The latest research by Forrester puts the number of text messages sent daily in the US at over 6 billion. That’s a lot of people talking to each other over SMS and text. And it means that in an age of fierce competition, businesses can use SMS and text to differentiate themselves. Many people now choose which business to support based on emotion rather than just price or other factors. And here’s how businesses can capitalize on this with SMS marketing, integrating it into the customer experience.
Related: 7 Tips to improve your SMS marketing
People are likely to ignore generic communication. Think about having a conversation with someone. You’re not talking to a crowd. You’re talking to an individual. It’s the same with your marketing communication. And SMS marketing allows you to create targeted messages for each of your customers based on demographic factors, their tastes, and the way they behave. Creating personalized messages enhances the value of the message by reducing the number of messages they receive that have no relevance to them. And, if every message has the same value, customers will soon learn to trust your business and a positive and consistent customer experience will be built.
SMS marketing need not just be about sending messages out to your customers. It’s also a fantastic channel for your business to receive messages from your customers. By allowing your customers to text you, you can enhance your customer service 10-fold. The majority of people prefer using SMS messages for customer service inquiries and comments. It’s fast, hassle-free, cheap, and can be done from anywhere. By offering this feature as part of your omnichannel communications approach, you make your brand accessible and allow people to contact you with any questions or problems. This immediately reduces the amount of time for a customer to resolve an issue they have and leads to a satisfied customer base, even when something goes awry.
While there is opportunity for your SMS marketing to improve the customer experience, it does also have the capacity to create a negative one. There is no surer way to frustrate your customers than by sending them communication that they don’t want or haven’t signed up for. It immediately creates resentment because it shows that your business doesn’t respect its customers. It’s vital that you only send your SMS communication to those who have opted in and that you honor the choice of those who opt out. Be clear about the parameters of your agenda when they sign up.
Another potential point of slip up for an SMS marketing campaign is if you text at the wrong time or with too much frequency. Your communication should be a positive interruption that provides value and comes at a convenient time for your customers. It won’t help the customer experience if you text them too early or too late. And they’re likely to ignore the messages if they’re sent during rush hour. Sending messages too often quickly gets tiresome for customers. Be appropriate. Aim to send out communication between two and four times a month and plan accordingly.
With a clear and streamlined proposition that adds value to the customer’s life, SMS can enhance the overall customer experience. This positive customer experience can help to build your brand reputation and thereby bring in more business (especially repeat business). If you’d like to learn about other benefits that SMS can bring to your marketing campaigns, then read our latest article on the topic. It outlines 7 key reasons why you really should be implementing SMS in your marketing strategy moving forward.