Receive SMS online – the basis of a real dialogue with the customer

Mobile marketing used to be so simple. You send an SMS via a gateway and inform your customers about new promotions, discounts or his upcoming appointment. And that’s it. Customer satisfaction increases, and with it your turnover. Ideally, you can automate the sending process, so you don’t have to worry about it anymore.

In 2020, it is clear that this time is over. As we reported a few months ago, the era of loyalty is coming to an end, in which customers were encouraged to remain loyal to a company or brand by means of discount codes. The new era is all about relevance. In this article I explain what this has to do with 2-way-messaging.

How relevance works

It is easy to toss around resounding words like relevance without knowing what it means. Especially since many of these beautiful words have completely different meanings in different contexts. So what does relevance mean in relation to marketing?

Nowadays, it is easier than ever for customers to get and compare information about products and services. It is at the same time difficult (if not impossible) to bind a customer to your brand with the old tried and tested methods. Undercutting the competition with ever lower prices will only lead into a spiral, at the end of which your business no longer generates profits. And yet, offering the lowest price doesn’t guarantee that customers will buy from you. Today, the whole package has to be right: The customer must feel that he is in good hands. You have to make your customer feel like you can offer them exactly what they need. If you can manage this, you no longer have to be cheap.

How does 2-Way Messaging help?

One way of being relevant to the customer is to optimize the Customer Experience (CX). Providing a reliable and instantly accessible channel for questions is a good way to do this. Better yet, the customer can use this channel to adjust a reservation or order. For mobile marketing, use an Inbound SMS Gateway. Studies show that the majority of customers prefer to be contacted via text message. At the same time, only relatively few companies offer this channel. This gap leaves room for improvement – and offers your company an opportunity to stand out from your competition. Of course, this development doesn’t mean your customers won’t be happy about discount codes, appointment reminders or booking confirmation anymore. However, if you can turn simple notifications into an interactive dialogue, both sides benefit. In other words, 2-Way-Messaging is a must if you don’t want to look outdated.

2-Way-Messaging can significantly improve the customer experience

Contact your customers as personally as possible. A salutation by name is now taken for granted. Use all the data you have to adapt the message to the respective customer. The more personal, the more relevant. This will also increase the probability that the customer will use the option for dialogue and that the investment in 2-way messaging will pay off.

4 industries that will benefit from inbound SMS

We make no claims to completeness here, however, we do not want to withhold from you which industries – in our opinion – benefit the most from 2-Way-Messaging. Being able to receive SMS online (almost) guarantees a better customer experience in these areas.

SMS online bank 2-Way Messaging

Banks and Finance

In the financial sector, customers are most interested in receiving notifications for time-critical events. Every second counts in case of suspected fraud. A message that is delivered worldwide within seconds, regardless of internet access, can save a lot of trouble. If you as a financial service provider offer a channel to receive a reply SMS online and process it directly, the customer can confirm or deny whether the transaction is actually fraudulent or not just as quickly and reliably.

E-Commerce

In addition to the aforementioned notification for suspected fraud, customers in e-commerce are interested mainly in ways to keep track of the order. An inbound SMS channel can help cancelling or adjusting orders right until they are dispatched. Or, if a product that was out of stock has become available again, the customer can – after being informed by SMS – initiate the order seamlessly via keyword.

Tourism

Hotels, airlines or travel agencies: bookings and travel plans change sometimes. Instead of just presenting your customer with cold hard facts, you can enter into a dialogue and find a solution together. Likewise, your customer can use 2-Way-Messaging to react to a booking confirmation and either confirm or adjust it.

Workshops and medical practices

No matter whether you run run a car repair shop or take care of patients in your surgery: confirming and changing appointments is probably part of your everyday life. This is also a popular example when it comes to presenting the advantages of A2P Messaging. Here, too, you as well as your customers benefit from being able to reply directly. For example, your customer can cancel or change appointments at short notice. In the same way, they can announce at the garage that they can not pick up their car before the next day.

Conclusion

There is basically no industry that cannot benefit from the possibility to receive SMS online. An inbound SMS gateway is the basis on which you can build a real dialogue with your customer. But the possibility to get answers to your A2P messages is not enough: You also have to address your customers personally. The more precisely the messages are tailored to the customer, the better.

A2P RCS Messaging is far from being available globally. However, the first application cases from the USA show how promising the standard is. Where RCS is available, it makes sense for all businesses to use this channel. Another major advantage of RCS is that it is ideally suited for integrating a chat bot. A chat bot can automatically process many customer questions and orders and thus reduces the workload of your team drastically.

Best Regards
Your sms77 team
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