Dialogic Blog

Texting and the Contact Center

by Jim Machi

May 12, 2015 10:23:00 AM


I’ve periodically written about the changing contact center, from speech analytics to WebRTC multiple times.  Another interesting trend emerging is the use of text for the contact center.  It’s kind of old school, but text is an efficient and direct way to get information to a customer.

A widely quote statistic from a 2014 Harris Poll indicated that 64% of consumers with texting capabilities would prefer to use texting over voice as a customer service channel.

When I read this, a lot of things went through my head.  First of all, I thought about whether I had used texting or not for customer service. Yes, I actually use it regularly for bank activity, credit card activity and airline flight updates.  And I’ve had some companies ask me if I wanted to give me order status via text (yes sometimes), refill prescriptions (yes) and confirm reservations (yes). While I can and do choose email for these as well, I also choose texting since I know I’ll read it.  And that’s why many people are choosing texting as a way to interact with the contact center.

I’m sure there is a lot that goes into that widely quoted statistic, such as not having to wait on a phone line to get your call answered. But certainly texting back and forth when needing to change a reservation is better on the phone.  But like my activity above, yes, I like text since it’s a way to get me certain information.  Email would also work but I choose to get a text if I want to get the information more in real-time. 

This could easily get overdone and if I got 50 texts a day for customer service I’d probably want to turn it off.  If I want to get “them” information and figure something out, obviously texting won’t work.  At least for me.  It may work for some people who are simply used to texting and tweeting and posting things all day from a smartphone, but this isn’t for me.

And in this capacity, by the way, texting means messaging as well, such as WhatsApp and other so-called OTT messaging avenues.

Next week I will write about my thoughts on using text for even more customer service.

Topics: WebRTC