When it comes to conversing with customers, two-way chat is where it’s at. Texting is quick and easy for all involved, saving your team time and giving your customers instant access to the answers they need.
Let’s take a look at why and how every business can add two-way SMS as a channel for engaging with customers. First, here’s MessageMedia’s Dan Reeves explaining what it’s all about.
Show your customers you care
With so many brands competing for customers’ attention these days, anything you can do to deliver a more personal service will help you stand out from the crowd. It’s why today’s leading brands are moving away from asynchronous communications – that is, one-way ‘blasts’ of news from your business – to two-way chat.
By inviting customers to respond to your messages, it shows you’re listening. And it shows you care. Not only that, but two-way chat gives customers an easy route to ask questions and engage with your brand, which helps build loyalty.
Question is, which channel is best for two-way chat? There’s live chat on websites, which can be disjointed and hard to come back to. There’s phone, which can suffer from long wait times. There’s email, which can often get lost in overflowing inboxes.
And then there’s SMS, which ticks a lot of boxes that these other channels don’t.
SMS shines in the two-way chat department
With everyone virtually glued to their phones these days, SMS makes sense for two-way conversations with customers. Texting is a flexible, affordable and fast way to connect.
For example, if a fashion brand has a sale coming up, instead of blasting all customers with a one-way message that links out to an event registration form, why not offer the easy ability to register via SMS? Here’s what it could look like.
As the above example shows, two-way texting gives Cate an easy way to get her VIP ticket and find out more about the event. The interaction has a human feel, helping build trust with the brand. And, by keeping the convo in text messaging, Cate doesn’t have to click through to an event page. Less clicks means less likelihood of drop-off.
Here are some more benefits of two-way texting. SMS is:
- An affordable channel
- Easy and familiar for your team and your customers
- Similar to a regular conversation
- Quick to set up
- Fast, with 90% of messages read within 90 seconds
Keen to give it a try?
Get a MessageMedia free trial, plus get 25 SMS credits.
5 customer conversations geared for two-way SMS chat
1. Appointment reminders and confirmations
If you run a service-based business, then you’ll likely know all about the pain of no-shows. Across industries, customers miss 10-15% of booked appointments and the cost of these no-shows quickly adds up.
Two-way SMS automations help solve the problem. Instead of just sending a reminder text, ask the customer to confirm in the text that they will be attending.
TOP TIP: To enable two-way SMS, you’ll need a dedicated number. By sending your text messages from the same phone number each time, your customers see a consistent sender ID and know the SMS message is from you.
2. Deliveries and orders
When it comes to customer orders and deliveries, two-way messaging helps reassure customers about when and how parcels are being delivered.
Not only is this great for customer service, but it reduces the volume of calls you get – freeing up your team’s time to focus on sales.
3. Customer support
For simple support queries, two-way SMS is a great solution to improve your customer experience. Customer call centres can be costly to run, so anything you can do to cut down on queues and service time helps.
With SMS, customers gain a quick and easy way to get the answers they’re looking for, and your support team becomes more efficient.
RELATED READING: Port Networks, a US-based telecommunications provider, has reduced support time by 2–10 hours per representative and cut queue times to its call centre by 50%. How? They expanded their communications to include SMS-based messaging for technical and support queries.
4. Sales engagement
In some businesses, building strong customer relationships during the sales process can help get prospects across the line.
You want to leave a great first impression, and then back it up with ongoing, helpful sales support. Two-way SMS provides an easy way in with new customers.
RELATED: Palace Property Management spotted a huge communications gap between realtors and tenants. Many tenants missed phone calls or never received their mail/email about changes to their tenancy. Adding SMS helped them grow 30% YOY.
5. Internal communications
Two-way texting isn’t just for connecting with customers. You can use it with internal stakeholders, too. It’s a handy channel for important announcements and updates, easily cutting through the noise of email and Slack messages. By giving employees the ability to send and receive messages, it shows you’re listening.
You could use conversational SMS internally to:
- Onboard new recruits
- Manage private chats between employees and direct reports
- Send confidential information out to employees
- Enable HR to reach all employees with time-critical information
At MessageMedia, we use text messages to welcome new staff, send them forms to fill out, and answer their questions about getting started.
How to get started with a two-way SMS service
You can set up two-way chat through our messaging platform or by integrating with a tool you already use. Then, you can either set up automated responses or have team members on-hand to reply to customers’ texts. It’s up to you.
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