Business Benefits to Short Message Services
Short Message Service (SMS) is also commonly referred to as “text messaging.” According to Website Magazine, texting is currently the fastest and most commonly used form of communication. At Infinity, we believe that SMS can be beneficial to your business. While not everyone has a smartphone, almost 100% of the world’s population has access to text messaging.
More importantly, within three minutes, recipients open 90% of all text messages. This allows for communication with potential customers in short, targeted messages that invite quick response. Here’s four reasons why we believe SMS is great for business:
SMS Creates 2-Way Conversation
SMS messages allow customers to voice complaints securely and privately to the business’ SMS number rather than through public social media channels. SMS messages create a more immediate connection than using emails that can go through multiple channels before filtering down to the correct department. SMS allows businesses to immediately respond to a customer, building confidence and loyalty. With so many businesses using automated phone systems, customers crave a quick response from a real person, and SMS satisfies customer need for an immediate answer. A direct connection is something many customers value, as it makes them feel that their opinions are heard and valued. SMS communications are how your customers typically communicate with friends and family.
Gives Business a Whole New Marketing Objective
Create marketing incentives with discounts and deals that make your customers want to join your business’ text message circle. A creative marketing team can construct an interactive way to keep customers engaged with your product and simultaneously bring attention to your SMS and your social media channels. Customers like SMS “coupons” with 68% of consumers preferring buy-one-get-one (BOGO) offers over others. Customers perceived a BOGO offer as holding significant value that would lead them to “opt in” for the offer.
Customers also appreciate text messages with professional tips with an immediate value to the customer. This means you are not hounding them with a sales push but actual information that is helpful to them. An example would be an airline sending updated flight information several hours before a scheduled take off, and sending weather information for the city of your destination. Consumers remember businesses that appear to go the extra mile and provide them with crucial information.
Allows for More Effective Employee Communication
Your employees have a lot of control over the direction and perception of your company. They are essentially brand ambassadors out in the field each day. You may think a select few executives determine your company’s future, the reality is that each individual you hire speaks volumes about your brand. You want the people who work for you to feel that they are engaged in the future of your business, with a voice about daily operations. You spend a great deal of time and money figuring out what your customers want, but very little understanding the thoughts of the people who work for you.
You can use SMS programs to engage your employees directly, ask them with questions such as their last training session and if the accompanying written materials were helpful. The SMS programs save the responses for you, allowing you an insight into the opinions of your employees.
SMS systems are also useful as reminders for work events and meetings and require your employees to give a response. Some systems are automatic and can immediately alert employees to changes in availability and can quickly relay information in the event of an emergency. Something as simple as, “Marketing Department: Meeting in 5 minutes in Conference Room 501C” can encourage employees to arrive in the right place at the right time.
Provides Customers with Real-Time Notifications
Studies show Millennials want more real-time notices. When younger customers order a product or service, they want instant written confirmation, to know when the product ships and when it arrives. To respond to these demands, many businesses build SMS programs with features that allow for real-time product notifications. Additionally, SMS allows a business to pass along other important information like weather emergencies, holiday hours and upcoming sales. SMS keeps the consumer informed with real-time updates of critical business information.
At Infinity, we believe that the SMS trend will continue to grow in popularity because it creates an intimate engagement between the business and the consumer. This ongoing engagement is ideal for small businesses because it helps personalize interactions, keeping message styles short, direct and connected.
The Planet 8 Digital team is excited to see what 2017 brings and if Website Magazine’s predicted “SMS frenzy” comes to pass.