Brands, Listen Up: Consumers Want to Message with You
New survey finds messaging is increasing as an engagement channel with 80% of consumers noting they procrastinate calling customer service due to the time involved

BURLINGTON, Mass., – May 23, 2018 –  Nuance Communications, Inc.  released the results of a new survey that found the majority of consumers today are avoiding contacting brands due to the time required to get their questions answered. In fact, 90% estimate they are wasting the equivalent of a full day “on hold” with customer service each year. Being more connected than ever before, consumers are looking to messaging applications as an alternative to get simple customer service requests handled quickly – the same way they communicate with friends, family and colleagues. 

The 2018 Customer Service Messaging Trends Report examines the ways in which consumers are engaging with brands today and how they would like to in the future. The report is the result of a national survey conducted by Ask Your Target Market to 1,000 U.S. consumers ages 13-65+, and confirms individuals today are demanding easy, convenient and free ways to engage their favorite brands.

The key findings in the 2018 Annual Report include:

  • The phone is becoming an escalation channel, especially for younger generations – 79% of those ages 18-34 favor first contacting companies using channels other than the phone, with more than half of overall consumers surveyed preferring to use messaging applications or SMS as the first option to communicate with brands
  • Hold times across channels are frustrating customers and they are looking for intelligent conversational experiences with brands – 90% are wasting a full day on hold each year, with 26% reporting they’ve looked for other automated methods other than the phone channel for contacting customer service to avoid waiting on hold 
  • Even on messaging channels, timely and reliable service is paramount – 74% of consumers demand to hear back from a company within at least an hour of when they messaged, while 54% of that group say less than an hour is more acceptable. Only 1% said its acceptable to wait more than a day for a response from a brand

“The survey results reaffirm what we are hearing from our enterprise customers,” noted Robert Weideman, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Nuance Enterprise Division. “The challenge today for brands is how do they enable millions of customers to successfully engage through potentially hundreds of millions of messaging conversations at one time. Luckily, advances in AI and machine learning can help do just that – support and service through virtual assistants that provide high levels of customer satisfaction without needing to hire teams of new agents or extend contact center hours.”

Nuance enables enterprises to take advantage of the growing adoption of messaging through the Nuance Customer Engagement Platform. The platform can deliver as high as 85% first contact resolution through automated message conversations – using conversational AI capabilities to deliver fast, accurate responses across SMS, the web and 3rd party messaging applications, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Over 6,500 enterprises have selected Nuance as a part of their customer engagement solutions, including Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, FedEx, The Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Swedbank, TalkTalk and USAA. Nuance automates and enhances an estimated 16 billion customer interactions a year across voice, text and digital channels.

2018 Customer Service Messaging Trends Report is now available here.

More information on Nuance Customer Service Messaging capabilities can be found here

About Nuance Communications, Inc.

Nuance Communications, Inc. is the pioneer and leader in conversational AI innovations that bring intelligence to everyday work and life.  The company delivers solutions that can understand, analyze and respond to human language to increase productivity and amplify human intelligence.  With decades of domain and artificial intelligence expertise, Nuance works with thousands of organizations – in global industries that include healthcare, telecommunications, automotive, financial services, and retail – to create stronger relationships and better experiences for their customers and workforce. For more information, please visit

Trademark reference: Nuance and the Nuance logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Nuance Communications, Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks referenced herein are the property of their respective owners.

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Katie Byrne