Relying on traditional methods of reaching customers puts you far behind the starting line, especially when upgrading and integrating versatile communications channels is simpler than you may have thought.
Tickets, phone calls, emails and instant messaging are reliable channels of customer support, but they don’t cater to all customers and they all have their limitations which will show up negatively in your numbers later. The inherent shortcomings in these communication channels can create a frustrating experience for your customers, and hurt your brand’s reputation. Rather than trying to train customer service representatives who are doing their jobs correctly, you can consider adding on a method that serves to lessen the impact of the disappointing experiences of waiting on hold too long or spending days flipping emails back and forth.
There are so many innovations and ways to optimize customer support to cater to the individual customer with high reward and low cost. It’s an advantage businesses may be missing out on by not implementing SMS communication.
And customers have shown interest in receiving promotions and information via text messaging. They especially appreciate it from brands that they trust and it creates a personal relationship between your customer and your company since text messaging has generally been reserved for close contacts only.
So, is there anything stopping you from adding on text messaging and opening up a new world of communication for your customers? And, as these imagined barriers crumble, what do you stand to gain from this forward motion?
Myths Creating Barriers to Change
Many businesses fail to innovate. This is largely due to the following misconceptions about the use of SMS applications.
Misconception #1: SMS messages are spam. Customers don’t want to receive them.
While the last thing you want is to attack your customers with messages, a few well-timed and highly relevant messages can be appreciated by customers who have consented to receive text messages from you.
However, what if your customers want to ask you a quick question via text, but you can’t provide a convenient answer because your customer support system lacks the capacity?
SMS messaging capabilities are only limited to what you can leverage. If you can add or train a customer support team to respond to SMS message inquiries as they would phone or email, you can optimize this communication channel even further.
Misconception #2: The technology is old.
Your tech capabilities are aging, but certainly not outdated. More than 97% of people use SMS messaging for everyday communication. This “old” technology offers the advantage of being well-established, and nearly everyone knows how to use it.
SMS communications also don’t require preconditions that may limit the channel (such as apps and/or internet connectivity).
Misconception #3: Text messaging can be expensive.
Not anymore. The relatively high cost of messaging means it used to be the exclusive privilege of large corporations. However, rapid technological development (and falling prices) means that text messaging is now available to any SME at competitive prices.
Misconception #4: You don’t have the time, information, and resources to implement and maintain an SMS communications system.
Engaging your customers via text messaging is a lot easier than you think. The only requirement on your end is to find a local solution provider. Fortunately, there are numerous local SMS solution providers who will easily integrate SMS messaging into existing helpdesk systems for you.
Current Trends in SMS Communications
Text message communication is easier and more inexpensive than ever. Just as important, survey results show that the market still has a lot of room for growth. Consider the following data points:
- 52% of customers would rather receive customer support via text than by other means.
- 44% of customers would prefer to receive information about their favorite products via text.
- 79% of companies report the belief that their customers want SMS support.
- Among marketers that currently use text messaging, more than 60% report that SMS messaging is “effective” in reaching customers.
The figures prove two important points. Firstly, a large proportion of customers are interested in connecting with their favorite brands via text message. Secondly, that demand is far from being satisfied.
What Traditional Support Tools Lack for Innovation
Failing to leverage an effective communication channel means missing an opportunity to fill customer needs. Improving your company’s ability to meet customer needs increases their satisfaction. This directly affects the bottom line and commercial viability of any company by boosting customer lifetime value and rates of customer retention.
If you want to be in the fast-growing majority who are leading by innovation, and earning their customers’ loyalty by developing long-term relationships over and over, you can access entire forgotten demographics with their favorite communication channels. Text messaging hits target audiences of youth and females, who may be overlooked by other means of communication such as email and phone.
The Additional Advantages of SMS Messaging
A notable but often ignored advantage of text messaging is the opportunity to deepen engagement with differently-abled customers. For example, customers with hearing problems can use SMS to easily contact the customer support desk and receive immediate help, which is more conducive to a smooth experience than TTY in most cases.
SMS messaging makes the recordkeeping process easier. Companies like yours can efficiently log and organize the needs and preferences of customers when communication is done via text messaging. Modern data analysis tools are making this process easier than ever.
Another advantage to texting? Your company can directly engage customers with multimedia content. Messages can be enhanced with URLS, PDF attachments, downloadable information, apps, images, and videos. These are a few benefits that simply aren’t practical over older means of communication like phone calls or flooded email inboxes.