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The article you are about to read was originally published on forbes.com and is definitely a good read. It was written by Jabez LeBret, who has authored three books on technology and marketing and delivered more than 950 training presentations globally. He is currently the Chief innovation officer at GNGF, a digital marketing agency.
“There are three things you can bring to bed with you at night: your dog, your spouse, and your phone. The mobile phone has become our latest appendage, an extension of who we are. The siren call of the text message is alluring and immediate. According to comScore, SMS is used regularly by 75% of all Americans.
Where things can go wrong: Following two phone calls and a quick visit to an AT&T store, my phone buzzed with the notification of an SMS survey. After answering all of the survey’s questions, I responded to the final, open-ended question with one request: “I’m having difficulty syncing my information to my new phone – can someone call me?”. Unfortunately, this text fell on deaf ears because an automated computer program was asking all the questions. AT&T does monitor these communications, and a manager will eventually contact the customer.
When a company chooses to engage in customer service via SMS, an appropriate communication strategy must be in place. If done properly, SMS campaigns can build a strong relationship with your customer base. There are, however, some rules to follow when texting your customers. The risk of disregarding these rules is customers getting frustrated with your service or disengaging themselves from your brand.
Always ask for permission. Not even your phone company should be texting you without asking for permission. Even if your customers request to receive SMS for monthly deals, do not assume you can text them with information about new store openings. An AT&T spokesperson said, “These surveys are about the customer experience and are not a form of solicitation or marketing, therefore a customer opt-in isn’t required.” This statement, indicative of the approach that some large companies are taking toward these customer service situations, is technically true but completely misses the nature of SMS communication.
Texting is a personal, two-way conversation. SMS is not an online survey, social media post, or RSS feed. Every communication medium, including voice, Twitter, Facebook FB -0.74% and texting, has its own set of human behaviors. These behaviors dictate how we expect to use these communication tools. We use SMS to avoid calling or emailing, often because we are looking for a quick answer. When you interact with your customer by SMS, be ready to interact in the moment.
Provide an easy opt-out. Make it simple and obvious for a person to stop receiving SMS communication from your company. Even if customers requested that you text them, regularly ask them if they would like to continue receiving these messages. This goes against conventional marketing funnel strategies. SMS is not an email campaign; it is direct communication to a device we sleep with every night.
Give the keys back to the customer and let them decide how they want to interact with your brand. There is an inherent responsibility that comes with having multiple media to reach customers: communicating to the customer in the way the customer expects.”
See article here and let us know what you think!