Should You Use SMS Messaging for Customer Relations?
You probably already know how important it is to create a relationship with your customers. Customer relations, or support, is one of the primary ways most companies develop loyal, lasting customers. Which brings me to my inspiration for this blog.
I love Amazon. The company that is (though I’m sure the rainforest is great too). The reason I love it was reinforced this past week when they sent me an email letting me know they had given me a refund on a movie I’d rented on their streaming service. Partway through the movie I experienced severe lag and buffering, but eventually I finished it. Then I didn’t think anything of it. Until I got the note they “noticed” I had issues and provided me a refund. I never asked for it, or indeed even thought of asking for it. But they gave it to me just the same.
It’s that sort of caring relationship (as perceived by me) driving my decision to purchase and rent most of our family’s movies on Amazon’s platform. This is in contrast to Apple, whom I’ve purchased dozens of movies from over the years and so much music I can’t even count the number of songs. I’ve had technical issues galore with their platform, including losing over half of my music after an upgrade of iTunes (long story, poor customer support, not a happy ending).
But this blog isn’t about Amazon vs. Apple or any other company. It’s about communicating with your customers in ways that make them feel like you care about them. In my recent Amazon experience, it was an email. Though just about every other communication I’ve received from them is a text message. I would have been happy to receive the refund notification via text as well.
If you aren’t using SMS messaging yet, then consider starting to use it for customer relations. In the UK, 93% of the population uses a mobile phone according to Ofcom. If you have customers, they have mobile phones. And SMS messages are probably the best way to reach those customers for most situations. For example, delivery notifications, account updates, appointment reminders or changes, even birthday wishes are usually welcomed by customers.
If you are using SMS messaging, consider adding customer relations to your use cases. You may find your mobile marketing ROI improves once you build up a better relationship with your customers using text messages.
And just for the record, I consider myself well rounded when it comes to my technology. I own products from Apple, Google, Dell, Amazon, HP, and a host of others. Amazon has provided the best service out of all of them, which is why I declared my love for them. And part of their great service is the text message notifications they send. The messages are just little things, but they end up making a big difference in my perception of the company. Maybe SMS messaging can do that for your customers too.
When it comes to small to medium sized businesses, however, a lot of companies believe that they don't have the time or resources to truly find out who their customers are. This often results in confused messaging, emails with low open rates and low conversion levels on their website. There is, however, a way that businesses can collect precious data from their customers which will not only help them engage with their customer base on a personal level but also result in data which can help power future marketing campaigns as well as improve aspects of the company.
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It was late Thursday afternoon on a busy week when I heard the familiar jingle. I received a text message from the company I rented a DVD from about a week prior (I know, who rents DVDs these days - but stay with me). They wanted to ask if I’d forgotten about it, since I hadn’t yet returned it. Indeed I had forgotten.
SMS marketing is defined by the use of text messaging to convey deals, offers or information to customers. When it's used properly, SMS is a high-return and low-cost marketing method with the ability to provide your business with a stable and effective platform for reaching customers. The main goal of an SMS campaign is a conversion; you want the recipient to perform an action as a result of reading the text message, so it's important to know what your customers will most appreciate. For a truly effective SMS marketing campaign, simply follow a few customer-centric guidelines.