Email vs Messaging: The Search for Better CX

A message bubble with an email icon in the middle

Paul Cox at Kerv Experience compares email and messaging in the search for a better customer experience.

Over the last 10 years there has been a steady reduction in phone calls to contact centres as customers are offered alternatives such as email, webchat and social messaging, with email representing 17% of interactions and social and web messaging combined at just 10%. But the question is, is email the best way to provide a great customer experience?

Email has been around since 1971 and its use continues to grow by 4% per annum. This is driven in part by online services, which usually require you to register with your email address.

On the other hand, messaging only really became popular with the launch of AOL Instant Messenger in 1997. Since then, it has grown massively to over 3 billion users worldwide.

So, from a customer service point of view, which is better, interacting via email or messaging?

The average turnaround time for an email is 12 hours, whereas the average messaging response takes a mere 45 seconds.

So, there is a huge difference in response time, but this doesn’t necessarily mean the conversation was concluded. If we look at conversation time, email conversations take 40 hours to conclude and messaging conversations just under 11 minutes on average. I know which I would prefer!

Maybe it’s an age thing. Are older people reluctant to use messaging? That’s not what the numbers tell us. According to the Office for National Statistics, 49% of the over-65s are now comfortable using it.

“Email conversations take 40 hours to conclude and messaging interactions just under 11 minutes on average…I know which I prefer!” Office for National Statistics

But do customers like using messaging to interact with companies? It turns out that they do. When asked the question “Are you more likely to make a purchase if you could get answers over messaging?”, 71% of respondents said they are.

But while customers seem to like the idea of interacting via messaging, is it efficient from the point of view of the business providing the service? Based on my calculations, messaging is 14% more productive, and that’s without the benefits that automation can bring.

Messaging is interactive by design, which means that there is so much more you can do with it. A bot can respond instantly and can answer simple questions or triage an enquiry by asking some preliminary questions before passing over to a live agent.

“Messaging is interactive by design, which means that there is so much more you can do.”

So, does email have any advantages? The answer is yes, but they are diminishing. Attaching files to email is easier and it’s ideal for contacting a company out of hours. But portals and post have replaced email in some cases because of the threat of phishing and fraud.

In conclusion, I believe that web and social messaging provides a better customer experience. It’s more operationally efficient and is an effective way to support online services. Which means happier customers and lower costs – now who doesn’t want that!

Author: Guest Author

Published On: 3rd Apr 2023
Read more about - Industry Insights,

Follow Us on LinkedIn

Recommended Articles

What’s the Real Message About Messaging?
A message in a bottle in the sea
20 Best Practices for Messaging Customers
Will Messaging Apps Become the Next Mainstream Channel?
Is Email on its Way Out?