What can SMS do for your multichannel strategy? 

SMS is most effective when it’s working with all your other channels. Find out how to use SMS for your multichannel strategy.

OpenMarket – June 7, 2018

Smart marketers are using SMS to make their other communication channels more effective. Here’s how.

When marketers first get started with a new channel, they tend to think of it as a silo.

When you’re setting your team up, trying to get your head around new data sources or rolling out your first campaign, it actually helps to start small. You can actually pick up a lot of quick wins with this mindset.

For instance, when it comes to certain situations, SMS is all you need to deliver empathetic interactions – time-sensitive alerts, delivery rescheduling, quick customer feedback.

But no communication channel is an island.

Your customers hop from one to another all the time. So if you’re going to try and stay relevant to their experience, you need to make sure your channels work together.

What SMS can do for multichannel strategies

To make the most of all your channels, they need to leverage each other’s strengths to make up for their respective weaknesses.

Email is great for sending long documents or receipts, but if you’re chasing someone for a payment, you’ll probably use voice. On the other hand, SMS is great for making sure people read your message when you send it. But if you want them to read your new privacy policy, you’re better off making them read it in-app.

With that in mind, let’s look at some of the ways SMS increases the effectiveness of the other channels you use it with.

Use SMS with voice to collect feedback

Say one of your customers has just spoken to a customer service agent on the phone. Asking them for feedback while on the call would be awkward.

Yet by the time they get your email with a feedback form, the call might be a distant memory.

If on the other hand you send them a text the moment they hang up, the chances of them taking the time to give your agent a 1-to-5 rating rise dramatically. The call will be fresh in their mind (in fact they’ll probably still be holding their phone), and the feedback process is as simple as typing a number and hitting send.

Use SMS as a confirmation tool after a phone call

Your customer might even be more impressed if you include a summary of the call in your text – date, time, the agent’s name and a reference number.

So that on the off-chance they need to follow up with you, they can quote the reference number and the next agent will instantly be up to date with their call history.

Alternatively, you can use it to confirm a telephone booking a customer has just made – for a hotel or a restaurant, for example. A reminder text can follow closer to the date to whet their appetite.

Use SMS to get people to read their emails

Our email inboxes are increasingly overcrowded – not surprising when 269 billion emails are sent and received every day. So if you’ve sent someone an important email, you might well be concerned it’ll get lost in the crush.

A text alert will maximize your chances that they’ll read it.

In fact, a client of ours found that following up email offers with a text increased their open rates by a massive 20%.

Use SMS to improve your app experience

SMS can be used to add an extra layer of security to your app through two-factor authentication.

And once you’ve done that, why not go the extra mile for your customers and deliver a text confirmation whenever they make an in-app purchase, for example? It’s a thoughtful way of helping them track their activity.

(And they’ll be particularly grateful if they have kids who play games on their phones.)

The upside to using SMS for multichannel

Not only is SMS great for powering up customer experiences – it’s also cheap. Doubling up on channels doesn’t have to double the cost. In fact, you might end up spending your money a lot more effectively.

A hospital in the UK gave patients the option to change or cancel their appointments by text. Over two years, they’ve saved more than $1.9m.

These are the kinds of things every business wants to accomplish with a multichannel strategy.

The key: identifying what each channel is good (and bad) at and then using your other channels to complement them.

That way, your full-fledged, multichannel customer experience machine can make the collection of channels greater than the sum of its parts – and give you new opportunities to deliver even better experiences.

Find out more about how using SMS for multichannel can transform your customer experience. Read ‘The new age of customer experience” eBook.

(Or you can just get in touch with us directly.)

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