Why Finance Companies Should Excel at SMS Messaging
One of the most interesting use cases for SMS messaging is the financial industry. Just a couple weeks ago I wrote a blog on 7 ways the financial industry can use SMS messaging to communicate with customers. In this blog I’ll expand on the topic from a different perspective: personalisation.
One of the most important aspects of using SMS messaging to communicate with customers is the relevant nature of the messages. This is true whether you’re using it for marketing or for simple notifications. Personalisation is a guaranteed way to make sure your messages are relevant, but it means more than just using someone’s first name in the message.
In fact, the more data you have on your customers the better the personalisation, and relevance will be. What makes this topic especially good for financial companies is that you usually have more information about customers than the average company. Just in the course of conducting normal business, you get to know a lot about your customers even if you don’t realise it.
Here are 5 examples of how insight into customer’s finances can help you send relevant, actionable, and informative SMS messages.
- Banks know the balances of all their customers. If someone has a consistently high balance in a current account, you can send an SMS message letting them know there are options for them that have higher returns. You’re looking out for your customer’s financial well-being and expanding their knowledge of the products you offer. If the customer is interested, you’ll also have the benefit of their business in multiple types of accounts.
- If you have customers that maintain high credit card balances that you know are also home owners, offer them the alternative of a lower-interest mortgage top-up via an SMS message. You’ll be helping them save money, while gaining their loyalty. The money they save may just come back to another account with you. They will probably recommend you to friends and family after they tell them how helpful you were in reducing their debt.
- Do you have customers with current accounts, investment accounts, mortgages, auto loans, or any other combination of accounts? Could they take advantage of bundled services you offer (such as lower, or no fees for certain balances or combination of accounts)? Send an SMS message to your customers letting them know they have the option to save by choosing your bundles.
- Let your customers request credit line increases via SMS and give them an instant decision in a reply message. Whatever purchase your customers are considering, they’ll appreciate the convenience of getting a quick decision on their increase request. You’ll get the benefit of interest on the purchase they make, provided their request is approved of course!
- With identity theft and cyber crime increasing, you can use SMS messaging to contact a customer you suspect may have been compromised. Instead of closing or shutting down an account because you think there may be fraud, send the customer a message and ask them to confirm the questionable transaction. It’s probably the quickest way to find out without causing your customer problems or embarrassment when they find out their credit or debit card is declined.
- You’re likely to have much more information on your customer than even the examples above. Depending on the financial services you provide you may have many other uses for SMS messaging.
Remember to be legal
Even though the law lets you send SMS messages to your customers about related products to those they already purchased or enquired about, you still want to be careful what messages you send. Remember that they trust you with all their information, so don’t ever make them question you by getting too personal.
In addition, if you contact them too often, especially regarding the same information or offers, they’re liable to see your messages as spam rather than an attempt to help them. And not everyone wants to be texted. So always remember to include the option to opt out of future messages that promote your products.
These uses of personal data allow the financial institutions to provide customers with valuable, targeted opportunities. Both the customer and the institution can benefit, provided the data is used with care.
In this blog I also share a story from a previous job where timekeeping was critical to the success of the company and how SMS could have helped. For any business needing to keep track of employee time and payroll, SMS is a perfect fit. This simple form of communication is so versatile, it can be used for just about anything.
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