Is SMS the channel of choice in omnichannel?

Written by:
Mike Mattingly
SMS
omnichannel

Retailers, service providers, freelancers - just about anyone or any business - must communicate with clients to be successful.

This is not the thesis behind omnichannel, this is the thesis embedded in business. You must communicate with customers to be successful. How one communicates with customers, that’s a different topic and one best peeled like an onion.

Let’s consider what great would look like when it comes to communicating with customers. Great communication would result in more revenue. What is more revenue?

  • Customers buy more expensive things
  • Customers buy more expensive things, more often
  • Customers buy more expensive things, more often, over more extended time

Price - Frequency - Longevity

Sounds good and if great communication is the key (almost everything is communication) we have to find what it takes to unlock great communication.

Let’s think about what customers would consider great communication. Why? Because people are drawn to things they like and while customers may not ‘like’ communicating with businesses - they do like great communication over anything less than great communication. Unless your customer is a recluse, troll, or in prison they do or will need to communicate with businesses and the people managing those businesses.

Customers like easy communication

How do we introduce the customer to your great communication? The first thing we do is make it easy for them to communicate with you. What’s easy? Easy is low friction. Easy is familiar. Easy is fast. Easy is SMS and Social Media. Pick between the two and SMS is our winner.

Short Message Service (SMS) is available to hundreds of millions of people and while maybe crass, SMS is available to almost everyone with disposable income. These are customers.

We now know the best digital way to communicate with customers, it’s SMS. SMS does present a challenge because the customer does not know your SMS number. They also do not know your voice phone number. One number is easier to know than two numbers. This is your first task. Convert your phone number into a voice/SMS, if you can. If you cannot, create an SMS number for your business. Two numbers with one SMS are better than three or none. This could create more cost for your business. If you use Rake for business messaging, Rake will create an SMS number for your business and pay for and manage the set-up. This is part of the two-way omnichannel chat (communication) Rake provides for thousands of customers.

After your SMS number has been created our challenge has not been resolved. The customer still does not know your SMS number. This is task number two. Begin to share your SMS number with any and all. From this point in time and forever forward, include your SMS number on your website homepage, contact us page, about us page and your website footer. Include your SMS number in all email communication and all social media pages and most of your social media posts. Think easy. Do everything you can to make it easy for your customers to send you an SMS text.

At this point you may be thinking it’s unrealistic for you to provide mobile phones to your sales and support teams and you would be correct. Do not allow this to slow or stop your progress. You can partner with Rake to solve for this challenge. Rake will serve as your inbox for all inbound and outbound text messaging. This means when one, or any number of customers send you a text message, the message will route to Rake and your team(s) can respond to these messages using the Rake mobile app or (and) the Rake web application. The same is true for social media and chat widget messaging.

Think of Rake as universal chat and if you happen to be a developer, think of Rake as a universal messaging platform for creating great messaging tools but that’s for another blog post at another time.

When customers send you a message, Rake will notify your team with bells and banners. Rake will provide you information about the customer, similar to caller ID. You will be able to record information about the customer and if your team has previously chatted with the customer, you’ll be able to access those messages. If the customer is visiting your website, Rake will alert you and if your team would like, they can proactively engage the visitor.

Let’s remain focused. You enable SMS to make it easy for customers to contact your team. You use Rake to make it easy for your team to reply to those customers. Your team chats with customers to grow your revenue. Businesses grow revenue so they can invest in opportunities, including more employees, to add more customers and on and on and on.

Rake is building a universal messaging platform; visit rake.ai for information about the universal chat solutions we currently offer.

Are you a developer? Visit our documentation, found here.