By Robert Silverman
Despite increased digital options, the typical consumer still spends 13 hours on hold each year. And of course, there are plenty of things that most people would rather be doing with that time, particularly during the busy holiday season.
According to a new survey conducted by Clickatell, a mobile communications and chat commerce company, all of those 13 hours are hours people would rather be spending with family (36%), relaxing (58%) or even doing chores (46%).
The same survey also revealed that waiting on hold isn’t just annoying for consumers, it can have a negative effect on brands too. Of those surveyed, 31% said even spending 5-9 minutes on hold can lead to negative feelings toward a brand and 23% said they are completely likely to give up on a purchase or brand if they fail to meet them on their preferred communication channel.
“Retailers and businesses need to more broadly ensure that they’re providing an adequate experience for all customers,” said Jennifer Shambroom, chief marketing officer at Clickatell.
According to Clickatell experts, here are some of the strategies that companies can adopt to create better experiences for their customers this holiday season and beyond:
- Turn consumers’ irritable hold times into helpful conversations with an end-to-end chat solution that enables live agents to communicate with customers over popular chat apps.
- Fifty percent of millennials have already communicated with a business via chat apps in the past and 71% use chat apps at least daily. Incorporate a payment link in chat apps, such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to enable customers to pay for a purchase where they are already spending their time. For example, Clickatell’s new Chat 2 Pay solution allows businesses to send consumers a chat message containing a web link that easily takes them through the checkout process. They don’t have to disclose credit card details over the phone or use a point-of-sale device.
- Respond to customers 24/7 with chat communication in a contact center that uses a combination of both AI and human respondents.
- Use ongoing and cumulative data resources to understand how and when customers prefer to be communicated with, via email, SMS, phone, etc.
- Employ marketing strategies that provide customers with personalized product recommendations that fit their wants and needs. This will require analyzing customers’ behaviors and promoting products based on assumptions and their past purchase histories.
To learn more about the solutions businesses are using to provide better customer service, visit clickatell.com.
“During the hectic holiday season, customers don’t want to spend their time on hold – they want to spend it enjoying their personal time off with their families. Thanks to new tech solutions, businesses have the ability to deliver that for customers, while simultaneously helping build brand loyalty in the process. It’s a win-win for all,” said Shambroom.
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