Coresystems has gotten the message. Literally. People are spending more time messaging than telephoning. On the one hand, this is a clear response to the inconvenience of telephone customer service, which includes long wait times, is limited to office hours, is more effort for customer service agents, and is shunned by people who are looking for a quick solution rather than a lengthy conversation about their technical issues. In the case of millennials, the preference is drastic: 67 text messages a day. However, the trend is obvious across all generations. And the advantages for field service providers are manifold.
Messaging vs. Chat
Many companies are still relying on "chat" to interact with customers. In this situation, a customer accesses a customer service portal on the company website and engages in a direct chat with a representative to help solve an issue. Though incredibly efficient and easy for companies to manage, this system relies on company controlled platforms. That means that they are rarely available on mobile devices, the chats are gone once the session is complete, and the formats are not familiar or popular with clients.
This is why the trend towards messaging is so intriguing. Companies making the transition are capitalizing on the fact that customers are going mobile. By partnering with existing messaging platforms - like Facebook products Messenger and WhatsApp - available on mobile devices, service providers are building their customer service platforms on tools which are not only readily available to their customers, but are also familiar and even popular. And this, in turn, is a response to a visible customer preference for texting and messaging versus telephoning.
A study by Aberdeen, CEM Executive's Agenda 2017: A Data-Driven Approach to Delight Customers , expands on all the year-over-year economic advantages of providing a messaging system as an alternative means of communication between customers and service providers:
● Improved employee engagement: With a 39% increase in the employee engagement rate, companies that opt for messaging are reporting greater employee satisfaction. That in return leads to better retainment rates. And retaining employees is directly connected to knowledge and talent retention as well as sustainable growth.
● Increased annual revenue: Not only do companies offering messaging see a 25% increase in annual revenue, they are simultaneously reducing the expense of providing services to customers.
● Higher cross-sell/up-sell revenue: Thanks to improved customer satisfaction, there is a 54% increase in cross/up-sell profits. Satisfied customers are more willing to rely on a company that is meeting their needs.
Also, Gartner's latest study found that 20% of brands would abandon their mobile apps and invest in building a presence using consumer messaging apps by 2019.
The customer determines the rules
When Coresystems developed its latest product, Coresystems Now, the focus was not only on the benefits to corporate profit margins and business gains. Coresystems Now, a customer self-service tool - a Virtual Customer Assistant -, was designed to improve the customer experience. Through a series of simple steps, it gives customers the opportunity to take their requests into their own hands. 24/7.
Here's how it works:
1. A QR code on the device is scanned with a mobile device.
2. The customer is directed to the Virtual Customer Assistant and can explain the issue and request a service technician, replacement parts, or product information.
3. The customer can schedule an appointment or delivery appointment
4. The customer can track the location and arrival time of the service technician or replacement parts in real-time.
Aside from the time saved waiting on hold or communicating back and forth via e-mail, messaging improves employee productivity. With fewer phone calls, customer service representatives can spend more time solving problems. In addition, since customers are able to determine their appointment times and track their status online or via text message and notifications, service technicians experience fewer failed attempts when making service calls.
More importantly, customers are able to design their service experience around their own schedules. With 24-hour availability, messaging systems eliminate a customer representative access timeframe. That means customers do not have to adjust their days to make time for service calls. And customer approval has been measurable, namely with a 47% higher net promoter score for companies offering messaging and a customer effort score that is two times better than that of companies without a messaging option.
Messaging does not necessarily replace telephone support
This is not a call to completely convert from a phone-based customer service system to a messaging-based one. On the contrary, eliminating any one method runs the risk of isolating your customers. However, there has been a clear societal trend towards messaging, in every aspect of life. And successful companies are capitalizing on this by offering clients a format, which they are opting for more and more in daily life. The fact that this format also increases employee engagement, customer satisfaction, corporate communications and company revenues is the real reason to consider taking this next step!
Learn more about innovations in field service and read in this free White Paper why field service providers are turning to Crowd Service solution.
Author: Thomas Wyss, Leader and Product Owner - Coresystems Now