Jessie Tracy – April 25, 2017
We call it the ‘Empathetic Interaction’.
An act or change – often small – that surprises and delights your customers by giving them exactly what they need, when and where they need it. And in the best-case scenario, when they least expect it.
Delivering an empathetic interaction requires an open line of communication, preferably though a fast, ubiquitous channel that guarantees the recipient’s attention.
It may seem a bit lo-fi, but we’re talking about SMS messaging.
Think about it: over six billion people have access to a mobile device capable of receiving SMS messages; 98% of all texts are read; and unlike emails, people don’t sit on them – they’re usually read within three minutes.
Not convinced? Consider the following five scenarios, then have a think about how SMS could make your own customers’ lives easier:
It’s rush hour on a Friday at Euston Station, London. You, like dozens of others are waiting, neck arched, for your platform to be announced. You brace yourself for the infamous ‘Euston dash’, but today they’ll be stampeding without you. Why? Because you ordered your ticket online with Virgin Trains, and thanks to their ‘Early Bird Messaging Service’, you get your platform texted to you 75 seconds before its announced. With a wry smile, you casually find your seat and get comfortable for the journey ahead. It’s almost too good to be true.
It’s 5 P.M. on a Thursday. It’s been a long week, and you agree with a colleague that tonight feels right for a couple of drinks. Just as you’re packing up your laptop and getting ready to leave, your phone buzzes. It’s the courier with your new tablet. ‘We’ve left your parcel in your porch’… ugh, not again. Best get back home now, but at least they had the capability to give you a heads up.
Those number-generating widgets that banks force upon their online customers. A pain, aren’t they? For the empathetic bank, they’re long gone. Instead, customers are texted an authentication number to enter each time they want to make a transaction. Quick, safe, and simple – and nicer for the planet, too.
You’re concerned about an elderly relative. She’s always forgetting to take her prescription and you’re forever taking time out of your working day to call and remind her. Thankfully, her pharmacy has adopted a new SMS reminder service. ‘Joan – remember to take your pills. Please text back YES when you have.’ And if she doesn’t respond, she gets a reminder in an hour, failing that – a nurse will call. Peace of mind for all.
It’s your anniversary and you’ve booked a table at that fancy restaurant your partner is always talking about. You’re kind of anxious about finances, but what the heck – you only live once. Luckily, the food is amazing and your partner is super impressed. But here it comes. The dreaded bill. You pass your card to the waiter and punch in your PIN…. Hmm, the waiter frowns. Your stomach sinks – this can’t be right, you checked your account earlier, you had enough to cover tonight.
*Transaction declined* Damn.
Ah, but what’s this, a call now? No. A text. It’s your bank, and they just want to know if the transaction is really you. The night is saved, and all it took was a single text to confirm YES.
Get the workbook for more inspirational examples
We’re not joking when we say SMS is the next big thing in customer service. Learn more about the benefits of SMS messaging and the Empathetic Interaction: download The A2P Text -Messaging Workbook – and see how you too can be there for your customers.