Typically, consumers look to businesses to provide them with choices. But as people become busier and increasingly overwhelmed, they want businesses to provide them with something different: ease.
From advances in online shopping and smartphone delivery services to automated banking and virtual assistants, businesses are providing solutions that can help simplify our lives. It’s natural, then, that customers would expect that same level of convenience when communicating with businesses.
That’s the recent feedback we received when we surveyed consumers about their expectations around business messaging. And the results will give you insight on how your business can perfectly meet customers where they are and make them happy.
Convenient communication builds trust
With so many people relying on their smartphones (or a smartwatch that can display texts) for communication, text messaging and SMS have become essential tools for businesses looking to connect with their customers in convenient, efficient ways.
And as it turns out, offering convenient communication options has an added side benefit: an immediate boost to your “know, like and trust factor” with the customer. From the survey responses, we noted something impressive: A whopping 82% felt a messaging option boosted their confidence in the brand. Additionally, 67% of consumers had already subscribed to business texts.
In short, engaging with consumers through instant messaging is worth a business’ time. So, to establish SMS as an open channel between you and your customers what expectations do you need to meet?
4 tips to build business messaging into your everyday routine and gain customer trust
1. Make it easy to opt-in (and out) to SMS communication
This is an important first step because laws and regulations are continuing to be put into place to protect consumers from spam messages. You’ll stay in the clear if you build a list of interested consumers, by adding a mobile phone number option to forms on your website or exclusive offers available after texting a keyword to your number. (We’ve got 17 more ideas for capturing phone numbers here.)
Once someone is on your list you want to make sure you keep them there: Just over 40% of the consumers we talked to said they opted out of business texts because of too many messages and 21% cited a lack of relevance. So, be sure to keep your audience lists focused and your SMS messages meaningful.
2. Start with appointments, updates, and customer service texts
It’s getting harder to get people to pick up a phone call. Shifting to text for necessary communications like scheduling appointments, crucial updates to products or services, or the all-important customer service messages is a game changer.
It means you can reach people quickly, so they have the information they need at their fingertips.
In fact, our survey respondents made it clear that they are checking text messages multiple times a day, with over 32% saying they check between 6-10 times a day. When we asked consumers if they had received a delivery reminder through SMS 68% said yes and 58% of those said they would have missed the delivery without the text reminder. So, if it’s an important message, put it on their phones. Then they’ll see it right away.
3. Put your marketing where their attention is – their phone
We no longer have a captive audience that can be reached through traditional marketing outlets. People are always on the move and can engage from anywhere, anytime, and any device. Stopping the scroll matters – especially when 52% of the consumers we surveyed said they made a purchase (either online or in a store) after receiving a retailer’s SMS to their phones, and 67% confirmed they made a purchase after getting a promotional offer through text.
Maintaining a digital presence makes sense for a modern business, but imagine managing your messaging across platforms like Facebook, Google, and SMS from a single interface. It is possible, and with platforms like WhatsApp growing in popularity, your business could stay on the leading edge when it comes to your visibility with your market rather than playing catch up.
4. Gather feedback with SMS
Why guess or wait for a poor review when you can get immediate input from the people who matter most – your customers. And it’s as simple as having a bulk SMS provider and a mobile phone.
SMS is a great way to gather feedback from your customers quickly, allowing you to tune your messaging or even fix issues far faster than before. The feedback you ask for can include questions about customer service, product satisfaction, or anything else you would like to learn. With 50% of our respondents saying SMS gets their attention more than email and 81% saying they had provided feedback to a company using SMS, businesses like yours have the opportunity to amp your customer engagement – especially when you’re in the palm of their hand.
It’s clear that consumers expect convenience from businesses, and SMS and text messaging are powerful tools that businesses can use to deliver the convenient experiences that their customers are looking for.