Changing channels: Is your business messaging future-proof?
“What’s the best way to reach you?”
It’s always been important for companies to ask their customers this question. But the number of potential answers has never been larger — or faster-growing.
Trying to keep up with all this (WhatsApp? What’s that?) can be enough to send a business owner back to bed for the day. But it’s more straightforward than you might think.
The medium, the message, and the market
In late 2022, we asked 500 consumers, “What channel would you prefer businesses use to communicate with you?”
(Read the full report here.)
The majority of respondents chose SMS as their preferred channel when it comes to hearing from businesses.
Why is texting still so popular after all these years? Once carriers removed character limits and began offering unlimited texting in their billing plans, consumers grew to love the ease and convenience. And this almost-effortless two-way communication has been particularly helpful for businesses as they’ve navigated the challenges of the past few years.
SMS use accelerated during COVID as stores were shut down or no-contact procedures were put in place, particularly in the retail and service sectors. Small and medium-sized business owners looked around during that time, saw on their own phones how effective SMS was, and asked themselves, “How can I harness this power?”
Since then, not only has there been an explosion of usage in normal use cases like appointment reminders and marketing, but we also saw innovation grow in other areas like construction IT, financial, and other services.Doug Rubingh, US & UK President, MessageMedia
But even though our respondents crowned SMS king of the communication channels, email and phone calls still enjoy a healthy share of popularity.
Meanwhile, just outside the throne room, a swarm of social media and messaging apps are brawling it out for supremacy and coveted market share.
The danger zone for businesses is managing each communication channel and platform separately – and reactively. These businesses soon find themselves either scrambling to keep up or simply abandoning some channels (and the consumers on them) altogether.
Get your communication channels under control and trend-proof
If the huge array of customer communication preferences has your team spinning in circles, there’s a smart, strategic way to regain control – while future-proofing your outreach strategy.
How? By finding a connection point.
Instead of bouncing back and forth from SMS to social platform to messaging app and back again, smart businesses are connecting across all these channels through one center point and one overarching strategy.
Here’s an example: A company who’s already managing their social messaging with their CRM could also integrate an SMS solution (like ours) into the mix. This integrated approach enables real-time communications to be sent from and received into one platform, making it much easier for your team to manage and track everything.
As new communication channels emerge and gain traction, a centralized approach will make it much simpler to pull each new channel into your strategy – so you’re always exactly where your people want you to be, creating a much better customer experience, without all the juggling.
Want to learn more about the trends that’ll change how your business talks to people in 2023? Get our new survey report here.