We have seen many different ways of how companies use SMS and we've consulted lots of companies asking questions like where to begin and how should it be done to get the most out of it in terms of building customer loyalty and generate revenue.
While SMS as a communication channel is great for marketing, more and more companies are finding ways to incorporate short messaging with SMS APIs into their customer care programs. Repair shops are letting people know when the car is ready to be picked up, hair salons send appointment reminders and delivery service providers confirm delivery times with package receivers.
Note: Wish to know more about messaging through APIs? Read our ultimate guide to SMS APIs!
Clients will know on a real-time basis when can they expect their problems to be solved or the services delivered. In almost all cases people appreciate getting such updates as soon as possible so they can for example instantly contact the service provider or the respective customer care centre. Better service, in turn, helps to build loyalty.
CRM tools and SMS
As such there are tools now available to manage customer relationships and care, appropriately named - Customer Relationship Management tools. These focus on communicating information to customers (or potential customers) and managing those interactions, building more enduring relationships.
Managing customer relationships efficiently is key in markets where competition is increasing and margins are decreasing. The service must be excellent or customers will simply switch. And with customers increasingly diversifying their demands, having a simple way to integrate new features is of high priority. Thus, an SMS feature adds a more effective short communication method to CRMs. Often, such features improve operations and lead to increased efficiency.
Let’s go deeper and look at how SMS features solve real business problems, as we have a thorough perspective on how specific platforms utilize SMS features through our client-base. When taking a closer look at our clients who operate in the travel and transportation industry, we see that they use SMS in a variety of ways to deliver a satisfying experience to the customer.
Delays and Disruptions
A big part of building trust between you and your clients is great customer support. Thus, timely SMS alerts are something your clients will definitely value, in terms of time and money saved.
For example, a disruption that you might want to convey to your customers may be a bathroom being refurbished on a ferry, so your customers can take that into account. Or delays caused by a storm, which might even lead to a cancellation of departure. Keeping your customers well informed and in the loop with the most up to date information is something to strive for.
If the information is particularly important such as a detected emergency or last-minute delay, one might even consider sending a Flash SMS to deliver the message right to their screen.
When a customer purchases a ticket, send a confirmation via SMS, as it’s nearly guaranteed that they will open it and see it. In terms of efficiency, having an automated system in place to inform customers of their ticket validity, saves time on both ends.
No need to deal with individual booking confirmations that might warrant a call to customer support. Internet connectivity issues can delay the information being received over email or push notifications. All in all, the reliability of an SMS is why it’s used for booking confirmations and PIN codes alike. That’s why it’s widely used in the financial sector as well.
The SMS message can include a ticket number or a serial number. Include the customer support number for quick access to the support team if something out of the ordinary were to happen. It can also contain a shortened URL to download an airlines app or direction for the ticket online.
Here’s a hypothetical story to explain the value of notifications for customers through CRMs.
Let's say you're vacationing in Tasmania. There's only one ferry and a whole lot of tourists. You were spontaneous when deciding to go on a trip. It was great. You didn't have to wait in line to get on the ferry. Having spent a day or two looking around, and slowly planning on getting back to reality, you discover that tickets are sold out. Maybe you should have thought it through a bit more. But no worries, you can sign up to receive a notification when a spot on the ferry back becomes available.
Having a tool in place to help deliver the most critical as well as most sought-after information is key to providing stellar customer service. And while the SMS might be an old piece of tech, it’s still reliable, fast and with a massive reach so making use of it as one of the main communication tools makes sense.