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SMS – Tap into the Customer Service Channel Customers Actually Engage With

You want to make sure that your most important communications actually make it to your customers and that they engage with them, right? That’s a pretty basic desire no matter what business or industry a company is in.

Nowadays there are so many different communications channels it can be difficult to know which one is right for your customers. Of course, having omni-channel capabilities is ideal for many. But this also comes down to understanding how people engage with business-to-consumer communications.

Benefits of SMS/MMS

Text messaging has a big advantage over other communications channels because people actually read text messages. While people struggle to get to “Inbox Zero,” it’s almost impossible to ignore glancing at your phone when a text message arrives. A 2010 study [pdf] found that over 90% of people read text messages within three minutes of receiving them. This tells us one critical thing about text messaging: it’s wildly efficient.

Virtually every mobile phone has SMS/MMS capabilities. This tells us another important benefit of text messaging: it provides access to a lot of people.

Text messaging is even more popular than ever. For example, a recent Nuance study found 28% of Millennials preferred text messaging for communications. Considering that the Millennial generation is one of the largest in terms of population, this is a considerable development.

Ease of Implementation

All of this means that SMS/MMS isn’t just an add-on. If anything, text messaging should be a central plank in every company’s communications platform. And it’s not as though adding text messaging functionality is a huge hurdle, at least from a technology perspective.

While it’s always possible to undertake deep integration with your current telecom infrastructure, doing so is unnecessary. Pretty much any text message vendor that you deal with will have APIs that allow their tech to talk to your tech. This makes it easy to connect things and to switch if your needs change and you decide you want additional tools or features.

Avoid Pitfalls

Text messaging is a very personal form of communication. For companies that personalize communications with customers, text messages allow you to develop that relationship even further. At the same time, this also means that text messaging isn’t good for reaching out to customers willy-nilly.

Information sent via text has to contain real value for its recipient. Whether that’s a coupon code, a special offer, a security confirmation, or a payment reminder, failure to create value leads to people opting out of text message notifications.

The last thing you want to do is spam customers via text messages. This could result in your telecom provider suspending your text message capabilities, or other penalties. So be careful!

Overall, text messaging is a very impactful communications channel, and it’s only becoming more relevant as time passes. It provides a number of benefits and is easy enough to implement that every business should incorporate it into their communications efforts.