Text Messaging: The Uncharted Channel

Navigating the seas of customer experience management today might be compared to the challenges of the ancient mariners exploring new territories. Customer expectations, always on the move, are transforming with each new innovation in communications. Like those unknown waters of the once uncharted oceans it is difficult to know the sea lanes of positive customer interactions from the rocky shoals of dissatisfied customers and clients.

Seascape

One of the ways that the tides of customer preference are shifting are how buyers and clients wish to communicate with organizations. The importance of the voice conversation is ebbing. Especially for the up and coming generations of consumers the tide of voice is on the wane. The Small Business Administration quotes Nielsen as saying, “Except for the 65-plus age group, teenagers talk the least on their phones.” The trend is just as apparent in the next two more senior demographics.

According to the Experian Marketing Services’ 2013 Digital Marketer, “48 percent of adults ages 18 to 24 say that a conversation via text message is just as meaningful as a telephone call.”

This same demographic the report continues, sends or receive 3,853 texts in an average month. As a parent of two in this age group I can attest to these numbers. When I wish to reach my sons, I text them.

Experian goes on to point out that text messaging is also becoming increasingly important to other buying groups. One important example are those 25 to 34 who have made a recent dramatic shift to valuing text messaging as a communication medium.

Yet, while mapping a course to profit and customer sustainability, relatively few organizations today have discovered text messaging. You might say that the waters today are teeming with customers who are adrift. Their S.O.S. for interactions are being missed. A significant opportunity exists to the companies that throw these customers a text messaging lifeline.

Digital Marketer Graph on Enterprise Texting

It is time for commercial and service organizations to go with the flow. It is time to incorporate more non-verbal forms of communications (including text messaging) into customer touch points.

The idea of “an app” is great if you can get a customer to download, install and consistently use your app. For more immediacy, other rigging is needed on your customer relationship vessel. This is most important at the contact center. The contact center forms the breakwater separating the raging seas of competition from the calm lee side waters of satisfied at-anchor customers.

The great news for those who have invested in Avaya communications platforms is that adding text messaging as a channel is not complex. Integrations to an Avaya Aura?Contact Center, an Avaya Aura Call Center Elite Multichannel contact center, a Proactive Outreach Manager on Avaya Aura Experience Portal implementation and other Avaya products exist. In the contact center text messaging can be added, managed and leveraged in the same way as other communications channels.

This means agents working in contact centers powered by Avaya technology can interact with customers using text messaging. The same familiar tools used to manage phone calls, emails, web chats or other contacts are used to handle text messaging. Contact center supervisors can monitor and manage agent productivity with their same familiar tools.

Agents may initiate outgoing text messages or participate in proactive outreach campaigns in which text messaging is used as a strategic tool to reach and serve customers. Text messages take their place alongside other elements of big data customer context the depths of which may be plumbed enriching the quality of customer profiles and the ability to better serve your patrons.

Today, your business can set a course to satisfying the needs of important and growing segments of the markets by charting the channel of text messaging. It is time to plot your course and set sail before your competitors hijack your text message-preferring customers and prospects.

Wish to learn more about the ways in which text messaging can be used in conjunction with Avaya products? Join me Feb 19, 2014 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. CST for the International Avaya Users Group (IAUG)-sponsored webinar, Text Messaging: The Uncharted Channel. Please click here to register: http://www.iaug.org/p/cm/ld/fid=179

Thank you for spending a few minutes with me. In addition to this blog, please check out my Avaya Tech Talk podcasts. You may subscribe to episodes on iTunes and track the Twitter hashtag #APNpodcast.

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