As we begin the new year, we want to summarise some of the communication trends that are largely driven by our changing behaviours and expectations as consumers. An effective customer experience and a desire for instant gratification keep most companies on their toes today in a willingness to accommodate new ways to inform, communicate and delight everyone we do business with. For many, the mobile phone is our most important computing device because we carry it 24/7.
1. Personalised SMS is increasing
Today, customers want to feel appreciated and taken cared of. A personalised SMS experience is a quick and effective way to achieve this while building long-term customer relationships and increasing interaction opportunities. Ideally, we want personalised marketing messages tailored to our specific interests. And why not? The technology exists so that your customers feel valued. By adding a personal touch to automated messages, your recipients will be more likely to engage with your business/brand and take action.
2. SMS is also requested for internal communication
SMS messages also benefit other parts of your company (e.g. HR, IT or the operations department). Today, SMS is used internally for last-minute staffing in healthcare and within airlines to quickly add resources and fill last-minute gaps with advanced logic and queue rules. You can get attention and answers directly from a pre-selected group with an SMS. You can also reach employees in an emergency, call in crisis teams, coordinate field workers or inform your team of important news and updates, or why not welcome job seekers and new hires with a welcome SMS with a map link. There are many uses for internal communication with SMS.
3. Text messaging as a customer service channel
Good customer service plays a significant role in delivering on your company's brand promise and increasing corporate goodwill. More and more customers are also discovering how convenient and flexible it is to send text messages to customer support instead of enduring long wait times and transfers in a phone call. Text messages have several different uses and can help your company develop time and cost-effective customer service so that you have more time for complex customer matters. Getting answers fast can encourage customer confidence and help reduce workloads and peaks. The areas of use are many; answer frequently asked questions, ask for feedback on products and services, send meeting reminders, rebookings, updates on customer service matters, notifications and payment receipts and more.
4. SMS is a high-ROI digital marketing channel
More and more people want to receive offers via SMS - according to Shopify, 68% of all mobile users are willing to opt-in to a company's SMS mailing list if they receive a discount coupon.
Receiving two-way communications and offers from companies via SMS is quick and easy. It can be "limited editions", product launches and news such as discounts, which the recipient does not want to miss. SMS is a high ROI digital marketing channel when many emails go unread. SMS is relatively cheap compared to email if you measure engagement and conversion. SMS has a high open rate (more on that here) and is, therefore, a prominent channel to use in addition to email to ensure you reach customers with inactive or unengaged email addresses.
5. Rich channels and WhatsApp are starting to be used by businesses
In large parts of the world, WhatsApp has become a central communication channel for both companies and authorities, but in the Nordics, it is still mainly a channel we use privately, which we believe will change in 2023. With new rich channels, new opportunities for companies to communicate open up with interactive buttons, images, video or branded rich content. For your customers, above all, they don't have to change their personal habits when they talk to you as a company. If they have questions about product-specific problems, they can clarify to customer service and send, for example, a photo of the faulty product in the encrypted chat.
Companies need to ensure that they have the right mix of communication channels. Each channel has its specific advantages and strengths. It's about anticipating customer expectations and ensuring you are available in the your target group's preferred channel, SMS, chat or social media channels.
Customers, on the other hand, want to feel appreciated and important throughout the customer journey. By adding the personal touch, you make your content stand out - a customised delivery notice, a specific campaign, a customer survey or a personal response from a customer service agent.
SMS is an effective communication channel, add it to your communication strategy if you want to make sure that the recipient has received, noticed and read your message. Today, an SMS can be so much more than its original 160 characters.