There’s no better way to connect with customers than through conversation. Note, the key word here is “conversation”, not communication. Email, online ads, and website content are great communication vehicles, but they are all one-sided and one direction. Conversation, on the other hand, is an exchange of information and builds a deeper connection with your customers.
Messaging, which supports engagement over SMS/texting, web chat, social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and within a company’s app, have enabled consumers to get in touch with a business however and whenever they want. And, as an added bonus, companies are able to have meaningful, relevant conversations with these consumers when they do reach out. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the ways your business can use messaging to connect with customers in a more efficient and meaningful way.
Photo: Latino Life
1. Make it convenient
Messaging isn’t just convenient for businesses that want a reliable way to communicate news to customers or share an exclusive coupon code to VIP shoppers. Messaging is much more convenient for consumers, especially when compared to calling a 1-800 number for help or blindly searching a website to get the answers they need.
Messaging allows consumers to reach out on whatever channel they feel most comfortable on whether that be a text to the company’s number, from the brand’s website or social page, or within the company’s mobile app.
Consumers who use these channels for help before, during, or after a purchase, can do so on their own terms. Your customers will appreciate the ability to engage with your brand without having to interrupt their busy schedules. Customers want to know that you’re there for them whenever they need you. When you use messaging for customer service, customers can reach out to your company when it is convenient for them.
2. Provide on-demand service
Food delivery services, streaming videos, and getting a ride at 3 a.m. through a few taps on an app are just a few examples of the on-demand economy fueling consumers expectations of immediacy. Consumer expectations surrounding a brands customer service is no different.
Companies such as TodayTix, a New York-based company that helps people find available theater tickets, take on-demand accessibility a step further by offering service and support on the messaging channel. TodayTix customers can use chat or SMS/text to contact the company to cancel or modifying their ticket order. Customers can even text the company to coordinate a meeting location and have their tickets hand-delivered.
Providing customers with on-demand service means helping them find and purchase the products and services you offer faster. Or it can mean helping them resolve issues with far less frustration. Either way, on-demand service delivered via the messaging channel clears the path so consumers want to come back or refer you to others and that is the connection we’re all hoping to make.
3. Go beyond just words
Succinct and concise communication is just part of the messaging channel’s appeal. But messaging shouldn’t be limited to just 160 characters of text. Business messaging allows companies to share images, links, pdf’s, photos, and emojis, enabling brands to connect and engage with customers the way they would expect to communicate with friends and family.
Rich Communication Services (RCS) or rich messaging takes messaging to a new level of engagement. Rich messaging is the next evolution of text messaging that allows companies to share all of the media that could be shared on SMS, with the added benefits of branding, video calls, secure payments, and read receipts.
Rich messaging unlocks new potential for messaging platforms, where companies can share interactive media, such as hi-res images, rich cards, and suggested replies to make it easier and faster for customers to respond. You can even send unique and engaging augmented reality messages in iOS devices.
4. Get the word out
With a 98% open rate, outbound texts are sure to get your message across. Keep customers notified with order confirmations and delivery status that will not only keep you connected but reduces the number of inbound calls. You can tailor your outbound messaging campaigns to be as relevant as possible to recipients, with messages targeted to 1, 100, or 1000 or more customers.
Texting with customers is a great way to get to know your customers, as long as it’s not just a one-way street. Simply sending an outbound message or an alert to your customers isn’t enough these days. Allowing them to respond, by enabling two-way messaging, opens up a great opportunity to connect with your customer.
Quiq clients such as credit unions and other organizations offering financial services that need to communicate with their customers on sensitive topics like delinquent payments or loan applications have found that customers are more likely to respond to a text notification where their response can remain discreet and private. By enabling your customers to respond to your outbound messages you show that you care about your customer’s needs and allow them to develop a greater sense of connection with your brand.
5. Ask for feedback
The personal quality of direct messages is a perfect channel for candid feedback. When you reach out for feedback via text, you’re likely to get a more honest and to the point report than with bland surveys or hiveminding review sites. A message sent to a customer telling them that you value their feedback has a different quality than a generic appeal for reviews posted on your website.
Messaging allows you to connect with customers in a one-on-one, conversational way. With the assistance Quiq’s messaging platform it’s possible to stay connected with masses of customers with a much more intimate quality than email blasts. The end result is a stronger connection with customers, which is regularly nourished by consistent online interactions.
Modern messaging approaches open up new possibilities for connections with past and future customers alike. Utilize the art of business messaging well, and your brand is sure to enjoy more loyalty.