OpenMarket – October 12, 2017
Customer experience is the new brand differentiator – but it doesn’t have to mean a huge investment. Here are three brands who are nailing CX with low-cost text messaging.
What would it take for you to ditch a brand after a bad experience? Only eight years ago, 41% of customers would interact with a company after a bad experience. Within four years? That number has gone down to only 14%. We’re in an age where there is zero margin for error when it comes to bad CX.
The good news is, brands seem to be increasingly competing on customer experience – 72% of businesses see it as their top priority. They’re on the lookout for ways to set them apart from the competition. But the solution doesn’t always have to lie in complex personalization or expensive apps.
In fact, brands can create their biggest wins in simple ways. Take SMS, for example. It’s a low-cost way of delivering “empathetic interactions” – thoughtful messages sent just when the customer needs them most – on a mass scale.
Why text messaging is a CX dream
According to OpenMarket research, on average, 98% of people read a text message, compared to only 20% of emails. What’s more, about 90% of texts are opened with three minutes of receipt – a vital asset when you have something timely to communicate.
Brands are already seizing on the power of SMS to deliver relevant, valuable and personalized information, just when the customer appreciates it most. Here are three that have their SMS CX strategy totally nailed.
- Virgin Trains keep customers on-track with text
Keeping customers in the loop with travel updates can be a challenge, especially if they’re in a rush, and fighting through crowds of people. The concern for Virgin Trains West Coast was that at busy stations like London Euston, few customers had time to log into email to check for updates – which meant they often missed critical changes to their travel plans.
By introducing text messaging, the train operator can now send customers real-time status updates directly to their SMS inbox. And they went a step further, giving customers with children or mobility issues a head start on the crowds by sending them their platform number before it appears on the departure board – helping to ease congestion and improve safety.
Virgin Trains saw a moment of empathy with their customers and acted on it. And the results speak for themselves; Euston is 15% up on the National Rail customer satisfaction index following the move to SMS – a significant increase for the 90% of Virgin Trains customers who travel through it.
- Club Mahindra gives customer feedback a wakeup call
In hospitality, customers are more likely to give bad feedback than good, so proactively asking for it is important. Luxury resort company Club Mahindra wanted to improve their service by using customer feedback, but found that email feedback forms weren’t giving them the volume of responses they needed.
That changed when they switched to SMS. By sending a simple text survey to customers 30 minutes after they check out, Club Mahindra is able to collect valuable insight from customers, exactly when they’re in the mood to text.
By catching guests when they’re making the journey back home, the resort chain is able to talk to them while they’re reflecting on their stay. Little wonder the average response rate rose to 12% – a 140% improvement on email.
- Fortune 100 retailer speeds up customer interactions
Sometimes, the moment your brand’s CX is tested the most is when your customer has a problem. With millions of customers worldwide, this technology retailer needed a smooth, efficient way to solve post-purchase technical issues with its mobile devices – without expecting customers to wait on hold for tech support, or travel a store.
But most of those issues are actually pretty easy to diagnose and fix. Two-way SMS was the perfect solution – a smart workflow asks the customer a series of questions, guiding them to the answer they need. Now, only the most complicated cases need to talk to an advisor.
The result: fast resolutions, happy customers – and customer service efficiency savings to boot. What’s more, the scalability of SMS has enabled the retailer to deliver empathetic interactions in other areas of the business, including operations and logistics, IT and security, and customer support in over 30 countries.
SMS signals a new era of customer experience
Over 5 billion people use SMS – more than any other platform. As the stories in this blog show, delivering thoughtful, timely and relevant communication via SMS is proving to be a winning CX strategy.
To find out more about how SMS can help you to deliver empathetic interactions and deliver great customer experience, get our Empathetic Interaction eBook. And if you’d like to talk to someone today about adding SMS to your customer engagement platforms, give us a call.