The Present and Future of SMS and Web Chat in Customer Service

Date: December 22, 2010
Pages: 16
Price:
US$ 2,000.00
Publisher: Ovum
Report type: Strategic Report
Delivery: E-mail Delivery (PDF)
ID: P167F027048EN
Leaflet:

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The Present and Future of SMS and Web Chat in Customer Service
Introduction

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.
Highlights

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
SUMMARY

In a nutshell
Ovum view
Key messages
Recommendations for players
  For implementing web chat
  For implementing SMS
  For implementing SMS and web chat

MARKET DEVELOPMENTS

Definitions
  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

APPENDIX

Author
Ovum Consulting
Disclaimer
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