The business magazine Forbes recently published research undertaken by the Pew Centre in the USA that indicates American retailers are seeing a shift towards SMS text messaging by customers seeking support.
This strikes me as odd. One look at the statistics published by the telcos shows that SMS messaging is on the decline. Most consumers are using texting apps that route messages over the Internet rather than via the regular SMS channel.
This is probably best reflected by the explosion in popularity of the Whatsapp tool, which allows phone users to send text, photos, and video – and soon to also make voice calls – and all for free if you have Internet access via 4G or wifi.
Our own Julia Gibbs here at Teleperformance recently asked on the blog why more companies are not taking some of these channels seriously. Perhaps Whatsapp is just considered to be a simple text messaging service, but if you consider that it’s got twice the global users of Twitter and is growing by around a million users a day then it really is surprising that it is not more commonly supported.
So I think that Forbes is right – in a way. We are seeing the resurgence of text messaging as a communication channel and every retailer should be answering customer questions by text, but I think it will be in apps like Viber and Whatsapp, not regular SMS.
Photo by Toni licensed under Creative Commons