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“Consumers are used to better interactions as a result of technology, and they expect companies to rise to the occasion…Enter the chatbot; one of the most powerful up-and-coming tools.” – Forbes
As more businesses shift to the digital space and competition increases, there is really one thing setting great businesses apart from mediocre businesses - customer experience. In fact, according to a PwC survey, 73% of customers consider experience as the most important factor determining purchasing decisions, with 43% even prepared to pay more for a better experience.
So, what does this mean for your business? Rather than overhauling all your operations, you might want to start your customer-centric approach by implementing a chat platform – such as SMS – to create a more personalized, interactive engagement. Here’s how you can achieve this superior customer experience.
There are countless ways that you can leverage a chat platform for your business operations. These can either be new service offerings, or work alongside existing services, thereby freeing up staff and improving the customer experience.
Whether you’re an ecommerce organization, tourism operator, or in the hospitality industry, a chat platform allows you to notify customers about booking and delivery details. This could be confirmations or delivery updates such as delays or arrival times. This lets customers feel more connected to your organization as they are getting personalized attention.
The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the value of SMS notifications in times of an emergency. Using this platform, government was able to communicate details related to vaccination sites, potential contact with infected individuals, lockdown regulations, and more. SMS is particularly useful in that it does not rely on Wi-Fi, which means residents can be updated even when systems are down – essential in natural disasters.
The beauty and healthcare industries have found massive value in this chat platform with scheduling made much easier through the implementation of SMS appointment reminders. These reminders have significantly reduced no-shows and cancelations because of poor time management.
A great feature of the SMS platform is the ability for customers to respond via SMS, streamlining operations, and simplifying processes. Using a two-way messaging service, you can assist customers with account registration, enhance security through PIN authentication, assist with customer queries, and garner useful customer feedback.
SMS provides the ideal way to engage with your customers while also generating sales through SMS marketing. You can even customize the deals offered to your particular client using existing data. Everything from the launch of new products through to special offers and limited-time promotions will reach the customers.
You can enhance your customer journey by offering valuable tips and advice via SMS when your customers need it most. This could be anything from health-and-safety guidelines for travellers through to financial guidance during Black Friday sales.
When you connect with your customers for the above-mentioned reasons, you’re able to improve the customer journey as well as your customer retention. This is how:
Text messaging has around a 90% open rate simply because almost everyone uses smartphones and keeps them on-hand 24/7. This incredibly high open rate means you’re much more likely to reach your customer with whatever message you’re communicating – just ensure you’re using this platform well. Customers must be benefitting from the information sent, rather than harassed and wanting to opt out.
It doesn’t matter if your customers are technologically restricted, every mobile phone has SMS capability and is incredibly easy to use. Added to this, the SMS platform isn’t reliant on Wi-Fi connectivity, making it more accessible, even in far-flung regions. Other chat platforms and email rely on Wi-Fi with phone calls often dropped if there are signal disruptions.
Where an email requires time to read over, and a phone conversation requires a quiet space, reading an SMS notification is quick and can be done anywhere, taking an average of 90 seconds in total. This increases the likelihood that your business SMS will be read almost instantly which is important for companies dealing with strict time constraints.
If your customers don’t want to receive SMS notifications about your business offerings, then they simply must opt-out and it’s finished. Whereas customers who don’t opt-out might not always buy into your offerings, they’re likely to keep reading notifications until something strikes their fancy. Having the ability to opt-out puts the power in your customers’ hands, but many still choose to receive the notifications.
Customers can benefit from real-time support and feedback, which is more likely to put them at ease, leading to customer retention. You’re also able to deal with higher volumes of customer complaints and queries at once. Likewise, you’re able to get in touch with your customers quickly for time-sensitive issues such as notifications and fraud alerts.
Your business doesn’t need to be large to benefit from SMS messaging. The text messaging service requires little upfront investment which makes it beneficial to businesses ranging from start-ups through to corporate and government entities.
If you’re looking at SMS chat to improve your customer journey and improve customer retention, then it’s important to work with the best in the industry – and that’s Clickatell. With Clickatell, you can send and receive SMSes for customer support, communications, promotional marketing, or two-factor authentication notifications. Here are the SMS options available:
Clickatell’s One API: Automate engagement on an ever-expanding list of communication channels without the overhead of programming individual channels.
Messaging-Specific APIs: SMS-enable any application, website or system and facilitate international one- or two-way messaging with an easy one-step integration process.
Campaign Manager: Create one- or two-way bulk SMS campaigns within minutes, with no coding or developers required, a free application and you only pay for the messages you send.
Clickatell’s SMS Gateway: For secure, reliable, and fast bulk SMS messaging. This hosted, specialized SMS gateway lets you cost-effectively connect to your customers at scale.
SMS and two-way channels, automation, call center integration, payments - do it all with Clickatell's Chat Commerce platform.