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.
Of all the concerns marketers may (or may not) have about TikTok right now, the pixel isn’t one of them
Marketers have a lot on their minds when it comes to TikTok these days, from the geopolitical tensions over the app’s supposed ties to the Chinese government to whether they should be funding some of the content on it.
With podcast advertising maturing, more mainstream brands want in on growth
Podcasts, once a go-to marketing channel for direct-to-consumer brands, have become a mainstay for more seasoned advertisers, agency executives say.
Marketing Briefing: Coca-Cola and other major marketers enter ‘test and learn’ phase with generative AI
Many major marketers like Coca-Cola are asking agencies how they can use generative AI technology. But most are not creating consumer-facing work with generative AI just yet.
SponsoredMarketers are driving ad effectiveness and engagement with digital audio
Ann Piper, head of client partnerships, vertical team, Spotify Advertising As an increasing number of people engage with digital audio, marketers are keen to understand what keeps listeners engaged — and how they can tap into their attention. Recent reports anticipate the global digital audio advertising market will top $8.9 billion this year. In 2022, […]
As its future hangs in the balance, TikTok tries to keep advertisers on its side
The whole idea that TikTok is really spyware is nothing more than a myth, according to the app. And it wants marketers to know it.
How gaming organization OTK strikes a balance between creator-ownership and more traditional executive experience
Since its formation in October 2020, creator ownership has been a core part of One True King’s DNA. The group is constantly adding new talent to its list of creator–owners, fueling a rapid rise and accolades such as “Best Content Organization” at last year’s Streamer Awards.