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SMS

5 ways to grow your SMS subscriber list

960 640 Guest Post

By mGage

Launching your first SMS campaign is exciting! In order to get started, you will need to build a list of SMS subscribers who have opted-in to being contacted by you. Fortunately, there is plenty of opportunity. More than 5.19 billion people now use mobile phones, up by 124 million over the past year[1]. Read on for 5 ways to grow your SMS subscriber list and start seeing results!

  1. Leverage Existing Followers and Subscribers

Email subscribers and social media followers have already shown interest in getting updates and offers from your brand, so they are a great place to start when building your SMS subscriber list. Be sure to mention the additional value they will get by opting-in to SMS, like exclusive deals and timely updates.

  1. Add to Website Forms, Pop-Ups, and Footers

Providing a way for people to opt-in to receiving messages from you via SMS should become part of your regular website workflows. Add a field for phone number and an opt-in checkbox to all website forms. You can also add a keyword and short code to your website footers and even create a pop-up. Make sure CTAs are clearly visible and easy to find. This way, anyone visiting your site will also have the opportunity to receive SMS messages from you.

  1. Run Digital Advertisements

Advertising online through LinkedIn, Twitter, banner ads and other platforms expands your reach beyond those who are already aware of your brand. One huge advantage of digital advertising is targeting, which enables you to show ads to a very specific audience. You can tailor ads to specific demographics, like age, location, and even interests. This enables you to share offers that feel more personal. For example, if you’re running a promotion to get more women aged 25-35 to opt-in to your SMS campaign, you can feature products or offers that might appeal to that group alongside an exclusive offer they can redeem via text.

  1. Don’t Forget Traditional Media

Signs and mailers may seem old-school, but they are a good way to stand out and reach an additional audience that may be less active online. In fact, 42.2% of direct mail recipients open the mail they get[2]. Many brands promote their SMS list by using in-store signage or even product packaging, which are effective strategies to engage with people who already have purchase intent.

  1. Have a Contest

Contests are a fun way to get customers engaging with your brand while simultaneously encouraging them to opt-in to your SMS subscriber list. Offering the chance to win a reward in exchange for subscribing is incredibly effective. We recommend making the contest unique enough to catch their attention.

We hope these suggestions are helpful as you begin working on building your SMS subscriber list. If you’re ready to get started, get in-touch today with mGage.

[1] https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2020-global-digital-overview

[2] https://www.smallbizgenius.net/by-the-numbers/direct-mail-statistics/#gref

SMS Surveys – Vital to gathering valuable customer feedback

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

By mGage

For businesses looking to continually improve their customer service and experience, the need for thorough feedback cannot be underestimated. Without a true indicator or picture of the consumer experience, there is no way organisations can ensure that they are supplying the best service possible. Hence, SMS surveys are a vital tool in the ongoing relationships between brands and consumers to further develop and enhance services or products.

With Gartner predicting that 89 percent of businesses are facing competitive points based primarily on customer experience, it is imperative that brands make customer satisfaction their priority to remain engaging and relevant.

By initiating surveys brands can have access to a continual feedback loop to make the necessary changes to their business. Therefore, it is important that they listen to customer comments and learn from their suggestions to ensure the continual upgrade of products or services are in line with customer expectations. Research by Kolsky found that 70 percent of companies that deliver best-in-class customer experience use customer feedback.

Further research suggests that one happy customer can lead to nine referrals, whereas one unhappy customer can result in 26 other unhappy people; this highlights the implications that negative customer experiences can have on current and potential consumers.

Why use SMS for surveys?

SMS surveys are a quick and efficient tool for any business wishing to gather valuable insights and essential feedback to improve their customers’ experience. As mobile has become an integral part of our connected lifestyle and with people checking their phones 58 times a day on average, it is an easy way to reach your audience. In return it allows your customers to respond any time and from any place. While email may cost less, SMS has proven more beneficial as it has a 7.5 times higher response rate than email, an average 90 second reply time, and a 98 percent open rate.

By launching SMS surveys, the sender can look forward to receiving higher response rates and increased customer engagement. Here are some great examples of how you can collect feedback from your audience:

  • Customer service feedback – when a phone call has ended you can send an SMS survey to your customer asking them to rate their experience and the advisor
  • Delivery feedback – ask your customers to rate a recent delivery to see if the service met their expectations
  • New purchases feedback – find out how a customer got on with a recent purchase and how they found the overall experience.
  • Update contact details – allows a customer to update these to ensure your records are up to date

How to integrate SMS surveys

Using a mobile campaign management tool like Communicate Pro, brands have the ability to quickly and easily launch a SMS survey campaign. Brands can create interactive surveys using decision tree functionality and receive open ended responses to collect the most useful data for them. All messages can be personalised and automated and can include features like emojis.

