Modern contact centers must support multiple channels of communication to make it easy for customers to engage with them. While everyone provides phone and email support, some contact centers are just beginning to explore other channels like live chat and texting.

Messaging More Important Than Ever

Phone and email have led customer contact strategies at contact centers for decades, but nowadays organizations must be available via live chat and text message. This ensures they provide an omnichannel experience to their target audience. Messaging can close the generational divide in your buyer personas by appealing to their preferred method of communication at the moment of interest. Contact centers are quickly learning that voice-only support isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Massive increases in call volume due to things like COVID are making it difficult to provide a quality customer experience. With email rendered ineffective by a mountain of spam emails, messaging has shown itself to be a must-have communication solution for capturing and engaging a contact.

Not all messaging is created equal

While messaging is critical to a modern contact center, it’s important to understand that not all messaging is created equal. There are subtle but significant differences between live chat and texting which a contact center should consider as they pursue omnichannel. Perhaps the most important consumer habit to consider is impatience. 81% of consumers find it frustrating to be tied to a phone or computer screen while waiting for customer service help. This is interesting considering that live chat requires being tied to one screen. When you’re online at your desktop that’s ok, but often this is not the case. How is texting different? Think about it, when you’re at a computer live chat is easy. But on your smartphone, chat is a little clumsy. You’re required to stay on your mobile browser until the chat session is over and most of us don’t operate our phones that way. We bounce around between apps or send a message and set our phone down as we multi-task constantly. Texting provides an easier mobile experience than live chat. You can send a text, navigate to other apps, or set your phone down and when a text comes back in you’re notified with a sound/vibrate and banner so you don’t miss it. With consumer data now showing over half of all customers visit websites from their mobile devices, providing mobile-friendly messaging is more important than ever.

Comparing Live Online Chat vs. Texting (SMS)

While both live chat and texting provide excellent alternatives to email and phone calls, there are important differences to consider. Keep in mind that live chat was designed to solve problems in an online environment not necessarily a mobile environment. Let’s look at how live chat compares to business texting. There is value in both texting and live chat as they relate to customer communication. A true omni-channel solution should have both. However, using live chat alone to fulfill your messaging strategy ignores consumer’s need for immediate accessibility. Texting delivers the same value as live chat but it also provides on-the-go access without being tied to one screen. With a business texting platform from Textel, no customer messages will get lost in the shuffle at a contact center either. Best of all, Textel integrates seamlessly within NICE inContact and Genesys Cloud‘s chat windows to allow your agents an easy to use way of texting through the tools they use every day. To learn more, visit textel.net.