21 Apr Gaining Consumer Trust & Confidence with SMS
Customer trust rests at the cornerstone of every business—if consumers trust the brand, it will have the opportunity to succeed. Discerning customers hold companies to specific standards, similar to how they build social relationships and invest in favourable connections. Our team at touchSMS have seen countless examples of how focusing on brand trust generates customer engagement and how those relationships are invaluable in growing a business.
A company’s aim should revolve around bridging the trust gap, and one of the best ways to achieve this is by interacting with customers through a text message, specifically via SMS. Why place text-based marketing messages at the centre of your brand’s customer satisfaction goals? You might find the answers surprising.
Read on to learn why this method effectively engages people, builds brand loyalty, and curates trusted connections with new and existing customers.
How Modern Consumer Trust Works
Before we dive into SMS efforts that will generate more consumer confidence in a brand, there are a few other influences on the trust factor based on customer experiences.
Over half of consumers rank trust in a company as the second most crucial factor after the product or service’s price. So, for brands that primarily compete on price, trust acts as a key differentiator. In fact, almost three-quarters of consumers express the opinion that being able to trust a brand is even more important since the pandemic has pushed interactions into the digital realm.
Many customers will leave a brand that misappropriates their loyalty, whether due to unattractive product changes, poor leadership decisions, or questionable data collection or management. These factors have a massive influence on public perception of the brand, particularly surrounding sensitive data. Over 80% of customers would like to see a clear link between their shared data and the benefits yielded from that decision to share it; they are wary of sharing personal information and want companies to prove their willingness to protect it.
Why You Need Consumer Trust and Loyalty
Most companies switched from retail to subscription models over the last decade because keeping old customers costs significantly less than acquiring new ones. These loyalty-based models are lucrative in many ways, not the least of which involves long-term relationships. Retaining consumers yields more profitable results than simply chasing one-time sales, and customer acquisition costs have nearly doubled in recent years.
The statistics are increasingly favouring this approach, so it seems like a good idea to save money through subscription or loyalty models. But why is trust so crucial to sustainable growth for a brand? Let’s consider how loyalty could increase profits as brands leverage reliable trust-building mechanisms:
- Concurrent customers purchase more frequently, and sales increase
- Customers who trust a brand provide referrals, leading to cost-free organic growth
- Consistent customers tend to spend more than first-time visitors and can become the backbone of the revenue stream
It is easy to see why building confidence in a company is so rewarding. Turning to SMS marketing or communication channels is one way to tap into this connection and is an excellent option for local companies.
How SMS Can Generate Consumer Confidence
Is an SMS really that powerful? There are five ways in which this marketing tool is making strides in attracting, facilitating, and retaining customer trust in every niche.
Responsive Customer Support
Interacting with customer support is frustrating for consumers, especially when the help they receive is delayed or unproductive. Roadblocks like pre-help teleprompters or waiting hours to receive appropriate support are driving customers away, and unsatisfied consumers quickly lose trust in the brand. Thankfully, there are solutions.
For example, an SMS allows a company to resolve support issues fast and start a two-way conversation between a support representative and their concerned customer. Younger generations have widely used this method to solve communication issues, often preferring text-based interactions in real-time to crackling phone calls or infuriating hold music.
SMS also has some distinct advantages to help customers feel comfortable:
- SMS is nearly universal, familiar, and easy to access
- SMS mitigates the need to navigate a confusing portal to access a support network
- SMS allows customers to reply at their leisure
- SMS allows support representatives to respond to multiple customers as needed
When compared to phone or email, SMS facilitates faster solutions, shorter response times, and much happier customers overall.
Alerts, Reminders, and Deals
Part of effectively interacting with customers involves thinking about how to serve them before they know they need a product or service. Does your brand effectively predict what it can do for consumers before they express that need? Helpful reminders and text alerts unobtrusively cut through the chaos for people who are too busy with work, family, and life to think about purchasing decisions.