It is important for brands to use tailored questions to ensure that they ask the right questions to the right people to increase engagement and ensure that the questions are relevant. With the data collected through SMS surveys, brands can quickly understand what their customers want and allow them to take on board any constructive feedback in order to grow as an organisation and curate better satisfaction in the future.

Final thoughts

To continue to enhance customer loyalty and satisfaction it is critical to collect consumer feedback via SMS surveys. By incorporating it into your multi-channel communication strategy it offers your audience a choice of response.  With more people now on their mobile phones for longer you can expect high response rates via SMS – highlighting its capability as a highly engaged channel and a great way to connect with customers to gather valuable insights for your business.

Best practices in SMS customer care

960 640 Guest Post

By mGage

Did you know that 95% of people who had a bad experience are willing to give a brand another go if they know that their issue was dealt with correctly[1]?

Customer care is extremely important for brands, and facilitating customer care over as many communication channels as possible is good business practice.

Text messaging, or SMS, is an excellent channel for customers because it’s convenient, and immediate. We ran a webinar on the Best Practices in SMS customer care and wanted to share some key points below.

SMS Customer Care Use Cases

Customers prefer SMS customer service to voice because it’s more convenient than waiting on the phone. In fact, 81% of all consumers get frustrated being tied to a phone or computer to wait for customer service help[2]. By adding text messaging to your communication, you will reduce operational and call center costs, while at the same time increase customer satisfaction. Below are a few customer care messaging examples that are used today.

Reminders: Sending SMS reminders to your customers will help decrease missed appointments and ensure payment adherence. With 98% of text messages being read within two minutes[3], sending a quick text message is a more efficient way to reach your customers than trying to reach them with a phone call or sending an email they may not see.

Bank Alerts: SMS provides a much more expedited, seamless experience for fraud notifications and charge authorizations, creating a better customer experience than previous methods. By being notified promptly, customers will feel like their bank is looking out for them.

Call-back Requests: Implementing call back requests via SMS immediately reduces strain on your call center and instantly improves customer satisfaction by reducing wait times. You can even enable your toll-free number for this purpose, so customers who are already familiar with your current contact info can continue to use the same number.

Best Practices for Delivering Customer Care Messages

Be Very Clear: Clarity is essential when delivering your customer care messages. Be upfront and set the proper expectations, so customers know what they are signing up for.

Keywords are Key: We always suggest you use the keep it short and simple (KISS) approach for keywords. Customers want to receive messages that are easy to read and digest, so keep it simple and avoid special characters. Choose keywords that won’t be autocorrected and be sure to choose keywords that are straight to the point.

Test Measure & Learn: Finally, learn from all the information you get and use it to improve the customer service you deliver to your customers. Measure the success of your customer service alerts by paying attention to the number of customers opting in and out of your programs. The number of opt-outs is a good indication as to whether the content remains relevant to your audience.

Final thoughts

Provide the best customer support by adding text messaging to your communication channel. These are just some of the best practices we would suggest for your SMS customer care strategy. To view our webinar on the best practices in SMS customer care, click here.

For more in-depth detail, contact us today and speak with one of our experts.

Sources

[1] https://business.trustpilot.com/reviews/5-reasons-why-customer-experience-is-the-pulse-of-every-business

[2] Harris Interactive, “The High Demand for Customer Service via Text Messaging”

[3] RetailDive

Guest Blog, Steven Robertson: Using omnichannel as a direct route to customer engagement success…

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It’s no secret that smart use of the right contact channel and judicious use of customer data is the foundation of the sort of responsive customer service today’s digital consumer demands. Let’s look at the best ways of getting to that destination and how you can ensure you are rightly supporting your customer base…

Being smart on timing

Our company has a database of millions of UK mobile users and their pick-up patterns. In fact, we’ve touched 75 per cent of the UK population through all our client work. And we’ve seen a big pattern emerge; one of the oversights companies are guilty of is running an expensive contact centre that doesn’t make phone calls at the right times during the day. That is a missed opportunity. I’m personally a blur of motion in the morning as I get to work, but I have a couple of calmer times in the day, and by 8pm, I’m halfway through a new episode of GBBO. In other words, work with me and my schedule and don’t expect me to take a sales call before I get to the office, or try and conduct a market research questionnaire for 30 minutes while my favourite programme is on. Sounds simple, but it’s amazing how many companies get this wrong – the data is out there.

