Marketers Should Leverage SMS Chatbots

By Andrew Bindelglass, Mad Marketer

OpenMarket, a consumer trends monitor, recently conducted a survey of 1,500 mobile phone users in the United States and United Kingdom about the way they interact with brands on their mobile devices. The results it found were intriguing: a majority of customers want the ability to engage with brands over SMS messaging, something that many brands currently do not have the capability to do effectively.

A great way for brands to leverage SMS messaging is with the use of chatbots, the author of the survey said. The artificial intelligence in chatbots can use prompts in text messages to answer basic questions, or direct customers to the correct department to get their complex questions answered.

“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,” said 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.”

The biggest reason that consumers so prefer these SMS chatbots to other methods of brand engagement is the convenience. When asked by researchers what drew them to SMS messaging, the answers that were given most frequently were: “not getting put on hold,” “doing it on my own time,” and “taking my time to respond.” People feel that with the use of SMS chatbots, they can get their questions and concerns taken care of without having it happen at the expense of the rest of their day.

Today’s business world is more focused on the customer than ever before. Customers want to feel that the brands they interact with are at their service, rather than the other way around. The use of SMS chatbots allows customers to feel as though they are not at the mercy of customer service departments, and can instead get the answers they need at their own pace. This is incredibly valuable to many customers, and it is an area of customer service where brands are falling short. Marketers should thus look to invest time in developing SMS chatbots with the goal of using them for marketing and customer service.