In today’s customer-centric world, it’s in the best interest of businesses to provide their customers with as many avenues as possible through which to communicate, particularly text messaging.
Text messaging and SMS (Short Message Service) have become extremely pervasive in our culture. In fact, according to a recent study, the average consumer sends 600 text messages per month compared to spending 200 minutes talking on the phone. Because of its ease of use and reach, SMS is becoming a preferred method for consumers to communicate with businesses. This trend should only increase as more consumers cut the cord to their landlines and become mobile-only households.
With this in mind, business owners would be shrewd to institute policies that encourage employees to communicate with customers in that manner. The more comfortable a customer is reaching out to a company, the more likely he or she is to do so, giving your team the opportunity to deliver the customer service on which you pride yourself.
Offering customer service via SMS provides your business—and your customers—a variety of benefits, including:
- It’s affordable: Rather than having to reach out to your customers via telephone or traditional snail mail, SMS substantially reduces communication costs. What better way to pick your customers’ brains or reach out to them with a marketing campaign than to send that message directly to the palm of their hand?
- It’s fast: When customers have questions or concerns, they want them addressed as quickly as possible. SMS provides businesses with the ability to offer text-based assistance in real time, helping remedy situations in an expedient manner. If a customer has a question about billing, for example, an agent can quickly address it via SMS.
- It works: Research indicates that 98 percent of text messages are read, which means that customers will assuredly open the SMS communications you send. That number compares to 20 percent of emails, 12 percent of Facebook posts and 29 percent of tweets that are read by the same customers. With this in mind, businesses are turning toward SMS to build brand awareness, fortify customer loyalty, acquire new customers and improve customer service—while at the same time reducing call center operating expenses by encouraging customers toward self-service.
- It’s interactive: When you reach out to customers via text messages and picture messages, there’s the added bonus that they can reach right back out to you. Whether you’re reminding customers of a future appointment, letting clients know about new offers or simply to sending quick notifications and alerts, you’re sending communications directly to the palm of your customer’s hand who can then reach right back out to you.
Does your company communicate with customers via text message? Let us know in the comments below!