When it comes to dealing with customer service, consumer preferences are trending toward multiple communication channels.  A report from telecom-web convergence specialists tyntec and technology research and advisory firm Ovum finds that what channel consumers prefer to use depends on where they’re at in the transaction process, but they expect providers to be effective using mobile.

“Brands that focus solely on developing their own mobile app for interacting with their customers may well become victims of app fatigue in that, no matter how rich an experience it provides, most consumers now need to be convinced to download yet another app,” said Pamela Clark-Dickson, lead analyst, digital communications and social networking, consumer services, Ovum. “Brands should consider adopting an omni-channel strategy for customer care, which would enable them to use a mixture of communications services during each individual interaction with the consumer, including mobile messaging as well as apps.”

In a survey of 1,000 consumers in the U.S. and Germany, their most important priorities were getting through to an agent quickly (80 percent) and the speed with which their inquiry is resolved (74 percent). What channel they use to get desired information varies based on where in they are in the transaction process; for example, customers placing an order prefer voice while text messages are favored when they are tracking a shipment.

The survey found that 56 percent of respondents want to send a text to customer service agents using the same number they use to call them, citing expectations that text messages are less time-consuming (44 percent) and more convenient (42 percent) than alternative communications forms. They are increasingly interested in using two-way texts for appointment scheduling (53 percent), order tracking (48 percent) and providing feedback (43 percent).

“With users expecting near-real-time issue resolution, it’s key that service providers map the customer journey with the communications channels that meet the requirements,” says Marco Lafrentz, product manager at tyntec. “At the same time, the way enterprises implement messaging technologies and the suppliers they deal with should depend on the business. For example, if your business is local, connecting to a mobile operator and a mobile chat app that covers most of your demographic might be an option for you. However, if your business is regional or global, you would need a reliable provider who can connect multiple networks and chat apps, and manage the complexity—so that you can focus on your strategic goal of strengthening your mobile customer engagement.”

The full report and infographic are available here.