It’s a simple game, really. The business that understands their users the best, wins.
This is true with innovation. This is true with efficiency. And it’s also true with communication. You must meet your customers where they are on their buyer journey and in a manner that caters to their wants and needs.
But how is this done?
Way back in the day, sales teams actually went door-to-door (could you even imagine?😳). Laterm sales and support teams relied mostly on phone calls to get the job done. Next came email. Now, we have chatbots, which are expected to grow by as much as 87% in the next 12-18 months. While at face value this may look promising, the data tells us a different story.
The idea of chatbots may be tempting, but let’s look at some key insights that prove why employing a human-guided, A.I. supported texting strategy with your sales and support team instead will outperform chatbots every. single. time.
Customers Prefer Authenticity
① 70% of consumers still prefer human agents to AI technologies.
② 60% of consumers think that chatbots can’t understand their needs as well as a human.
③ Almost half of consumers think chatbots get in the way of them communicating with a live agent.
Why? While there are many contributing factors, the 800-pound gorilla in the room is trust. Consumers trust that a human will understand and fix their specific problem, but they’re much wearier that an algorithm can achieve the same result.
④ Only 14% of US online consumers expect a positive effect from interacting with chatbots.
Think about it. What does the average chatbot conversation look like?
- Chatbot – “Hi there, I’m Casey! How can I help you today?
- Customer – “Hi Casey. I’m getting an error when I try to publish. I tried everything from the support articles but nothing has worked.”
- Chatbot – “Here are 217 support articles that contain the word “publish”. Was this helpful?”
- Customer – 👁👄👁
It’s the WORST! Simply put, customers want real people to help them with their real problems.
Texting is better for your business
Meeting customers where they are on the customer journey is important, and making an effort to communicate with them on the right channel is a huge part of getting it right.
⑤ 64% of consumers think businesses should contact them via SMS more often.
⑥ 45% of customers respond to text blasts (compare that to about 15% for email)
⑦ Two-way SMS can improve net promoter scores and improve efficiency by roughly 80%.
Texting allows for a more tailor-made journey, and when customers feel they are being taken care of (in the manner they prefer) your business will grow as a result.
⑧ 89% of customers said they wanted more choices for contacting a business
Does the customer want to continue communication via text? Great. Maybe after some initial contact, they want to move to a phone call. Amazing. Follow your heart.
The competitive advantage of 2-way texting
⑨ Less than ⅓ of brands offer self-service, live chat, bots, in-app messaging, peer to peer communities, or social messaging to their customers.
The implications on revenue alone should be the first thing that would make you reconsider. But what about trust? What about satisfaction? Or worse… What about potential customers choosing your competition? Not to mention,
⑩ 61% of businesses still don’t use texting as a part of their marketing strategy.
If implementing an SMS marketing strategy alone is cutting edge, imagine if it were 2-way conversations with your customers.
⑪ Fewer than 2% of cold calls result in meetings
⑫ 90% of brands note they leave voicemail messages to contact customers. However,
⑬ 29% of customers noted they don’t listen to their voicemails at all.
Ok so we know we’re not talking about phones here, but we thought both the live chat and SMS worlds can at least agree on one thing: cold calls are not it. The “spam likely” filter is our new best friend. Plus, does anyone even listen to voicemails from strangers anymore? It’s our guess that most people delete it the second they hear the “pitchy” undertone of the sales rep. Not today, Satan Salesperson!
Did you know? A lost hiker once delayed his rescue an extra 24 hours because he ignored calls on his mobile phone from the rescue team thinking they were spam calls!
Grow your business with texting
Do chatbots serve a purpose and provide value? Absolutely. They’re swift, they don’t require much manpower, and they work in the background on your behalf. The best part? You don’t have to choose one or the other! Here at Verse.io, we see chatbots as a part of your marketing outreach strategy.
When you couple texting with chatbots and allow automation to work where it needs to while simultaneously providing your customer with the communication experience the data proves they want.
And if everything above doesn’t convince you, here are four more statistics that prove texting can (and will) take your company to the next level:
⑭ 90% of consumers prefer texting over any other form of communication
⑯ 90% of texts are read within 3 minutes
⑰ 97% of companies found they communicated with consumers more efficiently after launching texting initiatives.
The proof is in the pudding: Consumers want to communicate with your business via two-way text.
Companies that recognize this and adapt, will win.