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7 ways SMS messaging can improve your customer experience

According to Forrester research, over 6 billion text messages are sent in the US each day. Well-loved for communicating with selfies and emojis, texting is now being viewed as a powerful way for businesses to connect with its customers. The fact that over 97% of Americans text at least once a day, doesn’t just prove that we have an unhealthy addiction to texting, it shows that it has become one of the most popular forms of communication. So how can you take advantage of text messaging to improve the customer experience?

Real-time confirmation

Utilizing SMS to provide customers with real-time updates about their transaction is a great way for businesses to deliver better customer service and reduce inbound enquiries.

If a suitable phone number is provided during application, the UK Passport office send a text to confirm receipt of the documents and detailing the expected processing times. Another message is sent when the new passport is dispatched.

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Promotions

Sending out coupons or promotional offers is a great way to entice new customers and drive traffic to your site, especially effective for impulse purchases like this pizza promotion from Dominos (sent just about the time you might be wondering what to eat for dinner).

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Delivery notifications

In a  study of online consumers shopping experiences, we discovered that a growing number of consumers want real-time delivery details such as time slots via SMS. In fact nearly 40% of 18-34 year olds prefer this method – probably because the vast majority keep their phone on hand at all times.

Customers love to know when they can expect their orders to arrive, especially if they’ve had to wait home to meet the courier. Updates confirming more accurate timings are always appreciated and allow your customer to get on with their day.

In this example, because the customer provided a cell phone number, she received a text message at 8am on the day of delivery with the actual delivery time slot and even the name of the delivery driver.  A web link in the message allows the customer to specify where to leave the delivery if they won’t be home.

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Share information

Text messages can also be a quick way to share useful information with your audience such as last order dates. Email might seem like the most obvious option for these type of transactional messages, but texts are much more likely to get opened and read. In fact, 98% of SMS messages are opened, compared to just 22% of emails (Frost & Sullivan).

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Onboarding

Make new customers feel welcome when they join your organization or sign up to receive regular news. Messaging in this way helps to reassure people about your level of service and implies you will be readily available whenever they need to get in touch.

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Reminders

In the UK, opticians Specsavers use SMS to send reminders and details of appointments, providing a strong customer experience and reducing the number of missed appointments in their diary.

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Gather feedback

SMS can be a great channel for capturing customers’ feedback on a recent purchase. Making it as easy as possible for customers to share their opinion on the service they received will encourage a much higher response rate that helps you to continually monitor your performance.

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Today’s shoppers are more demanding than ever; they want an experience that’s fast, hassle free and provides prompt resolutions to their problems. SMS services help you to exceed these expectations and deliver exceptional experiences that keep customers coming back.

Of course all of this would be impossible with inaccurate contact details. Typos in phone numbers are hard to spot and especially common on apps and mobile sites due to reduced screen size and tiny keyboards. Using a phone number verification service will help to mitigate accidental typos in your online forms at the point of capture. Collecting quality data first time, enables you to trial effective communications like the examples here without wasting messaging fees.