Messaging platforms are proving to be the most convenient and effective means of communication for both customers and companies. We explore unconventional ways in which messaging channels such as SMS and WhatsApp can help execute successful customer experience strategies.
Marketers are always looking for novel ways to reach out to customers as part of their customer experience efforts. Messaging platforms such as SMS, Messenger, WhatsApp, etc. provide invaluable opportunities to reach customers on a mobile device that’s always with them. SMS has long been used by businesses to interact with customers and could certainly use a fresh strategy, whereas WhatsApp for Business launched in 2018 and has only just begun helping business-customer interactions.
CONTENT THAT CONNECTS: WHY INFLUENCER MARKETING IS THE FUTURE OF GEN Z ENGAGEMENT
Gen Z is a business opportunity you can’t afford to miss. As 40% of the population commanding upwards of $40 billion in spending power, modern marketers need to build compelling strategies to engage with Gen Z.
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Before moving forward with customer experience strategies for both SMS and WhatsApp, let’s about three principles that should guide your messaging platform-based interactions:
- Target only those who have opted-in. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act makes it unlawful to send promotional text messages to people who have not voluntarily signed up for them.
- Time your messages for the reader’s convenience. Avoid sending messages during rush hours when your audience might be commuting, or starting and ending their work day.
- Frequency is important, but don’t bombard your customers with promotional messages.
6 Customer Experience Strategies using SMS and WhatsApp
Let’s explore the customer experience strategies marketers can implement to engage customers, personalize interactions, and enhance their experience.
1. Add Value While Creating Awareness
SMS boasts high open rates with 97 percent of respondents opening every SMS message received, according to a report by Apifonica on SMS statistics. Target your SMS content based on their preferences, behavior, and context, and ensure the message adds value to customers.
Here are three steps to an effective awareness SMS strategy:
Ask customers to sign-up for special offers and include a strong call to action.
- Simplify the onboarding process by a welcome message or an exclusive first order (or purchase coupon).
- Give customers the opportunity to get in touch with you for queries or further offers.
According to a Pew Research Center report, 42 percent of smartphone users in the age group 18–29 use WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
How can you use WhatsApp to build buzz?
- Make it exclusive. Create awareness campaigns that can create anticipation or drive demand. Since billions of WhatsApp messages are exchanged every day, such campaigns can go viral and build buzz.
- Brands, SMBs, and entrepreneurs can leverage WhatsApp status updates to showcase their latest product or service offerings via engaging videos that customers who have your number added to their contact lists can view. It is a great way to attract customers, without being intrusive.
2. Personalize or Perish
Personalization is the key to delivering quality CX. You can use a person’s location, browsing data, preferences, recent purchases, etc. to send customized messages.
How can you use SMS or WhatsApp to send personalized messages?
- If a person is searching for a product or a service on a local business site or app, you can send a message about your latest offer.
- If a mobile location is known, you can send a location-based text or WhatsApp message to attract customers in your vicinity.
- Sending deals and recommendations to returning customers can be an added perk for their loyalty.
- Sending wishes for anniversaries, birthdays, and other important events with a unique offer can go a long way in making a customer feel special.
Also Read: Meet Your Customers Where They Already Are with SMS Chatbots
3. Facilitate Frictionless Ordering, Delivery, and Confirmation
Ensuring a hassle-free ordering and delivery service plays a crucial role in customer experience. Apart from ensuring on-time deliveries, it is important to inform the customer of her order status, delays if any (with the reason), and any other alerts to convey their order is being taken care of. SMS and WhatsApp are cost-effective media to send such messages.
This is what you can do:
- Send updates on each stage of the delivery life-cycle, for example, order placement, packaging, shipping, current location, time of delivery, etc.
- Inform customers when a bill has been processed or payment has been received and send transaction receipts. In case of a transaction failure, be proactive about informing the customer about the next step.
- In case of delays, send a message to acknowledge the problem. If possible, mention a timeline for resolution or offer compensation.
4. Inform about Outages
Most service providers plan outages for maintenance. Sometimes there may be an unplanned outage due to technical issues.
You can use SMS or WhatsApp to:
- Inform customers about planned outage with details like date, time, and what services would be affected.
- Notify customers of an unplanned outage, possible reason, expected time of resolution.
5. Notifications and Reminders
Notifying customers about upcoming events or sending reminders for events, appointments or bookings can help avoid no-shows, help them plan beforehand and hence improve their experience.
Also Read: SMS to the Rescue: Three Key Mobile Marketing Tactics
6. Provide Customer Service
No customer experience is complete without fantastic customer support. Integrating customer service into your SMS or WhatsApp activities can help your staff interact with your customers on a one-to-one basis. Most customers dislike calling customer service, as it is time-consuming, and they are usually placed on hold. Messaging platforms help your brand become more accessible. When you offer support through messaging, customers can drop in a message without having to be tied up on a call.
Reaching out to customers through media they frequently use and are most comfortable with helps you deliver frictionless CX. Messaging platforms such as SMS or WhatsApp can turn out to be an excellent customer experience advocate if used right.
Have tips on a customer experience strategy using SMS or WhatsApp? Share with us on Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook; we’re always listening!