Text and You Shall Receive – Text Messaging in Customer Relationship Management

Text and You Shall Receive

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is by Ashley Spade, part of our “Consumer Viewpoint” guest post series about all things mobile)

Could the days of calling a 1-800-HOLD-FOREVER be over?

As a consumer, I’ve probably been on hold for the equivalent of a few months. Months that I could’ve spent exercising, shopping, watching TV or even doing a 5000 piece cloud puzzle.

And, when a person finally comes on the line, I don’t want to be bitter and angry, because the tie-up isn’t their fault. But it’s hard not to be angry at someone.

 The endless frustrations of 1-800 numbers could possibly be left behind, thanks to wonderful world of text messaging. Imagine the ease of sending off a text message to Barry’s Auto Parts asking why the radio they installed won’t leave AM stations. It’s nothing urgent, so you don’t need a reply right away, but you want it fixed without getting on the phone and being on hold for three hours.

Text messaging could be a great alternative to call lines. While call lines may still be needed for more urgent requests, shooting off a text message and going on with your life while you wait for a reply is eons better than being on hold indefinitely.

Three Benefits of Texting


1) More Efficient Order Fulfillment:
Many of the hang-ups in delivery, ordering and customer satisfaction are due to complications with order fulfillment. If Barry’s Auto Repair Garage agrees to replace your radio, you probably think you’re golden. But, the truth is, Barry’s might rely on a third party for order fulfillment, meaning that your replacement radio is not in Barry’s hands.

Having a direct line to order fulfillment, whether it’s through communication with the service or through sending text updates directly to your phone, means that you know where your replacement radio is at all times. If there’s a delay, you know about it immediately, which eliminates a lot of confusion and frustration with Barry down the line.

2) Customer Feedback and Engagement:
It seems that many companies aren’t exactly sure what their customers want. Many brands have started to print codes for online surveys alongside receipts, usually promising 10% off for your troubles. These are great, but usually have to be completed within about ten minutes and redeemed within the next 2 hours. I’m exaggerating a bit, but in reality, those surveys are hard to complete on time. If we could complete a text survey and redeem the coupon directly on our phones, businesses would probably receive more feedback than they know what to do with. I can tell Barry that I received the radio and that my FM stations are coming through loud and clear. And in exchange, maybe I’ll get 15% off my next oil change.

This style of survey collection would make for better products or services, increased customer feedback and engagement, which makes us feel valued and which all leads to what businesses are really after: our loyalty.

3) Increase Customer Loyalty:
Feeling valued by a company instead of mistreated makes all the difference in whether or not we continue to come back. It’s much more expensive for companies to gain new customers than it is for them to keep an old one. Increasing customer loyalty is then in their best interest, and in ours too. I don’t want to sift through 16 auto repair shops and run the risk of being ripped off by Fred’s Greasy Garage. If I know that Barry’s shop does a great job, I’ll keep going back, and I’ll tell all my friends to text Barry when they need work done.

About the Author:
Ashley Spade is a law student in Chicago. When not pulling all-nighters at the library, she spends her time scouring thrift stores for vintage fashion treasures, reading case briefs while on the treadmill at the gym, and volunteering for local animal shelters. Follow the adventures of Ashley and her furry sidekick, Sir Winston Pugsalot the First, on twitter: @ashspade or check out her fashion blog: www.beltsandbangles.com

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