People communicate with friends and family through text messages, making mobile a natural medium to talk to businesses. Business messaging is the future of customer interaction.
As businesses adopt software solutions, from self-service to review management software, building personal relationships with customers is becoming more and more difficult. Customers want to communicate with businesses using mobile messaging channels like text messaging or apps such as iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and others. The problem today is that only 48 percent of businesses are equipped to connect with customers through messaging (Dimension Data 2016). Every business wants to deliver great customer experiences. It’s a matter of finding the means to deliver it.
At Podium, we’re helping over 11,000 businesses become forward-thinking communicators. We’re building the tools to help business managers and team members be proactive, responsive, and better informed during conversations with customers. These customer interactions are happening over messaging and include appointment reminders, subscription plan or policy notifications, customer service, or answering frequently asked questions. Today, millions of business-to-consumer conversations are powered by Podium Messenger.
Messaging Is At the Core of Our Digital Experience.
Messaging has surpassed all modes of communication in the way we chat, share, and hold conversations. When it comes to communication convenience, there are few channels easier than a simple text message. It’s quick and easy to text back a confirmation to an appointment reminder, and it’s reassuring to receive a message about an upcoming dentist appointment, a vehicle service completion, or that your plumber is on the way. In most cases, phone calls take too long, voicemails are ignored and emails go unread.
Everyone loves messaging and it’s not hard to understand why texting is the communication channel people prefer. SMS or “Short Messaging Service” was invented in 1992 and has become the most widely-adopted mobile feature today. Text-based interactions are fast, fun, intimate, descriptive, and consistent in ways that phone calls are not. It’s a communication medium that feels comfortable to most consumers.
Messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Apple iMessage, WeChat, WhatsApp, and Kik have gained considerable traction over the last 5 years. The growth has been so dramatic that messaging apps have now become more popular than social networks.
Your Customers Want to Message You
While customer service representatives are good at finding opportunities to build rapport and delight their customers, it is all too often we see businesses relying on obsolete tools and technology to interact with customers. This leads to mediocre customer interactions at best and leaves customers frustrated at worst.
Every interaction is an opportunity to build relationships with customers, develop loyalty, and ultimately grow your business. We’ve found our users want to use messaging to reply to order confirmations, give product or service feedback, reply to delivery status, and learn about new products.
More than ever, today’s consumers are empowered with their choice of who they want to do business with. Winners in this space are creating a unique differentiation by communicating with customers in closer, more meaningful one-on-one interactions at scale.
Bridging the Interaction Gap
When most people think about Podium, they think about reviews. We built a product that makes it really easy for businesses to send a review request using your cell phone and a simple text message with the goal of helping businesses optimize their review presence. We still believe visibility around reviews and customer feedback channels is important. But we also believe messaging is important and is the next opportunity for businesses to interact with customers in new and exciting ways.
Messaging is not just a one-way communication channel. Podium’s Customer Interaction Platform allows your business to interact with your existing and prospective customers and build lifelong relationships. Podium customers are seeing growth in both response rates and NPS scores since implementing Podium Messenger. In fact, Podium customers using Messenger have seen a 45% response rate for business initiated communication and a 15 point jump in NPS scores.
SMS for Business
Some of our favorite use cases for messaging include:
- Urgent notifications
- Delivery status or service delays
- Real-time messages such as order confirmations
- Appointment reminders
- Delivery information
Consumers find messaging to be a useful channel to learn about new products, services, or to provide feedback and get support. The relationships you build with your customers in Messenger will reflect the feedback, word of mouth experiences, quality of reviews, and overall net promoter score for your business. These are the times you can shine by giving customers the information they’ll really value at the right moment your customers need it.
Why Should I Message My Customers?
Using text messaging to communicate with your customers offers numerous benefits. For example, Podium Messenger provides you with a powerful way to document conversations between your business and customers. Having a unified view of your customers across all departments is a simple way to show your them you care. When a question comes up, whether you’re in sales, marketing, or customer service, you can always go back and reference a previous conversation at any time.
We’re also excited about a future with rich messaging features including images, GIFS, the ability to send and receive documents, NPS surveys, scheduling reminders, and even payments.
Choose Podium and Get Chosen
Businesses who take the path of least resistance are less interested in how their customers communicate with them and are willing to provide a catch-all, one and done solution. This may be easier for the business, but is your phone’s interactive voice response really the best experience for your customer?
Messaging is ranked as the #1 channel consumers want to use to engage with businesses throughout the world. We’re obsessed with our customers, their satisfaction and want to help hundreds of thousands of businesses feel the same. Local businesses looking to connect with customers over messaging are welcome to get started with Podium today.
In full transparency, this is the first time we’re trying this. If you own or manage a business, we’d love to hear from you by texting us at the number below:
(We promise not to spam you)
Let’s chat about the following ideas:
- How does your business use messaging with your customers today?
- Is SMS still a viable marketing channel?
- Do customers really want to receive SMS from businesses?
Send us a text message with your thoughts and we will respond as quickly as possible. Let’s get the conversation started!