Jonathan Morgan, CEO, OpenMarket – October 28, 2015
Your customers are demanding faster, more convenient access to information and expect a prompt response from your business. Luckily for you, they’re never far away from their phones. This makes it easy to deliver a smarter mobile service.
Whether you need to broadcast general information, or deliver personalised information, SMS is still the best ways of reaching your customers. Frost & Sullivan research says 98 per cent of SMS messages are read. Better still, 90 per cent of these interactions happen within three minutes.
You don’t need your customers to download an app or sign up for email communications. We’ve created a workbook giving tips to a Smarter Mobile Service, available for free here. In addition to the workbook, below are 12 ways you could be using SMS to supercharge customer engagement.
- SPECIAL OFFERS
If you run competitions or offer discount coupons, an SMS is ideal for sharing details with your customer base. People are 10 times more likely to redeem an SMS offer than a printed one, as it’s easier and quicker for everyone involved. Whether it’s for use in-store or online, an SMS offer means they don’t have to carry a printout or trawl through emails to find a coupon code.
- ORDER CONFIRMATIONS
Give your customers peace of mind by confirming you’ve received their order. An SMS confirmation is the easiest way to do this, and provides a reference for them to access again no matter where they are. Make it easy for them to check on their order number or other important details without having to delve into their emails or go back to your site.
- SHIPPING ALERTS
Make shipping seamless for your customers by giving them greater visibility into the progress of their orders. Providing regular updates on when their order has been dispatched, picked up or delivered will enhance their experience and develop their trust in your business. It also provides easy to find references if there are any issues with delivery.
- SERVICE UPDATES
Clear communication is especially important when something threatens to have a negative impact on customer experience. By making them aware of any scheduled maintenance or unexpected outages, you’re helping to minimise impact. Being transparent and open helps to build a positive relationship, which is crucial for ongoing customer engagement.
- SUPPORT REQUESTS
When customers are looking for help, effective communication is vital to delivering a great customer experience. Don’t force people to wait on hold while you find the resources to help them. Enable SMS support requests that allow customers to trigger a call from the next available service representative simply by typing ‘HELP’.
- APPOINTMENT REMINDERS
It’s so easy to make bookings online that many customers won’t remember to cancel. A missed appointment is a lost revenue opportunity for your business but phone calls and emails don’t always get a response. Reduce this hassle by reminding customers of booking details via SMS and make it easy to confirm or cancel by typing ‘YES’ or ‘NO’.
- TRAVEL ALERTS
The better experience your customers have, the more likely it is they’ll book with you again. Make sure you improve this experience by providing important alerts via SMS, such as delayed flights or taxi arrivals. By giving them a heads-up, you’re keeping them informed and removing the chance of nasty surprises or missed connections.
- CARD ACTIVATION
Whether your business provides a credit card, store loyalty card or a prepaid travel card, SMS is the easiest way to help new customers get up and running. Rather than being tied to a computer at home or work, they can activate cards wherever they are, ensuring they’re engaging with your brand sooner rather than later.
- PAYMENT REMINDERS
Your customers have many online subscriptions to manage and bills to pay. Staying on top of them all can be a challenge. From your perspective, chasing payment has a negative impact on customer relationships and it’s a drain on resources. Providing timely SMS reminders means fewer penalty notices and better customer perception.
- FRAUD ALERTS
When giving out personal details or making transactions, your customers want to feel secure. Show them you’re in control and issue fraud alerts whenever you spot suspicious or unusual activity. This provides peace of mind and boosts confidence in your brand. SMS is the most convenient way of letting them know, wherever they are.
- CUSTOMER SURVEYS
Customer feedback is an important way of developing your business, so make it quick and easy for customers to provide feedback via surveys. SMS surveys have a 20 per cent response rate, which is five times higher than online forms. Plus, it’s less interruptive than phone-based interviews and allows people to respond when it suits them.
- PRODUCT REVIEWS
Find out what customers really think about your products and services. Whether they find something frustrating, want to see new features or love everything about you, enabling product reviews by SMS will help you keep your finger on the pulse. Making it easy for them to air their views will build trust and make customers feel appreciated.
SMS might not be the newest or sexiest technology around but, when it comes to quickly and effectively reaching your audience, it still has no equals. The easier customers find it to engage with your brand, the more likely they are to come back and purchase again. Download our free workbook to learn more about delivering a Smarter Mobile Service.