Gone are the days of calling a business, whether to make an appointment or place an order. Technology has revolutionised how we interact with brands, creating new channels to connect and, in turn, new communication preferences for customers. 

And while SMS messaging has been around for a while, it’s become critical in the consumer space. Companies are increasingly upgrading their customer service strategy to serve the growing number of consumers—roughly 61%—who prefer texting over phone calls for customer service-related issues like collecting customer feedback or responding to inquiries.

The power of building top-tier customer relationships through SMS depends on a strategy that prioritises personalisation, responsible engagement, and emerging technologies. Let’s examine how.

Connect enterprise SMS solutions with existing software  

Selecting the right solution is the first step in the process. In recent years, SMS communications have become more than just a channel for simple two-way communication. When used proactively, it can build deeper customer connections, increasing loyalty and satisfaction. But more importantly, SMS can improve business outcomes and ROI.

Luckily, SMS messaging offerings are available for businesses looking to integrate an SMS strategy. SMS platforms that integrate with popular CRM platforms like Salesforce and Zoho, combined with AI technology, has been a game changer for businesses of all sizes. Platforms are interconnected to each other to provide direct access to data, which helps create personalised automated messages that keep customers in the loop of your services.

Every point of contact with a customer is an opportunity to build on the relationship and make a positive impression. This is why a clear strategy for responding to different customer interactions is critical to how you want your customers to feel after each conversation.

Automate communications for maximum convenience, efficiency and successful outcomes  

Today’s consumers value convenience in the interest of time, and staying on hold or rummaging through emails doesn’t offer that. However, picking up a phone and seeing the SMS response directly on your screen does.  

SMS allows businesses to add to the convenience further by offering a faster response rate than phone calls or email. With automated responses to common inquiries, identifying keywords in messaging can rapidly generate replies to common questions. It also recognises if the customer’s request is unique and needs to be urgently handled by a support member. 

Quick response rates are just as valuable for new customers as they are for retaining current ones. Multiple studies on speed to lead have proven that customers are 78% more likely to buy from a business that responds to their inquiries first. And because more and more companies are turning to text messaging to connect faster, the window of time for those looking to compete is becoming much smaller.

Automated messaging also improves workflow efficiency for your company. For example, the healthcare industry relies on schedules, receiving multiple daily inquiries about booking, changing, or cancelling appointments. Historically, administrative assistants and support teams have been responsible for responding to each request by phone or email. However, by shifting this task to an automated system that includes reminders and updates directly through text, staff can dedicate more time to more important, detailed client-related inquiries. 

Personalise engagement at every opportunity  

Customers don’t want personalisation; they expect it. A recent Salesforce report revealed that 65% of consumers expect companies to adapt to their changing needs and preferences. This is especially true in a world where personalisation is constantly at our fingertips—Spotify offers personalised playlists and TikTok’s algorithm knows which topics you like best. And the only way to achieve this ultra-personalisation is by investing in technology that accesses and processes customer data.

Today’s most advanced SMS platforms allow companies to discover customers’ preferences through automated conversational messaging, which is paramount when 80% of them agree that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. For example, restaurants can cater to patrons beyond a simple message to confirm a reservation by offering options like pre-ordering a speciality item in advance or offering reserved parking.

Feedback is also valuable for any organisation wanting to elevate the customer experience. However, collecting feedback can be challenging through emails that people statistically don’t open or phone calls people choose not to answer. Instead, It’s more likely for customers to respond to surveys through a quick text message rather than a laborious email or a time-consuming call.

Additionally, consumers value their privacy above all. That’s why proactive customer engagement that reduces the possibility of spam is critical in maintaining a trusting relationship. Giving consumers the option to tailor SMS interactions is an actionable approach that respects their privacy. Companies can honour this by integrating software that allows customers to opt in and out through points of engagement to ensure trusted messaging and reputation. Including the option to decide the frequency and types of communication, they are interested in receiving.

Final thoughts

A growing list of companies across all industries are revamping their customer service strategy by adopting communication software that integrates with their existing CRM programs. This technology provides the tools so companies never miss an opportunity to be available to new and existing customers. However, the true value is in the interaction that follows in creating the customer experience fostered through convenience and personalisation.

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