Consumers Prefer Text Conversations with Support Reps

Question for you: do you favor a less personal connection with the support reps you need to interact with in our modern life, or a more personal, face-to-face experience?

A 2014 study showed consumers favor the less personal, compressed experience of Texting/messaging versus voice or video support. Source.

Spending Too Long On Hold – Spending time on hold is a major source of frustration for consumers. 38 percent of respondents have spent 10-30 minutes on the phone with a customer support representative, while over half (56 percent) actually said that they’ve waited an hour or more to have their problem solved.

The company that commissioned the study makes SMS messaging platforms. It was acquired by Salesforce in Sept. 2016

Sometimes you might be in the mood to chat with a live person, with all the empathetic channels of voice in force, and other times you may prefer the single-channel avenue of ascii text. Let the customer decide which channel they prefer!

Which Voice is best for Digital Assistants?

“Conversational computing” is a growing high-tech field that is solving interaction inefficiencies (finger-typing on tiny screens) but are also opening up new dimensions of relating to our devices that can reinforce social/cultural stereotypes.

Do you like your Digital Assistant from Google, Apple or Amazon to be female? Male? Educated-sounding? What does that mean, even?  In the English-speaking world, for example, are British accents (think Jarvis) more educated than Southwestern American?

The teams behind Google Home, Apple’s Siri, Samsung’s Viv, Amazon’s Echo with Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortana—all need to balance their users’ gender, cultural and emotional biases. Whew.

Good reading here at NYTimes, article by Quentin Hardy.

Google Assistant “is a millennial librarian who understands cultural cues, and can wink at things,” said Ryan Germick, who leads the personality efforts in building Google Assistant. “Products aren’t about rational design decisions. They are about psychology and how people feel.”