Messaging

SMS Essentials – part 7: The Secret to Sustaining Customer Engagement

SMS Essentials – part 7: The Secret to Sustaining Customer Engagement
By Darell Khin . 13 Dec 2018 . image 10 min read

The words “Customer engagement” talks about the emotional connection between a customer and the brand. Highly engaged customers tend to be regular, buying more and adding to the sales of the company, while continuing to be loyal and even promoting the brand on behalf of the company through word of mouth, etc. Research shows that a fully-engaged customer represents 23% more revenue than average. Companies that don’t have a customer engagement strategy are missing out on opportunities to communicate with customers and build relationships with them. Sustaining customer engagement is thus an essential part of running a business that one should continuously be working on.

Are you looking for a medium to keep customers thoroughly engaged? Look no further. The humble SMS medium can be the perfect way to go. Here are a few reasons why:

1) Immense popularity

It is an undeniable fact that cell phones are popular throughout every demographic. With two-thirds of the world using this service, the SMS only continues to grow in popularity and spread its reach across what was once harder-to-reach audiences. With so many people holding a phone in their hands, a simple SMS can ensure delivery of messages to almost all customers and target audiences with ease.

2) Superfast response time

48 hours is the average time taken for an individual to open an email. Do you know the average time it takes for a customer to open a text message? 4 minutes! At this speed, the responses are close to instantaneous. It takes an average of 4 minutes for a customer to open their phone and read your message. This needs to be capitalized on. Through interaction with customers via SMS, the secret to sustaining customer engagement is right here.

3) SMS campaigns perform 7 times greater than email campaigns

This fact demonstrates the effectiveness of SMS campaigns in comparison to emails. Based on average open rates, SMS messages do get read while emails fail to reach their target audiences. This makes it the better method of trying and sustaining customer engagement. The fact that messages are read implies that communication is successful and once read, the customer response completes the cycle.

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4) 90% of mobile device users who opted into SMS loyalty clubs felt they had benefited from the program

According to Hipcricket, 90% of mobile device users who were enrolled in SMS loyalty clubs felt they had benefited from being involved in the program. This speaks for the efficacy of the SMS as a medium of business to customer communication. Customer satisfaction with these added benefits brings in valuable loyalty. Consumers here must opt-in to receive SMS marketing messages. That is, they are, out of their own volition, agreeing to participate in the program and have decided that they want to receive messages. This engagement might play a role in their satisfaction with SMS marketing programs, and the company.

5) Mobile phone obsession.

Research has shown that the average number of times an individual looks at his phone in a day is 150, and this number is constantly on the rise. Younger audiences especially are the ones responsible for this rise in that number. They are equipped with smartphones loaded with features and use them completely to their full potential. They are so hooked on to their phones that it is understood that SMSes sent to their phones will not go ignored. Opportunities for sustaining customer engagement with such an audience via SMS should not be missed.

6) Customer Feedback

What you think about your product or services are irrelevant. The real insights come from customers who are using them. It is essential to ask your customer on a regular basis the continued value your products or services are giving them. Doing this manually for multiple customers all at one time could be challenging. This is where SMS automation can show you its true value and give you insights from thousands of customers with literally no effort. These insights can be used to enhance the value of your product or services and ensure that customers are always coming back to buy from you.

According to the 2017 Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey, 89 percent of smartphone users check their devices within one hour of waking, while 81 percent check them within an hour before going to bed. Simply put, smartphone owners use their devices a lot. Simple SMSes are thus the key for tapping into this abundantly available customer reach, and engaging with them through SMS is the way to go.

The integration of apps like the Facebook messenger that allows you to read and send SMSes has boosted its open and response rates. In short, sustaining customer engagements calls for dedicated strategy and these strategies call for reliable modes of communication to reach the customers in the first place, and for reasons discussed above in this article, the humble SMS can be the perfect mode of communication you need. If you haven’t been harnessing this medium, now is the time to start and develop your customer engagement strategy via SMS.

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