Customer Communications and Experiences

THX 2 SMS: How Text Messages can Impact Customer Experience

Every day, consumers interact with a variety of companies in multiple ways -- maybe on the phone with their bank’s customer service, face to face with their insurance agent, on the web with their utilities provider -- giving companies many opportunities to deliver an excellent, or an awful, customer experience.

 

Ensuring positive customer interactions is crucial when trying to build, maintain and grow brand loyalty. Consumers have high expectations for timely, consistent, and personalized across any and all of the touchpoints above and then some. Whether the situation calls for a quick check of a balance or a more involved discussion about adding services to an account, companies must offer a variety of options for customer communications. One that’s underutilized is SMS texting.

 

Amidst widespread adoption of smartphones, tablets and other wireless devices, consumers are increasingly mobile. A recent study released by Nielsen, found that for the first time, a majority of mobile subscribers own smartphones (55% versus only 41% a year earlier). SMS messages are a great way to communicate to customers with instant notifications or alerts about their accounts.  Considering 7.5 trillion SMS messages were sent in 2011, it is quickly becoming one of the most widely used methods of mobile communication so it makes sense that companies would integrate text messages into their communications strategy.

SMS messaging is beneficial to customers because it enables them to use their smart devices to receive instant notifications regarding pertinent account information and even prevent problems before they arise.  For example, banks can send texts to customers with a warning if they have a low balance or are approaching a credit limit; utility companies can notify customers of planned power outages or times to conserve energy; and insurance companies can recommend that customers park their cars in the garage when there’s a possibility of a hail storm.   

 

Perhaps the most essential aspect of the multichannel customer experience is for the consumer to be able to select their preferred communication channels as well as the specific content they want delivered through those delivery methods. It is important to offer granularity in terms of how customers can define their preferences, so that for example they can indicate they want an account balance alert sent via SMS while receiving their statements through an email link to an online portal.

 

By implementing mobile communications, like SMS messaging, organizations have the ability to provide customers with concise, important information that they can access instantly, increasing customer satisfaction by meeting their needs and high expectations.

How important is it to you to receive SMS messages from any companies with which you interact? Share your stories in a comment below!

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