It was late Thursday afternoon on a busy week when I heard the familiar jingle. I received a text message from the company I rented a DVD from about a week prior (I know, who rents DVDs these days – but stay with me). They wanted to ask if I’d forgotten about it, since I hadn’t yet returned it. Indeed I had forgotten.
You see I’d picked up Paddington thinking the family could find a few hours that evening to watch it. But the week was especially busy and the DVD sat, unwatched, on the kitchen counter. The SMS messaging reminder spurred me into action. I cleared the evening schedule and we sat down and watched the movie together. I promptly returned it the next day.
Why does this matter? That message saved me money. A few years back I rented a video game from the same service and ended up paying for it after 25 days had gone by. My daughter was playing the game and I just got busy and forgot it was a rented game. In the end that game cost me more than buying it for her outright (but she still plays it to this day so money well spent I guess). But if they’d had the SMS messaging as a reminder service in those days, I certainly would have brought it back then purchased the game for less money through a different outlet.
So for all those other busy, distracted, and forgetful people out there, a text message reminder is an opportunity for great customer service from any business. Here are three reasons why:
- It can save the customer money. This might be counter intuitive to those who think business is all about making money. But if you can do something for your customer, then you’re on the way to reason number two.
- It builds loyalty. Would I rent DVDs from any other company? No, I wouldn’t. The number of companies offering physical DVD rentals is shrinking, but I wouldn’t leave one that did its best to save me money over their own profits. It makes me feel like they care about me and for that they earn my unwavering loyalty.
- It offers amazing return on investment. SMS messaging is amazingly inexpensive on a per message basis. What is the value of the loyalty it could bring from customers who you reach out to and help via text message? Undoubtedly a lot more than the few pence it takes to send the message. Potentially a lot more.
SMS messaging lets you engage with customers in ways you never could before, even with email. The use cases are varied enough that anyone who does business with a person (and even in B2B you’re still dealing with a person behind that business) can put it to use supporting, interacting, and reaching out to customers. And, if you are like me, you resent paying late fees even though you know you messed up. So SMS messaging avoids that black mark on your business, even if it was unwarranted.