Many of us are now receiving a text from our banks informing us of our current balance etc. Pre-booked taxi’s text with their location, registration number, driver details, and ETA. If we book plane tickets we get a text confirmation. And our doctor’s send reminders so that we don’t forget an appointment the next day.
Why has everyone started sending us texts all of a sudden? Maybe it’s because, unlike emails, we read them all. Did you know that 90% percent of all SMS are read within three minutes of being received? And since over 85 % of the world adult population owns a mobile device, it is undoubtedly a very powerful communication tool.
SMS means simplicity. It was the first innovation of the mobile revolution. Smartphone wasn’t even a word when SMS arrived. There is close to no “interface,” just the bare minimum: a recipient and a message. You can use it to communicate with almost anyone who trusts you with their phone number.
SMS: a missed opportunity for businesses
Today very few businesses resort to SMS to communicate with clients, far behind email, voice calls and even direct mail.
One reason for the lack of adoption may be that customers don’t necessarily like texts from brands using them as a marketing tool. People expect every text they receive to be personal, whereas these marketing messages are sent in bulk, with little or no attempt at personalization. For customer support, however, relations are one-to-one by definition, and SMS text messaging could be a great alternative to existing communication channels.
A win-win situation for businesses and customers
Customer service via text provides a better experience for the customer and is more efficient for brands.
It’s great for customers because it doesn’t need the latest smartphone; it works on old phones just as well. 2G networks are the most reliable. And texts are notifications: a lot of information in very little space; there’s usually no action to take; you still get a nice feeling of control.
It’s great for businesses, too. The first benefit, and maybe the most important, is that over 90 percent of all text messages are read within three minutes of being received. Paired with an average open rate of 98 percent (versus 22 percent for email) and the fact that any mobile device out there is able to read a text message, SMS is a great way to reach out to pretty much anyone.
Texts are also a nice way to get closer to your customers: the format feels personal, because unlike email addresses, we aren’t giving away our phone number ten times a day. Phone numbers are still a unique, personal piece of trust that people share with great cautiousness.
How can you use SMS in your business?
Some companies out there have already begun to use SMS, setting the trail for others to follow.
Many are beginning to use texts to confirm booking and send out reminders. They can also alerts users when their reservation is about to end and if the rental car is available for extension. If it is, users can then extend their booking by sending a text back.
Health Care organisations manage their staff, letting them know when they are needed, and what shifts are available.
Service based companies often have an app that customers can use to book its services. But the company uses texting to tell users about any last-minute changes. This enables fast problem solving and efficient communication for everyone.
Airline companies are well known for texting passengers to alert them about flight delays, cancellations and gate changes. But some also tap SMS to streamline customer service. They use text messaging to cut airport wait time and inbound passenger calls, by giving the option to consumers to interact by SMS instead of phone.
How to get started with SMS customer support
Maybe you’re thinking that this is all very interesting, but you don’t see how you could take advantage of it. In fact, the set-up is far from complex:
- Go to https://txtreme.co.uk/
- Register to use the software
- Get started in a few minutes
If you’re really serious about texting from a new customer support channel, sending out messages from your personal mobile phone simply won’t do. Having the right tool to deal with your SMS lets you track interactions the way you would with emails. It provides a centralized management of what was sent and to whom, thus providing you with a full and comprehensive audit trail. The Txtreme application will also send a bespoke Email with every text message enabling you to send images and other relevant information to the recipient. https://txtreme.co.uk/text-email-marketing/
Finally, and most importantly, you must let your customers know that this service is available. Displaying your number in your app or on your website where it’s relevant, or asking them for their phone number at sign up and letting them know how it will be used, are the best ways to start.