How to get customer communications right

Everyone acknowledges that great customer experience plays a massive role in setting enterprises apart from their competitors. And yet… Most customer communications are just ‘meh’ (or worse).

OpenMarket – April 11, 2017

There’s something weird going on. Everyone acknowledges that great customer experiences play a massive role in setting enterprises apart from their competitors. Some people go as far as to say CX is the most important differentiator.

And yet… Most customer interactions are just ‘meh’ (or worse).

What’s happening?

The problem is that the majority of customer interactions are still driven by what makes things easy for businesses, not what makes things easy for customers. So while companies say they’re ‘customer centric’ and ‘obsessed with customer satisfaction’, they’re actually just doing customer comms the way they’ve always done it – doing the bare minimum to avoid upsetting their customers.

But building strong relationships is about so much more than that – and the fact that so many big brands and enterprises take exactly this approach to customer interactions is pretty strange.

A lack of means

The thing is, it’s not because big enterprises don’t want to deliver great customer experience. It’s not because there aren’t incredibly talented people with amazing ideas for moving the customer experience from ‘meh’ to ‘wow’. It’s because they lack the means to deliver it.

The truth is, many organizations are so used to the limitations of their communication methods that they’ve given up trying to provide the extra care and empathy that drive great customer experiences.

So customers have to search through their emails for a piece of important information. Or miss out on an offer they’d love because it goes straight to their spam folder. Or they have to put up with an infuriating call center experience – waiting on hold, being cut off, getting passed around from rep to rep, repeating their details over and over, or dealing with staff who can’t meet their needs.

And that’s as good as it gets.

Introducing… Empathetic Moments

There is another way. A way that lets brands build strong relationships with their customers by being there when it counts. By being proactive in their customer communications, helping customers avoid stressful situations, offering help and advice, and being on hand when it matters the most.

We call these incredible customer communication opportunities Empathetic Moments. They’re the times you can show you really care by giving customers information they’ll really value at the exact time they need it:

–   Letting them know their package will be delivered in ten minutes

–   Telling them their gate number when they get to the airport

–   Giving them a way to send feedback while it’s fresh in their mind

–   Allowing them to order a drink without leaving their seat

–   Checking their identity to protect them against credit card fraud

In actual fact, the kind of Empathetic Moments your business could have with your customers is limited only by your imagination. It’s a chance for you to really get back to basics and ask: what kind of communications do our customers actually want?

The only way is text

Text messaging is what makes Empathetic Moments possible. To deliver timely, useful and responsive customer communications, traditional channels are no good at all. Emails are too slow and too likely to be missed. Voice calls are too intrusive and time-consuming.

But everyone reads texts. 98% of texts are read, 90% within the first three minutes. When the message alert noise goes off, people seem to have a Pavlovian need to check it out. And when they do, it’s really quick and easy. They don’t have to open an app, they don’t need to download anything, they don’t have to speak to anyone. They read the message, ingest the information, then get on with their day.

That’s why text messaging offers such a massive opportunity for brands to deliver great customer communications.

Read the Empathetic Interaction ebook for a guide to the different kinds of customer interaction text can deliver – and how you can identify them in your own business.

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