We live in an interconnected world where communication has never been more accessible or more vital for a wide array of interactions. For businesses, maintaining communication channels is essential for providing better customer service. Fortunately, platforms like Mitto provide companies with the ability to maintain omnichannel messaging and deliver better solutions for their clients.
But it’s not enough to just have multiple forms of communication open and available for customers. Businesses can be more proactive with this technology to achieve different marketing, sales, and customer service goals. For example, utilizing an SMS gateway allows a company to send text reminders to customers for appointments, follow-ups, and even repeat orders.
SMS campaigns are quickly becoming the norm across an array of industries, so now’s the time to embrace the technology to see how it can positively impact your business. Here’s everything you need to know about text messaging for customer service.
Why Is Omnichannel Messaging Vital for Customer Service?
These days, consumers are far more tech-savvy than those in years past, so it’s imperative for businesses to adapt to the changing landscape. Omnichannel messaging is a core component of the modern brand, and companies that embrace this strategy tend to outperform those that don’t. Here are some eye-opening stats to illustrate the value of omnichannel customer service.
- Businesses that use SMS messaging to interact with prospects are 47.7% more likely to convert them into customers.
- Omnichannel messaging can lead to a 90% higher retention rate for existing customers compared to single-channel service.
- A third of customers (35%) expect to be able to interact with a business across all communication channels.
- Up to 90% of customers expect consistent interactions across all channels.
The bottom line is that maintaining multiple communication channels is essential because it’s expected. If your customers assume they can interact with your business via email, chat, and text, they’ll be disappointed or upset if one or more of those channels is unavailable.
However, from a more practical perspective, omnichannel customer services offer some tangible benefits for your brand. For one, you’ll see better productivity. A single customer service representative can interact with multiple individuals across different channels simultaneously. One rep doesn’t have to be tied down to a single call at a time, making them more productive.
It’s also more cost-effective. By installing an SMS application programming interface or gateway, you can send automated messages and reminders, removing the need for expensive customer service reps for every interaction.
Finally, it leads to increased customer satisfaction. Happier customers are more likely to continue doing business with your organization. By providing multiple communication options, you’re ensuring that you’ll improve customer retention in the long run.
The Trend of SMS Reminders for Customer Interactions
As of 2022, over half of all businesses (55%) were texting their customers. This trend has been moving upward steadily over the past decade, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
On the customer side, 60% of individuals say they prefer communicating with a business via text, thanks to the speed and efficiency of these interactions. Plus, texting is their primary form of communication anyway, so it makes sense that consumers want that same convenience when talking with a company.
The top five ways that businesses utilize SMS messaging for customer interaction include scheduling and reminders (63%), customer service and support (44%), alerts (38%), internal communication (30%), and marketing and promotions (25%).
As you can see, SMS campaigns are perfect for notifications and reminders because they can be automated and don’t require a representative to handle everything. However, customers can still reach out to the service department for any assistance, such as rescheduling, canceling, or getting more information.
Pros and Cons of Utilizing SMS Campaigns for Reminders
With so many advantages to using an SMS gateway for customer service and appointment reminders, there are more than enough reasons to implement this communication channel. However, there are some potential downsides to consider, so here’s a quick overview of the pros and cons.
On the positive side, you don’t have to worry about reminders falling through the cracks and getting forgotten because a computer is sending the messages. This system can help your customer service department run like a well-oiled machine and ensure everyone is on time and ready to go.
In addition, it’s more convenient for the customer. Not everyone checks their email inbox daily, and even then, messages can get buried under a pile of spam. Texts are much better because users are more likely to receive and open them immediately. While an email reminder may go unnoticed, a text often won’t.
On the downside, response options may be limited. Typically, automated messages only work one way. If a customer replies to the notification text, their message won’t necessarily get through to reach a representative. Instead, the individual may need to reach out via a different channel. But you can get ahead of this by directing customers to a two-way channel to receive immediate support.
And remember, legally speaking, a business can’t send messages to a user without their express permission. Not everyone feels comfortable receiving these texts, or they may forget to opt into the program. When that happens, you’ll need to find a way to make your SMS campaign more valuable to encourage additional sign ups. Or you can fall back on other channels within your omnichannel strategy to better enagge teh SMS-phobic customers.
Factors To Consider When Setting Up Automated SMS Reminders
Fortunately, you can take a “set it and forget it” approach to text reminders and notifications. However, while the system can operate with minimal oversight, it also requires planning and development upfront to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible. Also, you can’t forget to check in regularly to ensure that the system is working correctly. It’s always best to be proactive and get ahead of any potential issues before they arise.
Here are some tips on how to set up automated text reminders for your customers.
First, you can have users opt in immediately. Ideally, you can have a form submission to enable the opt-in process. This way, the customer can be placed into the messaging campaign immediately.
You can also use multiple reminders. While you don’t want to spam your customers with too many messages, you also don’t want to assume that one reminder is enough. Realistically, you should set up a second reminder for the day before (or day of) an appointment so it’s fresh in the customer’s mind.
Ensure that you’ve got a clear response system. If your SMS API doesn’t allow for two-way messaging, make sure that users know how to contact you if they have questions or have to make changes. This will eliminate guesswork and streamline the process overall.
You can also consider other SMS campaigns. Although many consumers prefer that businesses communicate with them via text, they don’t want to become inundated with SMS messages. If you’re also running other campaigns for marketing and sales purposes, keep in mind how they could interact with any reminders or notifications.
How Platforms Like Mitto Make It Easy for Your Business to Interact With Customers
Although automated SMS messages can make life easier for your customer support team, you also need comprehensive software that allows you to run multiple campaigns and manage multiple communication channels within the same dashboard. Fortunately, a platform like Mitto, an all-in-one omnichannel solution, works well for businesses of all shapes and sizes. With Mitto, you can set up reminders, run marketing campaigns, and field customer support tickets from the same platform. Contact Mitto today and see how Mitto can work for your needs.