How text messaging can improve the customer experience

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A focus on the customer experience is a must for companies today. With a strong CX mindset, your business can drive revenue up to eight percent higher than competitors in your industry. 

To get into the CX mindset, the focus should be on the entire customer journey, taking care that every single touchpoint improves the experience of your customers. One of the best tools you can use to ensure customers have a positive experience with your brand is text messaging. Texting creates open dialogue with your customers, which encourages a back-and-forth that's engaging and personal. 

Adding SMS to your suite of CX tools is imperative given consumers’ expectations of immediacy and desire for direct, hassle-free communication. And text messaging’s added benefits for companies make the addition of this convenient, quick and effective channel of communication well worth it.

So how does text messaging improve the customer experience, exactly?

Customers want to text

In a recent survey, we learned a few things about what customers want out of the brands they work with, and the results were eye-opening. About two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents told us they’d make the switch to a company that offered text messaging as a communication channel, and the same number (63 percent) would recommend their friends switch too, if the brand communicated in real time. 

Texting is the channel consumers prefer. Before they hop in a rideshare, three out of four consumers prefer their drivers to text instead of call, and 70 percent don’t want a call from their vacation rental manager. They want a text. 

Getting in touch with brands when and how they want to is a crucial part of what makes texting so powerful. Seventy-two percent of consumers said they would make a purchase online if they could ask the company questions in real time. Texting is convenient for online purchasing as well as appointment booking, financial services, travel updates — almost every industry that requires real-time contact. People who would like to schedule hair appointments via text? Sixty percent. People who want their accounts, billing and payment reminders sent to them as a text? Sixty-five percent. People who would prefer travel reminders and updates sent via SMS? Seventy-two percent. 

Text messaging is not a spammy tech that companies are testing out to see if it’s well received. It’s tried and true. In fact, the numbers show that customers want to text brands way more than brands are willing to text their customers. 

The opportunity is there, and smart brands are getting on board.

Texting performs well

Brands can look at the simple performance metrics to see how texting contributes to the customer experience. Ninety percent of people read the texts they receive within the first three seconds. This is truly real-time communication, delivering immediacy that email just cannot. And with 69 percent of people from all generations saying they’d prefer a text over a call from unfamiliar brands, SMS is the most welcome form of brand communication available.

SMS has a near-perfect open rate (98 percent), outperforming email by a landslide. (Email’s average open rate is only 20 percent.) And text messages outpace email in response rate too, of course. On average, it takes people 90 minutes to respond to an email. How long does it take people to respond to their texts? Ninety seconds

That’s because people keep their phones within arms reach most of the time, at least 85 percent do. And when texts are delivered as push notifications and those notifications stay on their phone even when it’s locked, it’s the most accessible mode of communication brands have in their toolkits. Communicating with consumers where they are and how they want to communicate has proven to outperform other traditional ways of reaching customers. 

It’s efficient

Texting allows you to deliver a convenient, desirable customer experience with more efficiency than any other channel. 

One way to decrease your customer acquisition costs is to shorten the time it takes to convert a lead. Converting a lead into a customer faster means you get a return on your dollar sooner and don’t leave money on the table. The best way to do that is to create a two-way conversation with your leads that allows you to engage them faster and with more efficiency. 

For marketers, text messaging is a practical addition as an efficient touchpoint for any messages that are time-sensitive or for companies looking to earnestly open a two-way dialogue with customers. Using a text messaging service like Avochato that can be customized to fit the CX needs of any sized company allows you to send texts — blasts and one-on-ones — at a price that’s affordable. 

The impact sending personal, targeted and timely texts has on the customer experience isn’t a tangible metric, but this type of communication strengthens engagement. Engaged customers are loyal customers. Customers who have already purchased from you are 50 percent more likely to purchase from you again, and they tend to spend almost a third more than other shoppers. With just a five percent uptick in customer retention, businesses can see anywhere between 25 and 95 percent increase in profit. Text messages are one of the most engaging channels available to marketers, and using them could lead to higher customer lifetime values. 

For customer service, another crucial element to create a great customer experience, texting can cut costs significantly. Customer inquiries are less expensive to deal with via text compared to over the phone. A Forrester study shows that, on average, customer service calls cost roughly $16. Texts, on the other hand, cost only $1 to $5. Your customer service team can deal with multiple cases simultaneously when they text rather than handle customers over the phone, which leads to more satisfied customers and higher CS efficiency.

 

Curious about texting your customers?
Take a look at Avochato’s text messaging for business plans.