OpenMarket – February 25, 2016
When you look at mobile messaging and the many ways that it can be used in the business world, you could argue that the biggest potential lies in customer service. After all, the point of SMS is to allow for convenient, two-way communication between two or more parties. The question is, does your business understand how to use SMS for customer service?
The Role of Mobile Messaging in Modern Customer Service
“This week, I received a text from my bank with my weekly balance. My driver texted me the location where he was parked. I booked plane tickets and got a text confirmation. And my doctor sent me a reminder so I wouldn’t forget my appointment the next day,” writes Mathilde Collin, tech entrepreneur and CEO. “Why has everyone started sending me texts all of a sudden? Maybe it’s because, unlike my emails, I read all of them.”
But it’s not just Collin that reads every last text message she receives. So do millions of other customers across all industries. Roughly nine out of ten adults own a cellphone – and 97 percent of smartphone owners text on a daily basis.
Despite these incredibly one-sided statistics, the reality is that very few consumers actually send and receive messages with businesses. It’s not because they can’t or don’t want to, but rather, most businesses haven’t made it a possibility.
Mobile messaging is currently one of the most underutilized technologies in the customer service industry. And, as a business in this niche, it’s important that you stop following the pack, and start paving your own path. Mobile messaging has the potential to become one of the most transformational customer service technologies of our era – but you must adopt it in order for it positively to affect your own organization. Merely watching isn’t enough.
Three Ways How Mobile Messaging is Being Used in Customer Service
In order fully to comprehend the value of mobile messaging in customer service, you need to take a look at some of the ways that it’s currently being used in the industry. Check out the following:
- Alternative to Voice and Email
Phone calls can be time-consuming and intensive for businesses that have to make hundreds or thousands of them per day. Plus, customers are often frustrated by automated phone calls from businesses (generally considering them spammy). The same is true for emails. They lack value because the average customer receives dozens of them per day. In most cases, an email goes straight to the trash bin if it doesn’t look important.
Text messages are seen as effective alternatives to voice calls and emails. They can be sent out quickly and are viewed as highly personalized forms of engagement. Examples of this include an airline sending out a notification that a flight schedule has changed, a hotel sending a guest an invoice on the morning of checkout, and a retail store sending a receipt as opposed to printing it.
- Text-Enabled 1-800 Numbers
When you look at the millennial demographic, the average consumer prefers to do business with companies that offer text as opposed to voice for customer support. The implementation of a text-enabled 1-800 number can change the perception of your business and directly improve customer service on the ground level.
- Customer Surveys
Feedback is incredibly important in customer service, but it can also be awkward and contrived to attempt to gather information over the phone. Furthermore, if you send out an email requesting answers to a survey, you can expect low response rates. SMS, on the other hand, comes with fairly positive conversion rates. Armed with these responses, you can make constructive changes to your approach to customer support.
Helpful Tips and Tricks for Proper Implementation
Simply recognizing the usefulness of SMS isn’t enough, however. You need to be careful when implementing a new SMS-based tactic. Here are some tips worth keeping in mind:
- Ask for permission. You absolutely, positively must ask for permission before ever contacting customers via SMS. Not even a phone company is allowed to contact its customers without permission. To avoid a potential issue or lawsuit, make sure that you’re asking your customers to opt-in. It’s also necessary to tell them how many messages they can expect to receive on a monthly basis.
- Allow for easy opt-out. On the flip side, you need to allow for easy opt-out, should your customers decide that they no longer want to receive text messages. Typically, companies include the code STOP at the end of messages to let users easily unsubscribe.
- Allow for two-way dialogue. Remember that SMS is a two-way communication tool. If you’re only using it to send out information to customers, then you’re only leveraging half of the technology’s potential. Make sure that you’re giving users the ability to respond. This’ll help you in more ways than one.
- Don’t go overboard with abbreviations. While SMS is designed to reach a younger demographic, don’t assume that this means you can be super casual. Contrary to popular belief, millennials don’t want companies using language like “OMG,” “GR8,” and “UR.” This type of conversation is totally unprofessional.
Every company will have to adapt their SMS strategy to meet their specific target audience, but these four tips pretty much apply across the board. The goal is to enhance engagement, not to add extra barriers.
Contact OpenMarket Today
At OpenMarket, we take pride in helping our clients engage with customers and employees. We do so by offering a best-in-class Mobile Engagement Platform that can be integrated into an existing setup with relative simplicity.
When you work with OpenMarket, not only do you get access to state of the art technology, but you’re also able to work with our award-winning technical support team that provides dedicated expertise 24/7/365. This is just one aspect of our value offering that sets us apart from the competition.
For additional information regarding out solutions and how they can help you enhance your approach to modern customer service, please don’t hesitate to contact us today! We’d be happy to answer any questions that you may have.