3 Critical Reasons to Make SMS Part of Your Service Mix
For many people, text messaging is nothing more than a simple mobile tool that allows them to quickly communicate in real time. But for savvy businesses that want to stand out from their competitors, text messaging (a.k.a. SMS) has the potential to completely revolutionize the state of modern customer experiences.
Many organizations are already tapping into texting to inform customers in real time of such things as special deals, surveys or reminder notifications. But there is so much more to it than that. Below are three critical reasons why businesses should continue to expand the use of SMS throughout their service delivery process:
1. Expand & Diversify Your Service Options
By extending your customer service reach via SMS, you can better accommodate the varying needs and preferences of your diverse customer base. In fact, in a recent study of U.S. adult consumers conducted last year by Harris Interactive, 64 percent of respondents said they prefer to send and receive text messages for customer service versus the traditional phone call. Don’t limit the reach of your service delivery options by tethering yourself to old standbys; innovative, customized SMS applications can help you lower wait times and deliver more convenient, on-demand services.
2. Cater to the Millennials
Since the Millennial generation (aged 18-34) is emerging as the nation’s largest living generation, businesses must find a way to successfully interact with and serve these customers. (Fast fact -- the number of Millennials now outnumber Baby Boomers—specifically, 75.3 million Millennials compared to 74.9 million Boomers.)
For Millennials, text messaging is a way of life. In fact, 100 percent of those aged 18 to 29 recently surveyed by Pew Research said they use their smartphone for texting at least once a week. For the Millennial customer, text messaging may be one of the only ways that organizations can successfully provide customer service and, thus, optimize the customer experience.
However, the prevalence of text messaging isn’t just limited to people under age 35. Also, according to Pew, 92 percent of individuals over the age of 50 text at least once a week.
3. Stand Out from Your Competition
Innovative SMS applications can help you rise above the noise and get your customers to take notice. When you combine the convenient, easy-to-use nature of text messaging with next-generation capabilities, you can create more dynamic customer experiences. For instance, some companies are making use of SMS to not only remind customers of payment due dates, but also provide a payment processing option. Another innovative example comes from clothing retailers like Express and American Eagle who use text messaging to regularly push notifications to customers that alert them of surprise sales along with images or a link to videos of models wearing their latest fashion items.
Besides the aesthetic value of such applications, embedding images or links to videos can help customers learn more about recently purchased products as well as how to use them. For example, imagine being able to push out a text message that includes a link to a quick and easy instructional video that walks customers through the process of getting started with their products. These images and videos can serve as added value for customers, informing them of best practices and simultaneously reducing inbound inquiries to the business.
Don’t Overlook Texting
Visionary businesses who understand the unparalleled value that text messaging offers will, without question, prevail in the form of increased competitiveness, revenue generation and, most importantly, relevancy in the eyes of the consumer.
If you’re looking to increase customer engagement and differentiate your business, download our worksheet to uncover new ways that SMS can help you impress your customers.