Businesses Missing Out by Not Engaging Customers with SMS

By Ian Barker, BetaNews

Consumers want to communicate with businesses using SMS according to a new study, but companies are failing to grasp the opportunity this offers.

The research from mobile engagement specialist OpenMarket unveils a missed opportunity for financial service providers, retailers and hospitality companies that don’t make use of SMS-powered chatbots to more effectively engage with customers.

The research, which polled over 1,500 mobile users in both the US and UK, finds that despite 49 percent of consumers wanting to engage more conversationally with businesses through SMS, enterprises aren’t meeting their needs.

The results show 50 percent are not currently receiving SMS notifications from financial institutions. Travel and hospitality businesses are even less engaged with 75 percent of consumers not currently receiving SMS notifications from companies such as hotels, airlines and train operators. Retailers too aren’t taking advantage of SMS, with 62 percent of consumers not currently receiving notifications from preferred companies.

“Chatbots are getting a lot of attention on the promise of transforming customer interactions, yet to date, there’s been little insight from consumers themselves supporting whether or not they would find value in chatbots as a way to communicate with brands,” says Jay Emmet, general manager for OpenMarket. “The survey findings prove that chatbots are more than a short-lived fad. They are an untapped mobile engagement solution that consumers and business could benefit from both from a convenience and financial perspective — a strategy that businesses should be incorporating into their 2017 customer experience initiatives”.