September 15, 2020
By Mike DelaCruz, National Sales Manager, Auto at Broadly
Most people use text messaging all day, every day to handle personal communication with friends, family and other people in their network. So, it makes sense that they’d want to communicate with businesses in the same way. In fact, stats show that 69% of consumers across all age groups and 75% under the age of 44 want to contact a business via SMS text messaging.
There’s no denying it: Texting is by far the preferred method of communication for customers.
If you’re like many businesses, you may be hesitant to make the switch to SMS text messaging. It’s a big change, after all, and you might be wondering if you even have the bandwidth to manage yet another communication channel. Plus, you may have privacy concerns: Will text messages be valuable to your customers or will they find them intrusive and annoying?
However, the bottom line is that meeting your customers where they are — on their smartphones via text — significantly improves customer experience. And, when people have a good customer experience, they remember those interactions, and come back again and again. Intrigued? Let’s dive a little deeper into some of the ways that text messaging can enhance customer experience:
1. It makes it easier for customers to reach you.
Whether they’re waiting to hear back from you about an upcoming appointment or a simple question about service, no customer wants to wait for a email or phone call. The quick access and responsiveness of two-way texting can a key differentiator for your business to stand out from competitors. This open line of communication helps establish reliability: Customers know they can get ahold of you, especially when they need you the most.
2. It cultivates clear, effective communication.
Did you know that 90 percent of text messages are read within 3 minutes of being sent? Because most texts are typically viewed instantaneously by both recipients, you have the ability to diagnose the problem the customer is facing and offer solutions faster than ever. Plus, with texting capabilities you can easily and conveniently share photos while you’re completing a job, send status updates, and coordinate follow-up work quickly. The more information you share with your customers, the more likely they will be to trust you and want to work with you in the future.
3. Text messages can be used as a written record.
When you text with a customer, you’re automatically putting important information down in writing for future reference. (The same can’t be said for most phone calls.) And if you have the ability to send digital invoices and receipts — even better! You never have to repeat any information and the record of service in writing makes inquiries and followup easier for everyone.
4. Customers can give feedback immediately.
SMS text messaging can be used to collect reviews and feedback in the moments immediately following service. This is key for your business to be able to quickly identify any problems that occurred and — most important — try to resolve the problem right away. Plus, it’s already part of the text conversation you’ve been having with your customer throughout service, so they’ll feel less inconvenienced and will be more likely to respond. When customers feel heard, they feel valued and are more likely to return. Plus, the feedback will help you improve the customer experience for all customers moving forward.
5. Helpful text reminders assure customers they’re top of mind.
The most direct way to reach customers to remind them of a scheduled appointment or that they’re due for service? Text message, hands down. When done in a personal, thoughtful way, these alerts show customers that you care about them. It’s one less thing busy customers have to worry about, and they come to count on you to keep track of their service needs.
6. Discount codes or other “thank you” offers make customers feel appreciated.
Research shows that a staggering 68 percent of customers change brands because of “perceived indifference.” One of the easiest ways to help customers stay engaged with your business and feel important is to text them timely and relevant promotions and discounts. Customers are more likely to return to your business if they feel invested in its success.
Interested in learning more about whether text messaging can work for you? Check out Broadly’s article, “How to Grow Your Business With Text Messaging.”