Ironically, people prefer to use smartphones, not for their primary purpose – making calls, but for texting. Notably, 68% of smartphone users admit they text more than call. Moreover, this “texting versus calling” trend is observed not only in private conversations but also in their communication with businesses.
Why is it so? Smartphones have firmly established themselves in our lives. In 2021, the user count exceeded six billion. For many, a smartphone has become indispensable.
Many users prefer texting over calling. In fact, text messaging has a 98% open rate. This trend is well documented, and customer-facing businesses should consider it in building their customer relations. Let’s see why consumers prefer texting rather than calling and how companies can use this trend to their advantage.
Texting versus calling: Why customers prefer the former over the latter
The fact is that 65% of consumers see it as a positive indicator when a business offers texting as a communications option. One reason for this behavior is customers regard the texting option as respectful of their time.
Messaging has proved to be more convenient than calling for other reasons, too. As a result, more and more people choose businesses that use a communication platform, including SMS messaging.
Users prefer texting because it has multiple advantages over calling.
We all multitask to achieve the tasks we set for ourselves. Multitasking does not mean combining two significant functions. If you try to make a presentation and simultaneously draft a business plan, that’s poor time management, not multitasking. When you do your online shopping while riding a bus – you multitask.
When you check your emails over your breakfast – you multitask, and when you text support while waiting for your code to compile – you multitask.
From this perspective, texting is much more convenient than calling because it allows you to use those brief time intervals to your best advantage. Moreover, texting is excellent to use in those start-and-stop modes, which make phone calls an impractical choice.
For example, you can send a text message just before getting off a bus and read the response when you arrive at your office. You can text during your coffee break or while waiting for your computer to complete a job. The important thing is that you are in complete control and can text at your own pace.
The only situation when you must not text or otherwise multitask is when you are driving. Wait until you park safely, and then look at your smartphone.
Again, it’s all about time. If we want an answer to a question, a clarification, or professional help, we want it right now. Here, texting beats other communications channels by far – the average response to a text message is 90 seconds.
Compared to being put on hold or going through the “for technical issues, press one…” rigmarole, ninety seconds is just the thing. Timeliness is one reason customers prefer texts over calls. Texting a business is a way to get the issue resolved quickly. Of course, chat features, such as presence and typing indicators and read confirmations, add to the timeliness, too.
For the same reason, having a text messaging option in your mobile application creates a much better support experience for your customers. They can reach out to the support team in a live chat or messenger and resolve their issue much quicker. As a result, the overall customer satisfaction rate is higher.
3. Ease and accessibility
Texting is easy. Its intuitive experience makes texting accessible for almost everyone. For example, older people sometimes struggle with advanced features and technologies used in today’s apps. On the other hand, texting is intuitive and straightforward, something they have been doing for years. The statistics confirm that all age groups accept texting.
Let’s not forget users who may be uncomfortable with voice calls. Some are too introverted to engage in voice conversations and prefer to type away. Others are not native speakers and not too confident about their ability to understand spoken language. Finally, customers with speech or hearing impairments will appreciate the texting option. It may be the only one offering them quality communication.
Texting provides the level of accessibility that voice communication cannot. Therefore, businesses should implement live chat or messenger as one of their customer assistance or support options. Customers will regard it as caring for their needs. As a result, the business can expect a higher lead generation rate.
5. Conciseness and efficiency
We are too busy for small talk and other meaningless communication. This is why we love texting so much – it allows getting what we need in just a couple of messages.
“What are your delivery conditions?” “Do you have this in green?” “When are you open on Saturdays?” We ask a direct question, get a straightforward answer, and go on with our busy days. Being concise and to the point, texting leaves a pleasant experience. In its turn, it leads to higher engagement and retention.
Importantly, text messages remain with you. If you make a call on Monday, the chances are that by Thursday, you forget what you learned. However, if the information was provided in a text message, it’s right there on your smartphone.
By the way, it is possible to make a text message “sound” warm and friendly while keeping it short. You can use emoji to convey subtle tone nuances, even in business conversations. The rules are simple:
- Do not overuse.
- Avoid rare icons.
- If you are not sure if emoji are acceptable in a particular discussion, don’t use them.
If you use emoji in your business communication, you are not alone. 77% of employees in the USA admitted to including emoji in their work-related messages.
Texting weaves seamlessly into the busy patterns of our lives. It may be the least intrusive method of instant communication so far. You do not need to interrupt whatever you are doing to read or answer the message – you can do it when convenient. In this context, the texting versus calling comparison is clearly in favor of the former. Calls require you to act at the moment, while texts can wait.
Another point worth mentioning is that text messages are silent. They cannot be overheard, and they will bother no one around you. How many times have you excused yourself to leave the room to make or answer the call? How many times have you said, “Can’t talk right now, I am on a bus, will call you back later”? Well, with texting, you don’t need any excuses. You can send and receive messages any time when it’s convenient.
Besides, for many, phone calls are stressful. We know the condition as phone anxiety, which causes people to experience physical symptoms of stress when they need to make or receive a phone call. 76% of millennials feel specific pressure about phone calls.
People affected by phone anxiety may avoid voice conversations altogether. For them, the texting option becomes the primary – or even the only means of communication, both in their private lives and for business.
Include texting in your marketing campaign
OK, customers love texting, but texting is a two-way street. Leverage its opportunities to the max. Don’t wait for customers to text you – text them yourself!
Text messaging opens a wealth of marketing and promotion options. You can use texting to post your news, announce sales and discounts, follow up on leads. You can include texting in your marketing campaign as another means of reaching out to prospects. Combine it with email marketing built with a focus on improving sender reputation – and you will see positive results soon.
Texting can become a permanent component of your content marketing strategy. You can use texts to make your customers aware of a new blog post or press release on your website. Of course, you need to invest in some good business copywriting to produce genuinely engaging and educating content.
Let your customers reach you the way they like
What is the main takeaway of our texting versus calling comparison? Customers want to text you, and they will love it if you give them this option. Use messaging in your customer relations and marketing campaign. You will surely see increased satisfaction and loyalty, as well as many new, happy clients.
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