Do you want to make it easier for your customers, especially millennials – now the nation’s largest living generation – to do business with your company? If so, you should consider adding texting to your customer service and marketing mix.
According to recent studies:
- Cell phone users between the ages of 18 – 24 exchange an average of 109.5 messages on a normal day. (Pew Research Center)
- Over 80% of American adults text, making it the most common cell phone activity.
- It takes the average person 90 minutes to respond to email, but only 90 seconds to respond to a text message. (CTIA)
- Over half of customers said they would be likely to text with a customer support agent. Similarly, 52 percent would prefer texting customer support over their current preferred form of communication. (eWeek)
With that said, what are some good use cases for engaging your customers via text?
From an outbound/marketing perspective, you might want to offer capabilities such as:
- Order status updates. This is one of my favorites!
- Appointment reminders. Imagine the ROI on texting vs. calling your customers for appointment reminders.
- Discount codes or coupons. According to a survey of Millennials by OpenMarket, this is the type of text message that Millennials in the survey want to receive most.
- Disseminate information on product recalls or service outages.
- Text employees with important company updates.
But don’t stop with outbound texts, allow your customers to text their service requests. Here are some ideas to get you thinking about possibilities:
- Instead of having to call or email, let your customers text you for answers to simple questions/issues like password resets, location or hours, etc. Think of the routine questions you receive, then have standard responses prepared that can be sent via text.
- Routine “how to” questions can easily be resolved via text. Respond back with links that the customer can easily refer to.
- Questions about service outages could easily be off-loaded to an SMS agent rather than a voice agent.
- Does your support team ever require pictures? Make it easy for your customers and allow them to take a picture with their device and text it.
- SMS can be moved from a mobile app or an IVR, again making it easier for customers and potentially providing a lower cost channel than a voice call, while at the same time boosting customer satisfaction.
- Allow customers to text complaints, which could potentially provide quicker resolution and keeps them from social channels.
Texting is inexpensive (think pennies compared to dollars for voice calls) and SMS solutions are cost-effective and easy to deploy and integrate with your CRM system. All texts are tracked the same as an interaction from any other service channel, so you can maintain a complete history of all customer interactions.
New or existing local and toll free numbers can be easily SMS enabled, or a short code can be used.