Overstock’s customer service texts have a 98 percent open rate
Overstock.com knows the days are long gone when people would call or email about problems with its products or service. That’s why the online retailer now converses with its customers most frequently through text messages.
Since rolling out a new customer service channel based on text messaging in December, Overstock.com has seen a 98 percent open rate when communicating with people through texts, according to the company. That’s a significant improvement in Overstock.com’s ability to reach and help customers, since the company’s email open rates average between percentages in the single digits and low teens, said Tyler Cook, product management and development executive at Overstock.com.
“SMS is a form of communication we use naturally in our day-to-day lives,” he said. “People get a ton of email, so it tends to get lost in people’s inbox, and they won’t respond to it. We are finding texting has more success.”
Overstock.com, which sees 30 million unique visitors a month, uses Quiq text messaging software to inform its customers that their order has shipped and arrived, or that a package is late, will be returned or replaced. From Overstock.com’s mobile site, app or customer service line provided online, people can text the company’s roughly 500 customer service associates 24/7 about concerns — or anything they want.
“They can say, ‘Hey, I found this really cool couch on your website, but I don’t know which lamp I want it to go with,’ and we’ll give them suggestions,” said Cook. “Or, if someone wants to do a return, we’ll help them there. We’ll service them just like with a normal phone call.”
Since the feature rolled out, Overstock.com has received 14 percent fewer phone calls, according to Cook. Cook believes this is because texting puts the timing of service in the customer’s hands. “With text messaging, someone can start a conversation at 9 in the morning and come back to it whenever they want, and we can pick it up from there,” he said. “We don’t have to start the entire conversation over again.”
The company also saves money with the feature because it reduces the number of hours needed to help customers, Cook said. With texting, one customer service rep can help seven people in the same amount of time that it might take to help one person over the phone, he said.
Overstock.com isn’t cutting the number of its customer service reps, though. Instead, the company is allocating the time saved to other operational tasks such as ensuring packages are shipped correctly, which will help the overall customer experience, said Cook.
Eventually, Overstock.com plans to use texting for more than customer service. In the “near future,” the company said it will use texts to send promotions and offers for products it sells online.
How Roblox is paving the way for a new era of branded gaming
Roblox is still in its infancy as a marketing tool. But over the last two years, the number of brands and retailers on Roblox has grown dramatically.
‘Email has become so cluttered’: Why DTC brands plan to use texting for Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday nearing, text messaging is becoming a more common marketing channel for direct-to-consumer brands.
‘There’s more opportunity’: Publishers on TikTok are taking branded content into their own hands
As their audiences on the social app have grown, a flurry of publishers have turned to developing branded content campaigns to explore new commercial opportunities.
SponsoredPublishers will lead the charge as cookie-less advertising becomes the norm
Steve Wing, managing director, EMEA, Magnite As the advertising industry moves closer to a cookieless world — one in which browserless environments including connected TV (CTV) and mobile in-app are an increasingly large part of ad budgets — publishers will have an increasingly important role in developing the future of identity. Segment creation and identity […]
Member Exclusive‘A more hopeful future’: As the coronavirus surges, advertisers aren’t pressing pause
Spending has remained consistent, according to media buyers, who say that advertisers are more prepared this time around.
‘Time to test multiple offers’: Why Black Friday and Cyber Monday advertising is coming earlier than ever this year
The accelerated shift of consumer shopping to e-commerce and the expected surge of online holiday retail, has led to earlier Black Friday and Cyber Monday advertising.