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Messaging key to customer service, sales and workforce, finds survey

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Mobile messaging significantly enhances customer relations, sales and marketing and customer insight – and can help employee relations – yet many companies aren’t really embracing it yet.

So finds a study by IDC sponsored by OpenMarket titled “Exploring the Impact of Mobile Messaging on Customers, Employees and Operations,”, which reveals results from 600 technology decision makers representing global enterprises.

The newest findings reveal key insights into how mobile messaging is being used in the following industries: Automotive, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Education, Financial Services, Healthcare, High Tech, Media & Entertainment, Transportation & Logistics, Travel & Hospitality, and Utilities. Many organizations in these industries have failed to adopt holistic mobile messaging strategies that support company-wide use cases, as 62% have at least two messaging platforms deployed, and 78.5% have more than one active initiative.

According to the research, the greatest benefit of mobile messaging across these industries is its ability to improve customer experience and employee relations. As one type of solution does not fit all, these organizations tailor their mobile messaging implementations to meet requirements within their industry segments.

Top takeaways from this cross-industry analysis reveal that business leaders in these sectors are driving new investments in mobile messaging and are closely involved in specification, selection, and deployment. These businesses are also finding that maximizing investments requires integrating mobile messaging into structured business workflows, and that it is easiest to do this if IT can utilize a workflow engine from a trusted vendor to quickly create services and address functional needs.

“Although use cases can differ in terms of how global enterprises are utilizing mobile messaging, these findings revealed that no matter what sector, businesses need to take a long-term, purpose-led approach to their mobile messaging investment,” says Robert Parker, Group Vice President, IDC Insights. “Businesses must look towards vendors with a track record of support excellence that can provision company-wide use cases in order to meet the specific mobile messaging needs of the internal and external stakeholders within their sector.”

The IDC and OpenMarket survey highlights the impact of mobile messaging on key business functions, including:

Customer Service
72% of organizations surveyed believe that mobile messaging has considerable or major impact on the customer experience. According to the findings, mobile messaging is a great fit for industries weaving technology into their products and services or those that place a premium on customer experience.

Today, these professionals are using mobile messaging to understand and attend to customers’ needs with more responsive service, while internally it is used to coordinate staff and processes that fulfill customer expectations. Mobile messaging’s greatest value for customer service professionals across these industries is its ability to differentiate or improve the customer experience, attract and retain customers, and gain deeper customer insights.

Key industries leveraging mobile messaging to improve the customer experience are media and entertainment, travel and hospitality, financial services, transportation and logistics, and utilities.

Sales and Marketing
Sales and marketing is rapidly becoming more digital and mobile, particularly for industries with high-touch models. The greatest value for mobile messaging to sales and marketing departments is its ability to gain deeper customer insights, enhance multichannel delivery capability, and differentiate or improve the customer experience.

Today, 82% of the high-tech companies surveyed consider SMS to be effective for customer alerts. Businesses in all industries are adopting a “mobile first” strategy to engage mobile customers, through customer promotions and offers, alerts, and surveys to increase the relevance and immediacy of a “call to action.” Currently, 87% of travel and hospitality respondents are piloting or in production with mobile messaging programs that include customer promotions.

Employee Relations
Across industries, mobile messaging is an effective channel for improving employee engagement and mitigate risk. Human Resources, IT and Security are using mobile to provide employees with the necessary resources and services to achieve enterprise goals. The greatest value for mobile messaging within IT and Security is the ability to differentiate or improve the IT customer experience and mitigate risk, while the impact around HR includes improving employee communication, workforce optimization, and employee welfare.

Industry segments where mobile messaging is most impactful on employee welfare and safety are travel and hospitality, transportation and logistics, and healthcare. Successful businesses have developed a long-term employee engagement strategy that encompasses operational communications, training, wellness, and employee appreciation, and consider mobile messaging channels as important tools in the IT toolbox to perform these tasks and improve employee satisfaction and security.

“These findings show that no matter what vertical or industry a business is in, organizations are incorporating mobile messaging into many aspects of their internal operations, as well as customer and employee communications and engagement,” said Jay Emmet, General Manager of OpenMarket. “A well-designed, company-wide mobile messaging strategy will give organizations a path to enhance the customer experience, gain additional customer insights, improve employee relations, and drive operational efficiencies.”

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