In the digital-first world that we live in, customers expect businesses to go the extra mile to accommodate their wants and needs. One important way of doing that is keeping them informed with automated messages not only through email, but directly to their phone via SMS and WhatsApp.
Time is of the essence, and you want consumer behavior to trigger messages instantly without additional demand on resources. This is where automated messaging comes in; serving as a backbone to businesses and powering a large chunk of operations, achieving mass results with minimum effort. As the primary interest of businesses is to work on the things that matter, 69% of businesses said that automation reduces wasted time, leading to higher value productivity.
A study found that 90% of customers expect an immediate response when communicating with businesses, with 64% of consumers wanting to be contacted by SMS more often, and 57% citing email as their preferred method of contact. As customer centricity is a key priority, automated messaging is proving to be the most effective way of reaching customers, building a strong community and rapport. Through establishing a method in which actions and events trigger messages to be sent automatically, communication becomes not only bespoke and immediate, but also a great support channel.
Personlization is key when it comes to automation, with 72% of consumers only responding to messages that target their interests. With the help of marketing channels such as email and WhatsApp, consumers are targeted based on their preferences and behaviors, leading to a more personalized customer experience.
According to Salesforce, personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10%. Through increasing the relevance of automated campaigns, and communicating with consumers on platforms that are native to their daily messaging experiences, messaging automation makes businesses appear more organized and responsive.
The question that comes to mind now is what can be automated? Well, a better question would be: what can’t be automated? Automation provides reactive and preventive maintenance, with on-demand information. Systems are able to trigger key actions like sending reminders about payment and renewal dates, updates on changes to terms and conditions, successful or failed payment alerts, and even post-purchase surveys. Combined with personalization, automation is more effective when selling products and services to an existing customer than to convert a new one.
Statistics show that SMS messages are delivered within 5 seconds and opened within 90 seconds. Combined with a survey indicating that 88% of participants feel as though WhatsApp is the most important messaging tool for them, and 83% of global consumers prefer receiving emails from businesses, messaging automation is not only efficient and effective, but popular with customers.
Through creating a system in which an action is triggered by inbound messaging enquiries - such as delivery updates - businesses are able to provide the best service with reactive and preventative maintenance. Message automation can be applied to prevent an organization's exposure to risk from technology faults or exposure of sensitive data.
Ensuring that customers are always kept in the loop, demonstrates automation’s role as a strategic business enabler. This open door of communication between the customer and a business demonstrates a high degree of responsibility.
So what does automated messaging really bring to the table?
- Customer Experience and Retention
The aim of automated messaging is to not only save time and resources for businesses, but to do the same for customers. Automated messages are a way for businesses to meet customers on their territory, engaging in personal business-customer interactions. Through solving issues such as double billing and setting up automated messages if customers contact them outside of business hours, businesses are able to demonstrate the value they place on customers, and gain exceptional customer satisfaction.
- Lower Operational Costs
Automated messaging allows businesses to pre-empt customer queries and complaints, e.g. through sending pre-delivery confirmation messages”, status updates and reminders, helping them lower their operational costs by ensuring that they only use resources when needed.
- Enhanced Security
With automation, any issue with logging into a secure server, or any attempt in gaining remote access is instantly verified with the help of an email or SMS. Automated messaging ensures that only authorized users have access to secure systems by sending them a one-time code. In doing so, security protocols are enhanced and trust is maintained.
- Greater Sales
Businesses can use automated messaging as part of their re-engagement strategy. Cart abandonment is responsible for $4.6 trillion in lost e-commerce sales. With the help of re-engagement campaigns, what was otherwise known as “out of sight out of mind” for consumers, becomes a reminder to complete their purchase journey, recovering lost sales. Introducing this type of personalization to email campaigns increases sales per email by 150%.