Using SMS to pre-empt these purchases gives consumers insight into what is available without increasing the stress that comes with an information overload. Common examples of successful SMS alerts include:
- Limited time offer notifications: UberEats and other food delivery companies notify customers about opportunities to pay less on fees or deliveries when ordering from a restaurant.
- Doctors’ offices and hospital appointments: Have you received messages from your physician confirming an upcoming appointment? The mode of communication lets patients know schedule information and more. It is also a great way to build customer trust through the perception that the service is highly professional.
- Restaurant reservation reminders: Dining establishments often send reminders of a reservation a few hours before the scheduled time. It has the dual effect of ensuring customers do not miss the booking and allows the restaurant to keep tables open if you default.
- Emergency store closures: Sometimes, weather or power outage events shut down operations unexpectedly. A quick SMS message is an easy and affordable way to alert customers of the closure and prevent them from showing up at the door. It is also helpful to let customers know about an outage and prevent backlogs in customer service channels.
No-shows cost unnecessary resources, even in the form of saving a slot that could go to another waiting customer. Automating reminders through SMS helps significantly in this area.
Customer Reviews and Feedback
Glowing customer reviews positively impact loyalty, as prospective customers measure your brand’s worth to those in the know. Consumers typically look at customer feedback before choosing where to direct their business, and customer trust blooms with a steady flow of great customer reviews to build your company’s reputation.
Acquiring feedback is not always easy, but there are a few ways to generate input rather than waiting for customers to initiate the process independently. Let’s use those food delivery apps above as an example. Apps like GrubHub will ask customers to rate an order around thirty minutes after receiving their food; statistically, this is the moment that customers are at their happiest with the service.
The principle applies to many other scenarios, including sending review prompts to customers right after they are likely to have opened a package or paid for goods or services. These moments are closest to when the brand fulfils a customer’s needs and is more likely to motivate a customer to respond (hopefully, positively). Customers will want to tell others about why they love the product or service while the feeling is fresh, so it is a great strategy.
Some organisations rely too heavily on push notifications, but customers often turn these off to limit spam. SMS bridges this gap because half the battle lies in finding the perfect time to engage with your consumer base. SMS and similar texts demand attention but allow for a soft selling approach that does not leave the customer intimidated or obligated to respond.
The risk of a data breach increases in proportion to customer interaction, and brands should be making an extra effort to protect client data, a strategy known as data trust. If consumers know the company takes precautions, they will choose that service over a competitor.
Even multi- or two-factor authentication goes a long way in this regard (it creates a second step for a user to confirm their identity before logging in). Two-factor authentication often utilises SMS, sending a one-time code to the customer as the secure step for logging in or using a new device.
Promotions, Rewards, and Referral Networks
Another excellent way to build customer trust involves reinforcing client retention with advocates, like loyal customers. Does your company encourage customers to recommend your brand to their friends? Nine out of ten people are more likely to take recommendations from family or friends, especially when the alternative is to look for options on their own.
VIP and rewards programs present a terrific opportunity for a brand to retain customers and build loyalty, giving consistent users value they appreciate. For example, some companies include a free, limited-edition shirt or some other appealing item after spending certain amounts or reaching loyalty tiers.
The substance of any rewards program pertains to what customers find unique and what they desire. However, it also depends on what your company can afford. Coupling rewards with something like referral links ensures that customers share the brand’s offering with friends and simultaneously boost the appeal of the rewards system you are offering.
Why not think about rolling out a rewards program with SMS messages? Ask clients to join the program and talk about the program’s incentives. Offer rewards for every friend they bring into the fold and use the SMS contact to get creative about how to combine these incentives effectively.
Connect with touchSMS Today and Build Customer Trust
What is it that your brand does best? Building momentum with high-quality SMS infrastructure is easier with services like touchSMS to streamline the communication channel. It is an excellent way to engage and build on customer trust while exploring ways to leverage your brand’s most attractive features.