4 SMS marketing gaps that could be hurting your customer experience
Every company wants to own their customer journey from start to finish. Each touchpoint a user has with your brand experience is an opportunity to nurture the customer relationship, build trust, provide support, and drive a sale. However, if you have been using SMS to communicate with prospects and customers, you could be missing some critical pieces of the customer experience puzzle.
The lost opportunities of SMS messaging
What is the SMS gap? In short: it’s the hole SMS creates in your brand experience.
Although convenient, SMS text messaging as a marketing tool can add unnecessary friction that negatively impacts the user experience. It’s an impersonal experience that disrupts your users more than it benefits them. Below are the four SMS marketing gaps that may be costing you opportunities and conversions.
The context gap
SMS doesn’t contextualize a conversation. The limitations of SMS messaging (e.g., limited length, text-only format, no rich media) make it challenging to gauge users’ reactions. There are no details besides the transaction, no clues to inform how you can deliver relevant information for a more personalized experience.
A financial transaction has the power to build a lasting relationship with a client. When you add context back into the buyer’s experience, you are able to socially engage with your buyers. Social engagement increases customer lifetime value (CLV), and is an easy way to build a community.
How does your mobile engagement score stack up?
The customer experience gap
The swipe it takes to leave your app and go into messaging creates a lot of distance between your app and your customer.
Most SMS campaigns first come through messages, and then direct users to a website—two steps, too many. In addition to that extra click, factors like slow internet connection can impact the user experience and cause prospects to drop off the purchasing path.
While SMS might function as a great reminder of what’s left in a user’s cart or alerting about a promo code, it doesn’t seamlessly incorporate a customer service experience. Imagine instead: a contextual, in-app buyer journey that doesn’t end at purchase.
While SMS offers one-to-one customer interactions, it doesn’t allow you to leverage the power of community to enrich the entirety of the brand experience. You could be missing out on opportunities to build trust and drive conversions through social proof. Not to mention, advice from community members can help reduce customer support workload while reducing time to resolution.
The marketing gap
SMS doesn’t give marketers the advertising space to promote other products or services within the context of the interaction. In turn, marketing blasts via SMS come across as spammy. This can cost you profitable upsell and cross-sell opportunities that increase customer lifetime value and average order value.
And with SMS messages, you have to ensure you have the right permissions to send communications. Various opt-in requirements for sending marketing SMS messages and provide a direct method for users to opt out. This adds friction to the user experience and may reduce the number of prospects or customers you can access through the channel.
The data gap
SMS is disconnected from your mobile app or website. It’s more challenging to capture user data, connect the dots, and create a 360-degree customer profile.
As such, you may be missing out on opportunities to use data from these interactions to enhance the customer experience. User data helps deliver a seamless user experience that effectively progresses prospects down the sales funnel. Driving conversion through programmatic advertising, targeted product recommendations, and marketing personalization becomes much harder when you can’t pull the metrics you need.
The trust gap
It can be hard for receivers of an SMS message to identify the sender. This makes the customer experience extremely impersonal and, from a trust perspective, users can easily be spammed and left wondering if links are safe.
Communication that happens between brands and a user should enhance trust, not pick the relationship apart. By relying on SMS, your brand is missing out on a vital opportunity to bring life to the customer journey in the form of rich, engaging conversation.
Bridge the SMS gap with in-app chat
A flexible chat platform embedded in your app is the best solution for customer messaging, as well as many other use cases.
Improve your customer experience
Unlike emails, calls, or SMS, which require users to switch between screens, in-app messaging keeps users within the application. This helps increase engagement and minimize the chances that they get distracted while switching apps. You can also use in-app messaging to get feedback quickly to inform how you can improve the customer experience.
Build meaningful relationships
In-app chat allows you to interact with users in an immediate and natural way that fosters trust and relationships. Conversational signals (such as presence and typing status indicators) improve engagement through synchronous communication to deliver a more satisfying customer support experience. In-app messaging includes the ability to send text, GIFs, photos, videos, links, and much more.
You can also use push notifications to alert users about new messages and draw them back to the app.
Streamline interactions and increase conversions
Unlike SMS, in-app chat allows users to interact with your brand whenever and wherever they want without having to provide their phone numbers. This helps increase engagement and remove friction along the buyer’s journey. Some chat technologies also support offline messaging and caching capabilities to prevent deliverability issues from interrupting the user experience.
Support data-driven marketing
You can integrate an in-app chat application to your existing platforms, such as customer relationships management (CRM) system or customer data platform (CDP), then create a 360-degree customer profile using information gathered from chats.
Power your in-app chat with Sendbird
Sendbird’s in-app messaging can be used for much more than just chat. Companies that partner with sendbird can use our API to share product catalogs, make payments, fill out surveys, and bring life to many different stages of the customer journey.
Scale with AI-powered chatbots
Scaling up conversational marketing used to be a challenge. But thanks to advances in AI-driven chatbot technologies, this is no longer a concern. The latest automation technologies allow you to handle a large volume of questions without any human assistance.
Streamline the user experience with automation
You can combine automation technology with human assistance to deliver a thoughtful experience. For example, chatbots can triage inquiries and direct users to the right customer service expert to deliver a better customer experience while reducing ticket volume across all channels.
Ensure seamless integration with APIs
Thanks to application programming interfaces (APIs), you can adopt the latest in-app chat technologies without disrupting your existing systems. With APIs, data can be synced up in real-time across various platforms to avoid costly errors and delays while delivering a seamless customer experience.
Have conversations that enhance your customer’s experience
The rising popularity of various messaging platforms, such as WeChat, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, has made in-app chat part of many consumers’ daily life.
In-app chat enables you to deliver contextualized interactions based on customer data to create a highly personalized experience within a branded environment to increase engagement and drive conversions. Since everything happens within the app, you’re independent of other third-party platforms (e.g., social media.) You have complete control over the interactions to optimize the user experience based on your marketing objectives.
Thanks to the latest AI-powered automation technologies and API integration capabilities, more brands are now using in-app chat technologies to deliver a personalized and contextualized modern user experience to meet customer expectations.