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Hold the phone—consumers prefer brands that connect across voice and messaging

by | May 3, 2022 | Public Relations

New research from conversational AI firm LivePerson explores evolving consumer preferences around calling and messaging, and how these preferences change in light of specific situations. The firm’s survey found widespread demand for unified, human-feeling customer experiences, with a clear preference for brands that can connect their calls and messaging conversations.

“What do we want? Options! When do we want them? Now!”

According to the survey results, consumers say that having options is non-negotiable. Nine in 10 (91 percent) say they prefer brands offering them the choice to call or message, meaning brands that provide this flexibility have a significant opportunity to improve their bottom line.

LivePerson previously reported that 74 percent of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if they can message rather than call them. The new research shows that preferences also shift based on different situations and times of the day, demonstrating the importance of allowing consumers to engage on their own terms, when and where they want across devices and platforms. Among consumers with a preference:

  • When commuting on public transportation: 80 percent prefer to message
  • When commuting in a car: 69 percent prefer to call
  • During work hours: 75 percent prefer to message
  • During lunch break: 63 percent prefer to message
  • When at home: 53 percent prefer to call

“What can your bot do for me?”

With an increasing number of brands turning to AI and automation to scale customer experiences, consumers are looking for engagements that feel dynamic and thoughtful, just like those that the best human agents provide. Brands that model these interactions, using history, context, and emotion to provide connected customer experiences will gain the edge over competitors. Consumers say they are more likely to do business with:

  • 88 percent — a company that connects the history of their interactions
  • 87 percent — a company that connects their interactions across voice and messaging
  • 82 percent — a company whose bots take what the company already knows about them from previous interactions and can apply it to their current situation
  • 72 percent — a company whose bots can understand their emotion

“With consumers clearly stating that the freedom to choose how and when to engage drives their buying decisions, it’s critical that brands give them the best of both worlds when it comes to voice and messaging,” said Rob LoCascio, CEO and founder of LivePerson, in a news release. “Brands offering consumers both options—along with personalized, connected, and emotive interactions rooted in history—will gain from the inevitable churn at brands that don’t.”

“If I have to repeat myself one more time…”

While today’s consumers expect seamless experiences across voice and messaging, many brands have yet to meet their expectations. In fact, the old customer experience nightmare of having to repeat yourself to multiple people and bots is still with us across devices and platforms: 84 percent of consumers report that they have to repeat themselves “often” or “all the time” when calling or messaging a brand.

Brands that limit or, better yet, prevent this repetitive experience stand to gain customer loyalty, with consumers stating that the #1 thing brands can do to make their experiences better is prevent them from having to repeat themselves (65 percent), followed by helping them spend less time on calls (56 percent).

LivePerson’s Voice and Messaging 2022: Consumer Preferences Around Automation and CX survey was conducted in March 2022 via an online survey of 2,548 consumers aged 18 and older in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Respondents were asked a series of questions related to customer care and commerce topics.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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