Why is the Omnichannel Strategy Impossible Without SMS
The development of information technologies is accompanied by a constant increase in the number of channels by which businesses communicate with customers. Nowadays, customers make orders not only on websites and by phone, but also using social networks, email, messengers, and smartphone apps.
Multichannel is a threat that can negatively affect the quality of service and the sales level. We are talking about database confusion and the inability to keep proper customer records. If one person made an order by phone yesterday, and a week later - in one of the social networks, in the multichannel framework after the second purchase he will be treated as a new customer. Omnichannel can solve this problem.
What is omnichannel?
Based on the omnichannel concept, all potential communication channels between a business and the customer are summarised in a single database. A client can choose the main channel by which they order goods or services. However, if for some reason they suddenly decide to use another channel, the system will be able to identify it.
- A customer added items to his basket on the website and tried to pay, but there wasn't the right amount on his card. He went to the self-service terminal to replenish his account, but on the way, he met a friend and forgot about the purchase.
- The next day, the shop sent the customer a message reminding him about the missed payment.
- The customer was on the bus and had no access to a computer, so he called the shop and asked to have his order ready for pickup tomorrow, choosing to pay in cash.
Using omnichannel communication, managers at all of these stages of interaction can recognise each customer, see the history of their engagement with the company and apply the individual approach that everyone is talking about. Customer service rises to a higher level, and the workload of the company's employees does not increase. Decision Telecom's clients are convinced of this based on personal experience.
How you can combine communication channels
To increase customer loyalty, businesses need to select and customise the right combo of communication channels as part of an omnichannel strategy. Among the popular combinations, which each of us encounters almost daily, we can highlight the following:
- Website + phone call + Viber.
A user visits the company's website, adds items to the basket, and clicks " Make a purchase". In a few minutes, he receives a call from a manager to clarify a set of goods and a delivery address. After confirming the order, the client receives a message on Viber with details for payment.
- Application + website + Viber.
The client went to the shop using the smartphone app, checked out the assortment and then added the liked product to the basket. Later he went to the websites, learned the product features and read the reviews. He still had questions about the operational properties, so he wrote to the shop manager in Viber. After communicating with a company employee, the user ordered the goods in Messenger, received the payment details and made the purchase.
- App + Viber + SMS.
The client placed an order through the app. The company sent him information about the purchase (receipt, delivery note) via notifications in the app. Due to internet failure, the customer did not receive the message, and the company duplicated it in Viber. Since Viber also remained unread in the absence of the internet, a regular SMS was sent.
All communication channels complement each other. The customer feels that the company cares about him, so he becomes loyal, turning from a potential customer into a brand ambassador.
How to use SMS in an omnichannel strategy
There is a stereotype that SMS is a completely out-of-date channel of communication between businesses and customers. Those who adhere to this point of view do not get tired of being reminded that nobody has been using the messaging function built into the phone for a long time. It has been replaced by more convenient messengers and e-mail.
But that's exactly what makes SMS unique in an omnichannel strategy. Remember how many advertising messages a day you receive on Viber? And how many messages in your email inbox continue to "hang" unopened?
Messengers and emails are full of adverts that no one looks at. In social networks, users try their best to distract themselves from commercial ads that flood the newsfeed. Meanwhile, the alarm of an incoming SMS message, which does not sound so often, is sure to attract the attention of the smartphone owner.
Statistics show that SMS works:
- More than 90% of smartphone users keep their communication devices in front of them on their desktop, in their pocket. They respond to incoming push messages within 1-1.5 minutes. The SMS open rate exceeds 90 %, and their conversion rate is about 45 %.
- For comparison: out of 100 % of sent promotional emails, no more than 20 % are opened. The response time to an incoming email is at least 15 minutes.
A well-composed and timely SMS message can turn a potential customer into a current one.
For SMS to bring the desired results, you need to follow the rules of their use in omnichannel strategy:
- Only do a mailing when there is a special occasion: you are launching a sale, opening a new shop, moving to a new location, introducing a new product or service, etc. You don't need to send messages to your customers every day reminding them of yourself, asking them to visit your website or shop. People will start to feel overwhelmed and unsubscribe.
- Use SMS as another way to touch customers who have stopped responding to your messaging in other channels over time. Then the surprise effect will work, which can bring sales later on.
- Send personalised messages. Address your target audience by name to improve your relationship with them, to make them feel at ease. Personalisation satisfies a person's psychological needs for recognition and respect, and reduces anxiety.
- Apply SMS in the customer service process. You can use SMS messaging not only to send e-receipts and delivery notes, but also to conduct regular customer surveys about the quality of service, satisfaction with products and services, etc. People can let you know about their problems and you will have to respond with solutions.
Decision Telecom is ready to help you improve customer service by implementing an omnichannel communication strategy. We will provide a universal platform where you can use SMS, Viber, and WhatsApp to communicate with your customers in one interface, thus shortening their path to purchase.