“End users not technologies shape the market. Consequently, marketers need to stay abreast not only of technological developments but also of the way people respond to them.” Matt Haig
Several new ways of communicating have emerged and continue to ‘pop up’ each day. One of the most popular methods was mobile text messaging. However, we have all heard – albeit that which is a misconception – that this form of communicating causes misunderstandings and can be quite impersonal. Companies are now using mobile text messaging to connect with customers, and it is proving to be quite an effective and engaging way to stay in touch. Text messaging allows a company to personalize each experience, and send out highly relevant and contextual information to customers, making the ‘interaction’ extremely interesting and ‘human’. We know that personalization and the human touch are things that all customers crave given that these have declined since the unprecedented rise of digitization.
Mobile text messaging to connect with customers is therefore powerful and engaging, given that it is simple, trusted, familiar, and instant. The great part about being able to connect with customers via text messaging that brands can reach individual customers, is that the interaction is a one-on-one communication, allowing companies to nurture the ‘relationship’ and make it truly unique, relevant, and differentiated. Such ‘personalized’ communication ensures that companies balance technology with the human touch, thereby making a positive and lasting impression on their customers. This adds value to the experience, and customers are more likely to reciprocate.
We believe that there are several reasons why text messaging continues to be a popular method used to connect with customers. The text messaging option is available on every mobile handset – even the most basic kind. This is instantly a great advantage as text messaging is ready to use and there are no hassles of downloading an app or buying one, installing the software required to use the app, and constantly updating it each time the company managing the app makes some changes to it. These challenges are compounded by the fact that not every company / customer is using the same kinds of apps- it would be impossible and unfeasible to download all the apps available – the gains and the amount of usage would not be worth the trouble. With every company scrambling to gain customers, it makes a lot more sense to connect with customers via a channel that they would already have and there would be no hassle of an internet connection or online payments to access it. Mobile text messaging is therefore easy to access and use – simple is what customers want, so give it to them.
What makes text messaging to connect with customers such a great option is that almost 91% of the population owns a mobile phone today, and every phone comes equipped with the text messaging function. All one needs to do is switch on the phone, and text messaging is ready to use – as compared to other mobile applications that would take time to load, and not work as smoothly. This is a great benefit for customers – there is no waiting or sifting through complicated instructions, or multi-tasking between several different applications. A simple message from a company gets the point across – and if a customer finds it relevant, it is so easy to forward it to friends and associates. Structured, streamlined, simple to use – text messaging has all aspects that the harried customers of today crave.
Companies need a reliable system and method in order to connect with customers regularly and effectively, lest they miss an opportunity. Text messaging is reliable since it does not require a data connection in order for messages to be sent or received. Mobile apps need a connection to support their smooth functioning, which can sometimes prove to be a problem in areas that may not have an internet or data connection. However, text messages can be sent and received in a matter of a few seconds, irrespective of where the customer may be, making it trusted, reliable, and with the ability to ‘deliver’ when most needed. As mentioned, we live in an age of ‘now and fast’ – which is what text messaging is all about, and it is a one-on-one interaction, making customers feel important and valued. The high speed and instant deliverability of this method, allows a company to connect with customers within seconds, getting a point across to advantage. While other methods may also be speedy, none of them can compete with the swiftness of text messaging – it takes about 7 seconds for a message between sending and reaching the recipient.
Among the top priorities for customers, security features prominently. While other apps are quite vulnerable to hacking, text messaging is a lot safer since it does not require the user to provide access to location, contacts, and other personal information. When a company chooses text messaging to connect with customers, it is ensuring safety since this method is regulated by the service provide and the telecom industry. It is extremely simple for the customer / recipient to delete or block anyone from whom they do not wish to receive messages. Even though text messaging is the oldest method of connecting, it has continued to grow and remains popular today as well, and seems poised to retain its importance in the predictable future too.
A company must stay agile and flexible when dealing with customers. They must use a method that allows them to connect with customers easily and one that is adaptable. Text messaging makes it easy for a company to customize its message depending on the target audience and ‘blast’ that message to thousands of customers in a single click. Any kind of message can be created, depending on whatever the company would want to convey to their existing and prospective customer based, on their needs. The great part is that text messaging can easily be integrated into a company’s marketing strategies, without any changes to the system or hold ups with regard to application intricacies.
The reason that companies are able to successfully connect with customers through text messaging is the fact that it subscribing to or opting out of receiving messages is simple – a one-step method. Being able to do so places control and power in the hands of the customers, which is certainly one of the top priorities for them. The other positive of text messaging to connect with customers is that these messages are always opened and read – even if they are deleted later – this trumps emails, which most often are left unread if they do not catch the attention of the recipient. In addition, emails are usually longer and take time to open and read – a rushed customer may not have the time or the inclination take any of the actions. However, text messages open instantly, and because they are short convey the message swiftly – allowing the company to achieve their goal of communicating with the customer.
We are sure that there are several other reasons that make text messaging a preferred method to connect with customers for a number of companies. The customer-company relationship has undergone a major change – the balance of power has shifted to the customer forcing companies to fulfil their needs more efficiently and speedily. The possibilities and success of a business become limitless when customers feel engaged, important, valued, and connected with a brand.