Text messaging makes communication faster, allowing companies to reach and interact with their customers at scale and with efficiency. That efficiency and CX however, is only optimized when the exchange is 2-way.
Lately when I book any sort of appointment or schedule a delivery, I get a confirmation text message shortly after and then a reminder confirming the date, time, and appointment type. But then life happens. I double-booked. I have to work late and no one will be home to let the technician in. I need to change the delivery address. There are options to “Stop” future messages, or to “Confirm” or “Cancel”, but “Help” or “Change” never seem to get me anywhere. Sometimes the messages include an email or phone number to call with questions or feedback provided it’s during office hours.
It would be infinitely easier to be able to text back with my intended changes. Or, better yet, it would be far more productive if there was an option to let me make the changes myself.
The risk of 1-way communication
Currently, most companies are using texting and automated messaging reminders to:
- Save their employees time in regards to menial/repetitive tasks – especially around tracking people down for a simple “yes”.
- Reduce no shows by sending a reminder of when, where, and what appointments are for.
Automation has the ability to reduce the workload of repetitive tasks, but 1-way messaging fails to provide customers with an outlet for deviation.
Essentially, these messages are contact points with customers that can be easily automated while encouraging engagement, but how impactful are they, if there still needs to be a human involved to make changes?
Automated messaging works to remove a human agent from the tedious task of calling a customer to confirm their information, and if that’s all that’s needed, messaging is a great fix. It’s when customers can’t ask questions, reschedule, or request an action, these interactions are relatively incomplete, and depending on the situation, can leave customers frustrated and dissatisfied.
Are you using text notifications as a microphone or a telephone?
As texting becomes a more central component of a company’s mobile customer communication strategy, there needs to be consideration given to how that service is experienced from both (the company and the customer) sides of the interaction. Simply put, an update is seriously needed. Strong messaging programs improve internal productivity and customer efficiency in an uncomplicated manner.
In an effort to better your CX, enhance your current automated text messaging process to expand the option for two-way communication. An appointment confirmation can now provide the option to change or cancel the appointment all within the text message. A delivery notification will enable the recipient to augment their delivery schedule in the event that life happens.
Texting is a direct line to your customer’s attention. But messaging needs to be more than unidirectional. Otherwise, companies risk losing our attention. Customers want to be able to take advantage of the ease of messaging. Building your messaging program with the understanding that you’re providing customers a direct line to you is as much about enhancing the mobile experience today as it is meeting consumers’ expectations tomorrow.