Businesses aren’t getting the message: new report finds brands are leaving customers frustrated by failing to reply

Consumers are being unintentionally ignored by businesses, according to a new study of almost 3,000 consumers across 15 countries.

The study, by Sinch, found 89% of people wanting to initiate and reply to two-way conversations with businesses, via multiple mobile and social channels. However, over half (53%) recalled a frustrating time when they discovered they could not reply to a mobile message sent from a business, for example to ask a question, receive an update or complete an action, such as scheduling an appointment.

Delayed responses mean dissatisfaction

Even brands that have some two-way communication are struggling to meet consumers’ expectations, the report found. When asked how long it typically takes to get a response from a brand on social media, nearly one in four people claimed it takes a day or longer.

Most respondents said they’d be less likely to buy from a brand given these unreasonable wait times. Scaling two-way messaging across mobile channels to deliver the immediacy customers expect requires greater attention and tools that can effectively come via a top CPaaS platform.

AI in team?

The study found 70% of people had interacted with an AI-powered chatbot at least once – but what happens when a live service agent needs to step in? A resounding 95% of respondents desired to be instantly handed off to a live agent in these situations — a stark contrast to the 35% of businesses currently enabling this, according to a recent IDC white paper.

The study amplifies the imbalance between consumers’ desire for more intimate digital brand interactions and the limitations of brands’ current one-way messaging realities.

“Our research shows that customers are ready to take their relationships with brands to the next level, with two-way messaging across channels that gives them the freedom to shape the conversation to their needs,” said Jonathan Bean, CMO of Sinch. “However, because many brands aren’t yet equipped to provide this enhanced conversational experience, customers are being unintentionally ignored, which can lead them to abandon a business altogether. Activating omnichannel two-way messaging is a critical way of boosting the customer experience and forging more loyal, satisfied relationships with consumers.”

The online study of 2,980 consumers across 15 countries was conducted by Ravn Research in October 2021.

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