Flowroute Survey Finds Consumers Overwhelmingly Prefer SMS to Email and Voice for Business Interactions

By admin on December 12, 2016

Respondents prefer the immediacy, and relevance messaging brings for recurring alerts such as appointment reminders, financial transactions, and prescription refills

SEATTLE, Wash. – December 12, 2016 – Flowroute, Inc., the leading provider of cloud communications, today presented findings from a nationwide survey examining the communications channels that consumers prefer to use when engaging with businesses. Short message service (SMS) ranked highest among the top three channels, with respondents identifying text messaging as both more relevant and timely than other channels such as email and voice.

Survey respondents stated that they read 82 percent of their text messages received from businesses within five minutes. In comparison, consumers only open about 1 in 4 of emails sent by businesses and noted that 95 percent of the emails they receive are “not at all relevant” to them. Additionally, 81 percent of consumers stated they received “too much” spam from businesses and felt that being constantly bombarded with irrelevant offers indicated a lack of understanding from businesses and retailers.

Flowroute’s survey of more than 1,300 U.S. consumers found a preference of SMS to email for recurring business notifications, such as:

  • Appointment reminders – 55 percent (versus 35 percent for email)

Medical practices and other services based on appointments or reservations can increase their revenues as much as 20 percent with well-executed appointment reminders.

  • Prescription refills – 51 percent (versus 36 percent for email)

Pharmacies can deliver real-time status updates about prescription approvals and when it is ready for pick-up, eliminating the need to receive a phone call or check email.

  • Service outage notifications – 53 percent (versus 34 percent for email)

Utility companies can send outage reports and updates via text to decrease the time customers spend on hold waiting for answers to common questions.

“Consumers have spoken loud and clear about their preference to interact with businesses via messaging. Organizations that continue to ignore them are putting their customer relationships, and their bottom line, in jeopardy,” said Dan Nordale, chief marketing officer at Flowroute.

The survey found that the availability of SMS (or lack thereof) influenced customer brand loyalty. For example, 47 percent of consumers stated they would react negatively if a company did not offer SMS as a communications channel. More than half (58 percent) indicated they would view a business more positively if they offered SMS capabilities.

Over the past six months, consumers indicated they had received an SMS from companies across the following use cases:

  • 67 percent – order updates and delivery status
  • 68 percent – appointment reminders and prescription refills
  • 52 percent – sharing economy applications (vacation rentals, car sharing services, etc.)
  • 60 percent – password reset request or to ask a question of customer service

“At Flowroute, we have seen strong interest across the board from businesses looking to leverage the power of SMS, led by the healthcare and banking industries for quick and convenient updates about prescription refills or low account notices, for example,” said Nordale. “Businesses that still rely on email to get time-sensitive information and offers to customers have lost their voice. Consumers increasingly depend on, and demand messaging services that let them interact with businesses in a fast and convenient manner.”

To learn more about integrating text messaging into your communications platform: https://www.flowroute.com/sms/.