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The Present and Future of SMS and Web Chat in Customer Service
Ovum, December 2010, Pages: 16
Despite the hype around social media, other non-traditional communications channels such as SMS and web chat are currently more practical than social media in dealing with customer outreach and complaints. Unfortunately, enterprises don’t always implement applications that facilitate web chat or SMS communications with a clear eye on strategy.
Features and benefits
- Learn about trends in web chat.
- Learn about trends in enterprise SMS.
- SMS and web chat are outreach channels that add a level of personalization to what often seems to be an impersonal environment (i.e. phone queues, static websites, directed dialog automation, or DTMF). Currently, they’re mostly independent, not-fully-integrated technologies.
- Currently, web chat is most prevalent in communications – mostly cable and service providers – where customers are commonly billed on a month-to-month basis for ongoing service.
- Social media might be the point through which all of these disparate interactions come together. Enterprises are still experimenting with how to use it because they view it as another isolated channel. However social media is really more like the glue that combines customer datapoints with different communication channels.
Your key questions answered
- Web chat personalizes impersonal online interactions.
- SMS is a typical component of a customer outreach stack, though it’s an emerging component among providers of inbound customer service solutions.
- Investment in SMS and web chat is driven by enterprises interested in providing an environment of proactive support.
- - Providers of web chat or SMS solutions will likely be acquired by contact center technology vendors over the next few years
In a nutshell
Recommendations for players
For implementing web chat
For implementing SMS
For implementing SMS and web chat
Short message service (SMS)
SMS and web chat in the customer service stack
Trends in web chat
Managing customer expectations
Key drivers for investment: cost savings, personalization, and realtime support
Trends in SMS
Key drivers for investment: cost savings while maintaining or improving customer satisfaction
THE FUTURE FOR SMS AND WEB CHAT
Consolidation due to shifting demographics
Dedicated chat providers – web chat is the focus for these vendors, though they might offer other complementary products
Web analytics providers with chat solutions
CRM providers with chat solutions
Contact center technologies providers with chat solutions
THE BIGGER PICTURE FOR SMS AND WEB CHAT: ENRICHED CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
The role of social media