One size does not fit all

Too often, the contact centre relies on one contact channel, albeit calling or emailing, web chat or dialler and so on, which is just too inflexible. It turns out that how you engage matters as much as timing. That means brands need to apply thought to what will work for different customer demographics. For people in arrears and younger people in general, voice calls don’t appeal. But switching to SMS (and two-way SMS conversations in particular) means response rates can be phenomenally high. Making contact through a channel that customers are not comfortable with means they will block you, but if the initial outreach is via a channel they prefer, there may be a wide-open door.

Don’t just blast out the company propaganda endlessly via different communication mediums. Instead be proactive, as proactive is what all good customer contact centres should be practicing right now. A great place to start is using proactive outbound communications that notify customers of key relevant events, such as delivery schedule changes; in-store or online promotions; or the availability of their latest bills. These interactions will be a requisite to further useful conversations you then need to go on and have. According to Forrester, “Proactive engagements anticipate the what, when, where, and how for customers, and prioritise information and functionality to speed customer time-to-completion.”

To navigate our complex world as a brand, you have to work with the reality of how people are operating, so you need to keep abreast of all the communication channels. You also need to offer choice; people like choice, different channels, and you need to ensure the transition between them is seamless.

Creating an effective engagement strategy is a question of using the right blend of communications technology at the right time in a helpful and conversational way, to help you and your customers achieve omnichannel success.

 

Steven brings over 25 years’ of strategic sales and management experience to the role of sales and marketing director at VoiceSage, including 15 years in leadership roles in the contact centre, telephony and professional services space. His track record includes success at market leaders BT, Cable & Wireless, PSS Help, Empirix Inc. and Protocall One, where he spearheaded successful growth programmes, as well as building complete sales ecosystems across Europe and beyond.

Contact centres define omnichannel integration as a ‘challenge’…

398 238 Jack Wynn

Respondents to research conducted by the contact centre solutions provider, Aspect Software, have determined that the biggest ‘challenge’ currently facing the industry’s customer service development is integrating a text-based customer engagement service alongside other channels.

Widely considered to be an essential element of the modern customer service strategy, the survey of Europe-based industry professionals found that 90 per cent said are already supporting either a Facebook or Twitter service; 74 per cent have implemented email channels to support customer service and 34 per cent use SMS. Despite 42 per cent claiming that the introduction of a text-based messaging platform described as a challenge by many, 90 per cent stated that the channel will become imperative to their strategies within the next two years.

Senior vice president Europe and Africa at Aspect, Stephen Ball, said: “From our research we know that many in the industry find integration of text-based messaging a challenge, but if they can rise to it, there are fantastic opportunities for their businesses. Technology can offer easy-to-deploy omnichannel solutions to meet this challenge, but companies need help from trusted partners to pinpoint the root cause of their own integration difficulties. Only then can they benefit from text options for customers.”

Conversocial launches ‘two way’ SMS channel with social customer service integration…

800 450 Jack Wynn

The leading social customer service engagement platform, Conversocial, has announced plans to launch an SMS channel with the aim to providing further support via the inclusion of Channel API and the integration of existing social customer service tools.

In partnership with the cloud communications platform company, Nexmo, the ‘two-way conversational support’ channel will include a range of functionalities, such as a welcome text with an opt out phrase personalised to each client, as well as data being securely preserved within Conversocial once a user chooses to opt out. According to the company, the integration of SMS functionality will allow users to experience inbound and outbound SMS messages, in addition to preset automated messages to access repeated commands such as ‘Stop’, ‘Help’ or ‘Menu’.

CEO of Conversocial, Joshua March, said: “As we see more and more channels join the ranks for an in-the-moment engagement experience, SMS will enable brands to take a step towards truly achieving a comprehensive personal connection with their customers in ways they’ve come to expect, conveniently, and securely. Customers are not who they used to be nor are they where they used to be, SMS integration is about engaging in the moment as a consumer experiences your brand. As customer expectations evolve, we are making sure that our clients stay ahead of the curve.”