Messaging (or texting) continues to rank as a top, if not the top, use for smartphones today. Brands and businesses rapidly adopted SMS to send one-way messages to their customers. It’s an effective channel in customer relationship management.
SMS has become a must-have for businesses to send customers transactional information, like notifications, reminders, confirmations and PIN codes. Brand and product managers are always looking for more ways to engage customers and get instant feedback. Messaging is one way to do that.
The prospects of messaging platforms like Viber and WhatsApp are promising, but they are currently fractured platforms. Brands are virtually guaranteed to reach their customers via SMS so taking SMS beyond transactional messaging has great potential. One option is two-way messaging.
Think, “What’s next?”
Using two-way SMS to engage customers depends on what you want to accomplish with the messages. Think about the actions you want the recipients to make and what you need as input. It’s as simple as asking yourself (or your team,) “What’s next?” Then set up the optimal sequence.
Here’s an example. Imagine you’re a dental clinic that typically uses SMS to send appointment reminders. How can you take that further?
- Send an SMS with the appointment reminder, but what’s next? Well, in that SMS ask the recipient to respond with “confirm” or “reschedule.”
- What’s next? If the recipient confirms, respond with a, “Thanks, see you then!”
- If the recipient asks to reschedule, send the patient some available times within the next week. You’ll save the revenue for another date, even if the patient needed to cancel at the time.
- What’s next? Dental clinics usually see their patients 1-2 times per year. Book the next appointment on the spot and use an SMS to send them a notification the next day with a link to add it to their calendar.
You can use similar logic with restaurants. Say that you’re running a special during a slow time.
- Send your opted-in SMS list a notification with the special and a link to your website.
- What’s next? Ask if they’d like to book a table.
- If recipients say yes, ask for the number of people coming.
- Then send available times for the tables available.
- They respond and book a table.
The same SMS campaign thinking can be applied for retail, spas, hotels and nearly any customer service-oriented business.
Take SMS beyond transactional messaging
With some creativity, two-way messaging can go a long way with your customers. It can be implemented in many different industries with some promising results. So, give it a try!