Let’s face it. Most B2C companies are not great at providing customer service. They are even worse at establishing trusted and lifelong relationships with their consumers. Why is that? Do they intentionally neglect their customers? Is their business too silo’d? Is it too expensive to provide great customer service? Or, is it because they are reactive and not proactive, when it comes to communicating with their consumers?
How many times would you, as a consumer, have preferred to have been notified proactively about a product recall, a change in arrival times for a service person coming to your house, or suspicious activity on your credit card?
Too often, companies wait for a phone to ring or an inquiry on their website before communicating with a customer. Why not proactively reach out to the consumer to say that the service person will be an hour late or that recent credit card activity may warrant a block on the account? How about communicating the way your customer wants—which may be a text message, an email, automated message or perhaps a live person?
As a consumer, I know I want this. Some companies are doing it today, but too many are either just paying it lip service, or having just one part of the business do it, which leads to confusing, inconsistent behavior.
For example is your company able to receive an inquiry via the predominant preferred channel of communication for many demographics … text messaging? Most text messages sent out by companies are simple one-way alerts that often include some sort of notification such as “Do not respond to this message”. Does that send the right message to your customer about how important their feedback is to your company?
Today we work with a number of clients who are interacting with their customers via text messaging. SoundBite has made it possible for them to create an intelligent, automated conversation through text and even enable agents to interact through the channel. In almost every case, I hear the following before-and-after responses:
- “We don’t have the resources”—Doing this in-house would take a herculean effort, tying up valuable IT resources and limited budgets. You should know there are options, such as hosted, cloud-based models that accelerate deployment, are cost-effective and provide greater flexibility.
- “The possibilities are endless!”—After piloting interactive text messaging and seeing the customer responses, companies envision dozens of ways to utilize text in their contact centers and in their mobile marketing campaigns.
- “SoundBite knows its stuff”—Clients acknowledge the expertise we bring to the table, both in text messaging and more broadly with strategies that effectively utilize multi-channel, proactive customer communications.
Would you like to learn how your business can interact with consumers via text messaging? Watch this video. Also, check out Mark Friedman’s recent blog which includes some best practices for customer communications.
It is time to become more proactive in your business. Proactively communicate relevant, timely and personalized information to your consumers across their preferred channel. Be prepared to start an interactive dialog, but be careful not to overwhelm them. SoundBite can show you how.