to answer their inquiries until the issue is resolved. And finally, scaling this initiative to make sure there is 24/7 support through automated messages and response templates can help ensure consumers are taken care of and engaged even when your team is out of office.
Want to learn more about inbound text messaging? Schedule your personal demo of Kenect today!