Many business owners let their personal communication preferences – rather than their customers’ – drive decisions on which communications channels to provide. But new data from Zipwhip, the first company to text-enable existing business phone numbers, shows that that approach leads to poor customer loyalty and lost revenue. And the problem is common: 75% of consumers say they’ve been unable to get in touch with a business the way they prefer because the business didn’t offer that option, and 96% said that frustrated them.
One of the most preferred methods of communication is texting – 80% of respondents said it’s important to them that businesses offer the ability to text. As we’ve seen in separate Zipwhip surveys, having a texting conversation with a business isn’t a foreign concept anymore to consumers; 61% say they’ve had one.
The data shows that if businesses don’t offer someone’s preferred communication channel, rather than accommodate the business and use the channels they do provide, customers will simply go elsewhere. Nearly half (48%) will go to a competitor, a third (33%) have unsubscribed from a business’s communications and almost 20% said they’ve left a negative review.
“At Zipwhip we’ve long believed that customers prefer to text, and the research is bearing that out. But more importantly, this survey now shows how that preference for texting impacts your customer relationships and revenue,” said John Lauer, CEO of Zipwhip. “It’s easy to enable texting and let your customers drive the interaction, and this data proves it’ll help in the long run.”
The findings show that while businesses that limit communication channels are penalized, those that make communication easier for their customers are rewarded. Consumers said when a business provided the communication channel they wanted, they made more purchases from the business (40%), recommended the business to a friend or family member (40%), filled out a satisfaction survey (38%) and left a positive review (30%). Plus, more than one third (37%) of people say they respond to a business’s communications faster when it provides the type of communication they want.
In an example of how texting can save a company’s relationship with its customers – an overwhelming 92% of consumers said they have hung up after waiting on hold for customer support and 77% of those consumers said that the situation could have been improved if the business had offered text support.
For more details on this research and to see Zipwhip’s other research, visit Zipwhip’s blog at https://www.zipwhip.com/blog/communication-options-increase-customers/.
For the purpose of this report, Zipwhip surveyed over 500 consumers. We surveyed each participant individually and blind from a purchased panel sample through SurveyMonkey. All respondents are from the United States and followed a census breakdown of gender and age. The survey was conducted on March 6, 2020. No participants were compensated for their participation.
Zipwhip was the first company to enable texting on existing business phone numbers, and today is the world’s leading business-texting software and API provider. More than 35,000 companies use Zipwhip to increase customer engagement and drive growth through texting on their existing landline, VoIP or toll-free phone number. Intuitive cloud-based software, an enterprise-grade API and direct network connectivity mean businesses can use any computer or mobile device to securely and reliably reach their customers, every time. Your customers are only a text away: https://www.zipwhip.com.