Seeing is Believing: 1-800 Contacts Puts Laser Focus on Customer Experience!

1-800 Contacts has this amazing service that lets me take a picture of my contact lens prescription and send it to them via a text message after which they fill my prescription and send it to me.  That’s an extremely clever service! A great customer experience like that helps me see more clearly how mobile is differentiating the ‘great’ from the ‘just mediocre’ service.

Customers Prefer Great Service

Companies are increasingly living and dying by the type of experience they provide to their customers and we’ve seen the stats to back this up:

  • 80% of customers will pay more for a good experience
  • 40% of customers will make additional purchase as a result of a good experience
  • 82% of customers will switch to a competitor after a bad experience
  • 79% of customers will tell others about their bad experience

Increasingly I get annoyed when the businesses I interact with don’t deliver great experiences especially when the ability to do so is easily achieved.  For example, Uber recently stopped sending an SMS alert when your car is arriving – I can’t imagine why.  Now instead of being alerted and ready to go, the irritated driver has to call to notify me of his arrival (yes, I have sent an email to Uber about this).  If you compare this to experiences I’ve had with other businesses, there is no doubt who is focused more on customer service. For example, Alaska Airlines sends me an SMS alert when my gate changes and Walmart sends me a text message when my order is ready to pick up.  NOTE TO BUSINESSES: THIS IS A GOOD EXPERIENCE!  Alaska Airlines and Walmart don’t expect me to keep looking at an app or to just figure it out myself, they proactively send me information to make my experience better. In return, I’m happy to continue doing business with them.

Studies Agree

In case you think it’s just me… think again.  A global study from SAP reveals that 81% of consumers prefer SMS to a mobile app for brand communications.  67% felt SMS was quicker and 56% said it was more convenient.  I am not implying that SMS is the only tool for delivering great experiences, but it’s timely, personal, incredibly simple, and in many cases, the preferred channel for communications.

SMS Makes a Difference

As companies continue to jockey for the attention and dollars of consumers, those that provide great experiences will come out on top. Part of that great experience is recognizing how to effectively engage with your customers.  In my opinion, we’ll see the most successful companies leverage the mobile channel(s) their customers demand and prefer.