Technology keeps advancing, making it easier for consumers to browse, research, buy, and communicate with companies wherever and whenever they want. Marketers need to evolve to continue to meet customer expectations with SMS messages. Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer report finds that two in three customers want companies to interact and respond to them in real time. Text messaging can help marketers achieve these objectives.
Smarter customers expect smarter exchanges with companies
Brands with relevant messaging campaigns have a better chance of engaging and satisfying customers when proactively choosing to use a preferred channel and device for communications. Business text messaging is proving to be a powerful way for brands to get customers’ attention. It’s intimate and immediate. And we rely on our mobile phones more now than ever before. In fact, more than half of consumers say they wish they could do more with their mobile devices.
Consumers want brands to anticipate their needs through SMS messaging
This includes personalized messaging, relevant offers, and timely rewards informed by their behavior and preferences. Even though technology has influenced consumer expectations and preferences, they still prefer a human connection with a brand. SMS messaging campaigns can provide insights to facilitate this, as well as the responsiveness consumers crave. This is because text messaging is one of the few channels that’s direct to the consumer and invites easy response without being considered intrusive.
It’s critical for businesses to provide an easy-to-use mobile experience, say the majority of customers in the Salesforce study. Texting, an application that’s native to all mobile phones, smart or dumb, makes it easy for both customers and companies to communicate easily with each other.
A consumer traveling on a bus could think of a product question for your customer sales representative and dash off a text message. She would then expect an instant reply, because that is inherent to the nature of texting as a medium of communication.
Time is even more of a premium when it comes to business buyers. So it’s crucial that your communication be mobile friendly when it comes to this segment.
It’s important that companies communicate with customers based on what they know about them and their preferences. Otherwise, they run the risk of being discarded in favor of companies that engage with them in the way they prefer.
Rules of engagement for customer communications
Even though consumers expect quick responses, they want these responses to resonate. The more relevant your communication, the more your customer will pay attention. Personalize your SMS messages as much as you can with merge fields. You can use customer data from your CRM to do so. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for information. Sixty-three percent of millennial customers are open to sharing data with companies that send personalized offers (Salesforce’s State of Connected Customer report).
Ensure that your communication is consistent. If you’re calling your customers by their first name in a text, a follow up text shouldn’t miss out on doing that as well. Three in four consumers expect companies to provide a consistent experience when they engage with them.
More than seventy- five percent of consumers want to work with a salesperson who aims to fulfill their needs rather than on completing a sale quickly. For example, your sales team can use texting to nurture leads with links to content rather than constantly pushing leads to request a demo.
Business text messaging applies to the entire customer lifecycle
Now that you have a good idea what consumers want from your messaging campaigns, it’s time to look at why SMS messages are relevant across the customer lifecycle, at every stage.
Awareness: The awareness stage is also known as the discovery stage or when a consumer learns that your product may be able to solve their problem. Most consumers will start with an internet search to learn about their options. When they find your product and click through to your website, they may have questions. Providing an option for easy text opt-in enables them to initiate a conversation on their terms in the moment they need to. Since mobile search has surpassed desktop, it’s likely they’re already on their mobile device.
Consideration: Once prospects have opted-in to text with you, a messaging campaign is a great way to keep them informed about specials, related products, and to provide more information that can help them make a buying decision. You can also survey them to learn more about their interests and provide more relevant information.
Purchase: Providing offers, discounts, or coupons when a consumer’s behavior indicates an intent to buy can be the tipping point for them making the decision. Text messaging campaigns can also be automated to send purchase confirmation and shipping details.
Customer Service: Once the customer has your product, they may have a question or want to re-order or look for accessories. Providing a means for them to do so quickly and conveniently through text messaging can show them that you’re always putting their needs first.
Loyalty: Customer lifetime value (CLV) is an important facet of the customer journey. Using texting as a key component of your loyalty program can be instrumental in driving repeat business. Send texts with offers on special dates like birthdays, anniversaries, or when you think it’s time for your customer to order more of the product they have already purchased. Text messaging campaigns are also a great way to collect feedback, testimonials, and to monitor NPS and customer satisfaction.
In a world where only the fittest survive, technology will help you and your customers develop better relationships with each other. Simple technology like business text messaging will enable you to create messaging campaigns that communicate smartly with today’s consumers at every stage of the customer journey.