Survey Reveals Missed Customer Engagement Opportunity for Enterprises Not Leveraging SMS Chatbots

Jan 31, 2017


OpenMarket, a provider of enterprise mobile engagement, revealed the results of its new global chatbots report. The company polled 1,500 mobile users in the U.S. and U.K. on their current experiences with, and preferences for, engaging with businesses via chatbots and SMS text messaging. The results reveal that across the board, there’s a vast opportunity for businesses to harness SMS-powered chatbots to enhance customer satisfaction and ultimately evoke better overall customer loyalty. The findings discovered that financial services is the top industry in which consumers would like to see better customer experiences and engagement opportunities via SMS (49%), followed by retail (27%) and travel and hospitality (24%). 

The survey also identified what consumers find most valuable in their ability to correspond with chatbots, and why. The results revealed that across the globe, mobile consumers find it would be “very useful” to be able to respond conversationally via SMS with preferred businesses in all three surveyed industry verticals: financial institutions (63%), travel and hospitality companies (54%), and retailers (67%). When asked why consumers found it useful to text for business services over other communication channels, nearly half (45%) of respondents pointed to “not getting put on hold,” “doing it on my own time,” and “taking my time to respond” as the top three factors for choosing text messaging.

Additional key findings from OpenMarket's chatbot survey include:

  • Despite that nearly half (49%) of consumers want to engage more conversationally with businesses through SMS, 50% of them are not even currently receiving SMS notifications from their financial institutions.
  • Travel and hospitality businesses are missing the mark the most on customer engagement opportunities, with 75% of consumers not currently receiving SMS notifications from companies such as hotels, airlines and train operators. Retailers are also not meeting consumer preferences, with 62% of consumers not currently receiving SMS notifications from their preferred retailers.
  • The age of those polled ranged from 18 to over 60 years old—signifying the preferences for conversational SMS capabilities across not only specific industries, but also generations.