Consumer CRM preferences shifting to text chat

CMO Innovation editors
11 Dec 2017

A growing number of consumers find it easier to deal with organizations via messaging and social media, according research from BT and Cisco, which noted that this trend is likely driven by a surge in the use of messaging apps such as WhatsApp.

This finding was outlined in the report “Chat, tap, talk: Eight key trends to transform your digital customer experience”, and is based on an independent survey of 5,000 consumers across Belgium, China, Germany, the Netherlands, India, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, the UK and the US.

The preference towards text-based chat is particularly clear in China, where 37% of respondents say they use the messaging app WeChat for customer service. Elsewhere, 58% of respondents in Singapore admitted to getting frustrated if text-based chat not available, compared to almost half (48%) of respondents from elsewhere.

Other findings from the study include the fact that 70% of those aged 18 to 34 years old said they are sourcing more and more of their products and services via social media, suggesting that an online presence and a social media strategy is no longer optional.

Indeed, 65% of respondents in India say they have no problem contacting an organization via Facebook or Twitter if they have a problem which needed solving urgently, or around 37% on average.

When asked how they would like to receive support from an organization while accessing its services online, 65% of respondents said they would prefer to use webchat, a jump from 45% in 2015.

“While ‘typing’ to request customer support is increasingly popular, the research shows that people still want the option to ‘talk’,” BT VP of UC and CRM Andrew Small said.

“This creates a challenge for contact center operators as they now need a technology platform that can handle both the evolving mix of apps that customers wish to use and traditional service channels such as the phone.”

First published in CMO Innovation

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