This guest post is written by Michael Janowski, Marketing & Brand Manager for Corporate Dynamics, Inc.
A few years ago, I finished my Masters study at Eastern Illinois University in the little town of Charleston, IL. Approaching Charleston from the West, you can see the outline of EIU’s signature building: Old Main Castle. It’s a beautiful site (as any Panther alum will attest). There’s only one thing on the main stretch of Lincoln Avenue that may draw your attention from it: a dancing slice of pizza.
A local chain there is known for attracting business by having one of their employees dress as a giant slice and dance in front of the store holding a sign. This usually compels some friendly horns from passing drivers. But as ridiculous as it sounds, it actually works. College kids love cheap pizza. And when they want it, the first thing most of them in Charleston think of is their unfortunate peer peddling one-topping thin-crust specials while dressed in that ridiculous costume.
Your business may not have a ridiculous costume at your disposal (let alone someone lacking enough shame to don it). But there are other ways of staying front-of-mind with your customers and offering them a one-of-a-kind experience. One increasingly popular method is texting for customer service.
A Harris Poll on behalf of OneReach found that 64% of consumers prefer texting over voice for customer service. Furthermore, text messages have an estimated 98% open rate. This is indicative of a trending preference toward a softer, more flexible means of communication. Business texting can build retention by:
- Offering a unique experience. Truly successful brands and organizations are fantastic at differentiating their products & services from competitors. This is particularly true in industries with high saturation and dense competition because customer experience may be the only differentiator. It is vital that your business have a comprehensive customer experience plan. This includes clear procedural outlines, A/B testing support, and appropriate KPIs. SMS texting is a fantastic method for accomplishing these goals because it is still a relatively new application of technology and its effectiveness can be measured.
- Staying front-of-mind. In the social economy, customer experience has adopted a sort of –don’t call me, I’ll call you– ideology. That said, the consumer exchange is continuous and starts from the moment your customer identifies the need for your product/service. Your responsibility to your customers is to stay front-of-mind. OneReach’s report mentioned that global smartphone users typically spend 2 ½ hours a day on their phone (more than any other screen device). Business texting keeps your company front-of-mind by entrenching them in a high-traffic customer channel. It positions your company in your customers’ minds as the primary solution to their issue and opens a comfortable conduit for coming to you at their leisure.
- Providing added value. In addition to offering a unique experience and more convenient channel, business texting offers several different points of value. These can include limited-edition offers and coupons, limited-access loyalty programs, and enhanced social media marketing initiatives. SMS customer service solutions provide unique incentives that can keep your customers interacting with you and not with your competition.
The 2015 International Smartphone Mobility Report by mobile data tracking firm Infomate found that Americans spend about 26 minutes a day texting (compared to spending about six minutes a day on voice calls). This number is expected to grow. Using business texting positions you ahead of a trending communicative curve.
To learn more about adding texting to your business, download the OneReach whitepaper here.
About the Author
Michael Janowski is the Marketing & Brand Manager for Corporate Dynamics Inc. Corporate Dynamics Inc. (CDI or CorpDyn) is a Chicagoland-based premier sales & customer service training firm and the developers of the revolutionary Beat Your Best™ process. Michael’s background is primarily in social media, branding & public relations. At CDI, his work involves creating mutually valuable business partnerships through mediating the ongoing virtual conversations between brands and consumers. Michael can be reached by email at [email protected].
Image of man with coffee courtesy of Pexels. CC0 License.