Customer Experience

Text Messaging grows as consumers delete apps

SMS Text Messaging

95% of Text Messages are read within 3 minutes

Lunar, which offers Salesforce consulting services, recently published a survey which shows consumer adoption of Text Messaging is happening fast. “Businesses need to realize if they’re not communicating with clients and sales prospects via text, they’re inadvertently extending their sales timeline and reducing the amount of sales they could be closing,” Lunar President Jon Robinson said in a statement around a new survey.

Texting is a faster communication channel than email for sales and marketing, with 75% of people saying they read text messages in two minutes or less, per survey results that Lunar shared with Mobile Marketer.

Text Messages also generate quick responses, with 25% of survey respondents reporting that they reply to a text in less than one minute and 67% replying in under two minutes. About eight of 10 (78%) people said texting is the easiest communication channel that will urge them to respond.

To get the best ROI for your marketing efforts, Vibes suggests communicating deals to consumers via text messaging or mobile wallet as opposed to apps which can easily be ignored or deleted.

Lunar’s study suggests that marketers should adopt texting to expedite conversations with existing and prospective customers, making sure that the mobile messages aren’t distracting, intrusive or too frequent.

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A Key to better Text Msg Marketing

Who doesn’t text these days? SMS has become a ubiquitous form of communication. Your friends and family text you. Your colleagues text you. And now, think of the texts you’re getting from businesses. In fact, 78% of customers prefer text message offers.

three women standing near man holding smartphones

78% of Consumers prefer Text Message offers

A bank texts you to confirm a deposit. An accommodations company texts you to let you know about an incoming reservation request. And an e-commerce company you do business with online texts you a code to authenticate you are who you say you are.

Why are so many businesses using SMS these days? The answer is simple. Businesses need a reliable, universal way of communicating with their customers around the globe, and SMS fits that bill. Add to that, most people carry their phones with them everywhere. Many people even sleep with their phones.

Compared to traditional marketing response rates, Print (3% or less), Social Media (3-4% reaction rate), and only 20% of emails are ever opened.

SMS Text Messages are opened 97% of the time and 95% of messages are read within 3 minutes.

Smart business owners who want to drive more repeat business each week are using Text Message Marketing. So, how do you improve results?

One key to success with SMS Marketing campaigns is to always use Call-to-Action Buttons

Calls-to-action increase customer engagement with your SMS marketing texts. That’s exactly what you want from them: to be engaged, to value the texts you send, to read them, interact with them, and act on them.

Here are some call-to-action winners:

“Show this text.” Asking customers to show the text in order to earn a discount is a clear and effective way to get them to engage in your promotion. Example: “Show this text for 50% off your dinner tonight.”

“Click here.” Sometimes you don’t have enough space in your SMS message to include all the information your customer will need. Maybe you’re hosting an event, and you want to add a link to a map or a video about the event or a link to your website where there are more details. In that case, a “Click here” button will provide a link to the necessary details.

Text-to-Win. Lots of customers would be interested in having a shot at winning a prize or gift from your company. Asking them to text in order to enter the contest helps increase customers’ engagement. If you’re not offering a sale or hosting an event, Text-to-Win campaigns are an effective way to remind customers of your existence and continue increasing traffic and sales.

Text-to-Vote. Engage customers in mobile polling to find out how your company is doing in terms of service, product quality, prices, and more.

“Buy now.” This is the perfect CTA button for targeted messages. If you know a customer routinely buys a certain product, you can send a text promoting that product with a “Buy now” button to make it easier for them to make a purchase.

Don’t forget to set up a Birthday Club so you can send a direct message and gift to your customers on their most special day of the year

Learn more about using Text Marketing to Increase Profitability this month.

How to really know your Customer’s Experience

Know your customers

I had an issue with one of my home service providers and I called their Customer Service line for help. This is a National company with a central call center. I waited 49 minutes on hold before hanging up. No messaging on hold. Just music. No options for a callback, leave a message, or any other option that might have made me feel less frustrated.

I called the corporate office number that I found on Google, since it was not listed on the company Web site (why are they hiding?) and followed the IVR instruction to press “0” for the Operator to get some direction. Each time I pressed “0” the system hung up on me. I tried 3 times. As a consultant who works to fix broken Customer Service systems and processes like this, I was as intrigued as I was frustrated.

Need help? Chat NOW

Chat is offered on the Web site when logging into your account so I gave that a try. It took almost 2 minutes for the Chat session to boot up and actually have a representative say “hello.” This was after I completed a 5 question Chat Start Box. Once online, I quickly asked my question and, you might have guessed, I was told to call Customer Service. Even after explaining the long hold, my simple need for help, the only option offered by the Chat agent was to call CS. Goodbye CSAT and NPS!

Next stop was going into Private Detective mode and looking up corporate executives online, including the President of the Division, then calling back the corporate number, getting to the corporate phone directory and using names to connect to their voice mail and leaving a messages for two of them. I received a call back by a Regional Director a little over an hour after leaving a message for the President.

I’m sure most of you reading this have gone through similar experiences. It is simply unacceptable and a sure indicator of management issues, lack of planning, improper use of technology, and a host of other issues that come from a weak effort to manage customers, the lifeblood of every company.

Unfortunately, these types of issues are very common no matter how successful or large a company may be.  Customer retention is art and science. For such flagrant breakdowns to be happening in 2019 with all we know about how to serve customers, all the technology tools we have at our disposal, and all the talk of Customer Experience, is surprising to say the least.

How can company leaders can find issues like these before customers have to suffer through them? Use the company’s Customer Contact channels every day.

Call your Customer Service line and use your Chat/Text/Email and even snail mail functions regularly. Look at everything from a Customer’s point of view. Watch for speed of response; length of hold-time; is the IVR helpful? How knowledgeable are the representatives who answer; how hard it is to use each function? Is your Web site helpful or complicated? Can customers easily reach you if they aren’t ultimately satisfied?  So many Sr. Leaders operate as if the last thing they want to do is hear from an unhappy customer. When that should be first on your list every day.

Well, you say, “Mike, I pay my Management team well to do all of this work. What’s the point of having a staff if I have to do it?” I understand your point, but I would ask you how much better would your management team do if they knew you might be calling, texting, chatting and contacting their departments each day?

Unless you are the only company in the world that provides your product or service and you don’t have to worry about losing paying customers, you must get involved on a micro-level. And, you should be preaching and advocating for this level of involvement and ownership to your entire staff. Trust your management team, but verify firsthand that your Customer Service is absolutely the best it can be every day.

At your service,

Mike