When you talk about multi-channel strategy, you often think of social media platforms.
In addition to the traditional voice, many brands use the multi-channel approach today to engage the customer on multiple social media channels and different chat modes, such as video chat or live chat.
However, one channel that is often ignored, but just as significant to sales and customer service, is the text message (or SMS).
A Pew Internet study found that text messaging applications are the most widely used smartphones, with 97% of Americans using them at least once a day.
While texting is prevalent in social communication, the channel also presents great potential for brands looking for more customer engagement. Digital Marketing Magazine found that 75% of respondents wanted to receive offers via SMS.
In contrast, an eWeek study found that more than half of respondents would gladly send text messages to customer service agents. They said they prefer SMS over their current channel of preference.
So how can brands capitalize on this channel for increased sales and customer satisfaction?
Use text messages in your direct marketing strategies to increase sales
Brands can use text messages as an excellent channel for direct marketing.
Based on customer preferences and purchasing history, brands can schedule text message updates announcing future sales and discount codes.
Additionally, geolocation tools can be used to send offers to the customer when they are in the store. Many studies have shown high redemption of offers available only in stores.
Velocify research found that potential buyers who receive text messages become real buyers at a 40% more top speed than those who do not accept any text messages.
Additionally, an attractive aspect of text messages is that it goes perfectly in line with mobile consumers’ habits, so making contact via text message is a way to make brands more accessible to customers who prefer to receive information on the move. However, it is essential to remember that clients need to feel respected and control their contact frequency.
Customers should first be asked if they want to receive text communications. They should have the opportunity to cancel them (text messages may also incur a cost to the customer, so it is essential to communicate rates).
It is also a sensible strategy to limit text messages’ frequency for sales purposes to no more than four times a month. Customers view these messages as welcome offers and not as harassing reminders.
Use it as a channel to provide excellent customer service
Considering the customer’s preference for quick and easy communication (and even better if it can be done on the go), SMS remains a viable customer service channel.
Brands that employ an active SMS channel can easily communicate with customers in the same way they would by chat, keeping the communication concise but relevant.
However, if the conversation becomes too complex to handle via text, it should be transferred to another channel in the same way as with chat.
Brands can also use this channel to submit links to post-contact feedback surveys. They can be careful that the study is optimized for mobile devices and easy to follow to achieve higher completion rates.
Finally, SMS is also an active channel for sending fast updates, such as tracking numbers and pending order statuses.