Using Text Messaging to Provide a Better Customer Experience


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These days, with no shortage of research and discussion around designing customer experiences, ensuring a positive CX may seem like a no-brainer for businesses. However, new research from NewVoiceMedia shows that what might be obvious isn’t necessarily simple.

Poor customer experiences result in an estimated $62 billion in revenue losses per year and are a root cause of 49% of customers leaving one business for another. Naturally, these staggering losses and run-away customers have led businesses on a pursuit to find the keys to creating a superior CX.

While there may not be a silver bullet, good communication remains a powerful weapon in the fight against poor CX. Sadly, in an attempt to cover their bases, many businesses default to drowning customers in a deluge of one-way communication channels that end up doing little more than shooting themselves in the foot.

At the same time, savvy organizations are starting to use a tool that provides a much more personalized and efficient means of communication, while unlocking a treasure trove of sales and marketing opportunities. What is this magic tool, you ask? Chances are you use it daily — dozens of times. Text messaging.

Here are three reasons why text has become such an important part of creating great customer experiences:

Text bucks tradition

Texting seems to do away with the norm altogether — and that’s a good thing.

While research has shown traditional loyalty programs to be ineffective, especially amongst Millennials and GenZ, that’s not the case with SMS based programs. In fact, 90 percent of smartphone users enrolled in SMS loyalty clubs with companies feel like they benefit from the interaction.

Even companies that have been around for generations have even begun to see the opportunity in messaging. Last year, Marriott Hotels released an app that allowed travelers to message with service personnel, enabling them to carry out requests for pillows, flowers and other services without having to speak to anyone in person. To date, the promotional video for the app has been viewed nearly 8 million times on YouTube, illustrating the excitement people have for this alternative way of communicating with businesses.

Blasting messages to customers and prospects does not mean you are communicating with them. Businesses should focus on creating a genuine two-way dialogue. Among many other benefits, doing so will allow you to collect real-time feedback so you can resolve issues before they make it to Yelp or TripAdvisor. Relying on channels such as email can lead to these critical conversations being halted, which of course leads to less than positive outcomes.

A quick look at below infographic is all you need to see how text’s performance far exceeds email.

Text keeps it real and personal

We are a text first society. In fact, over 6 billion text messages are sent in the U.S. each day. with a 98% open rate and less proclivity for face-to-face communication, text has become the easiest and most efficient form of communication for many. Ignoring this obvious preference not only means missing out on a tremendous amount of opportunity, but also displays a blatant lack of disregard for your customers.

Texting changes the narrative of B2C communication from impersonal to personal. Nothing shows a lack of consideration more than allowing your customers to get stuck in a cumbersome IVR, spamming their inbox with hamfisted marketing tactics, and forcing them to get on the phone when they have an issue.

This is exactly why 80% of millennials polled said they’re waiting for the day when they can text a brand’s 1-800 number instead of calling. In today’s highly saturated business environment, organizations need to be finding ways to fit into their lives of their customers, not the other way around. One of the first steps to doing that is by communicating with them on the platforms they’re already on.

Text sets employees up for success

Of course, creating a great customer experience means having the processes in place to ensure one. From arming your marketing team with a platform to allow real-time, personalized offers, to automating tasks and maximizing operational efficiency, text messaging can give your teams the speed and efficiency needed to deliver a top-notch CX.

One of the main things that text messaging provides is convenience. With text, customers no longer have to track down employees for service requests or other needs. Instead of seeking out a concierge to find information on local restaurants, or for a simple request for extra towels, all they need to do is text. And this can be replicated across industries.

As I recently discussed during a panel at Advertising Week New York, few things are more important to customer success than convenience. Customers expect their needs to be met in an easy and efficient manner. Text provides the perfect vehicle to make that happen and enables your employees to make more customers happy, easier.

As businesses compete to impress customers, the CX bar is continuously raised. Providing merely satisfactory service may result in them switching to someone who can seamlessly integrate into their everyday lives. Utilizing texts allows your business to join the conversations that are already occurring as 97% of Americans text at least once per day.

Frictionless and immediate customer support is necessary to keep up with the growing demands of today’s customers. With more choice and power than ever before, asking your customers to put their day on hold or sift through a mass of emails could be a fatal move on the CX battleground.

Ford Blakely
Ford Blakely is the founder and CEO of Zingle. As a frustrated consumer with an entrepreneurial spirit, Ford sought to figure out a quicker way to order his latte in the morning. He did - and in 2009 Zingle was born as the first two-way, business-and-customer communication platform. Currently, thousands of hotels, food retailers and other businesses use the software platform to increase efficiency, revenue and customer loyalty by providing a quick and simple way to communicate with customers through text messaging - people's preferred method of communication today.


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