Review sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor have made businesses put more focus on customer experience and great service.
According to research from DMR, about 145 million people visit Yelp, and 390 million visit TripAdvisor monthly.
As of 2017, there are over 121 million reviews on Yelp and over 453 million reviews on TripAdvisor covering a wide range of different businesses. (source)
DID YOU KNOW? Increasing your overall Yelp rating by one star can lead to a 5-9 percent boost in revenue. (source)
For businesses to get those valuable positive reviews, the entire customer experience needs to not only meet, but exceed expectations.
One way for businesses to better serve their customers is through the power of sms text messaging.
It’s not surprising that texting is the most used data service in the world (source) due to the simplicity and quickness of text message communications.
Businesses of all types need to start leveraging text messaging as a major component of customer service.
Here are 10 industries that need to leverage text messaging to better serve their customers
89% of global travelers consider online reviews important to booking. (source)
We’ll start with an obvious one. Hotels rely heavily on customer service. Almost every aspect of a hotel experience involves service. To better serve guests, hotels can use text messaging to deliver exceptional customer service experiences.
Hotels can use text messaging for:
Check-ins: Create a more efficient guest check-in experience by texting guests when their room is ready. This will save time on playing phone tag if the guest happens to miss your call.
In-room Services: Instead of confusing guests as to which number to call for what, provide guests with one number they can text for all of their in-room needs such as extra towels, coffee, or even allow them to text to order room service.
Special Events & Activities: Alert guests about special events and dinner specials instead of having them search and call. This will make guests feel extra special knowing you care about their overall experience at the hotel.
Each rating star added on a Yelp review translated to anywhere from a 5 percent to 9 percent effect on revenues. (source)
Similar to hotels, service is key for restaurants. There are various ways for restaurants to engage customers with text messages that can improve the overall experience.
Restaurants can use text messaging for:
Reservations: Instead of putting potential customers on hold, allow them to text you for reservations.
Text-to-Order: Enabling customers to text message an order to your restaurant, it frees up time for employees to serve customers rather than taking orders. Leveraging a business text messaging software can help streamline this process by having text orders sent directly to the kitchen.
Special and Promotions: The restaurant competition is fierce. One way for your restaurant to stand out from the rest is to text your specials and promotions to your customers.
3. PARKING FACILITIES & VALET SERVICES
4 minutes is the expected valet car retrieval time to be considered as good service. (source)
The parking industry is all about speed and efficiency. Customers want their cars to be ready when they are. Parking facilities such as valets and hotel and airport parking businesses can greatly benefit from text messaging.
Parking facilities can use text messaging for:
Reserving Parking Spots: Allow customers to reserve parking spots by texting in the date of arrival.
Shuttle: If your parking facility involves customers taking a shuttle such as from an airport, allow them to text you to reduce wait time.
Valet Pickup: Streamline the valet experience by reducing phone time and retrieve more cars faster.
4. AUTOMOTIVE DEALERSHIPS
Customers completely satisfied with the dealership are over four times more likely to buy from that dealership again compared to very dissatisfied customers. (Source)
Differentiate your dealership’s car shopping experience by having direct text communications with leads and existing customers. Faster communication means better service and more sales.
Automotive dealerships can use text messaging for:
Viewing Appointment: Allow potential buyers to text you directly for viewing and test drive appointments. It’s easier and quicker than calling or trying to find it on the website.
Inventory Information: Respond to questions on make, model, color, or inventory in seconds to increase engagement with multiple leads.
Repair or Service: Create a hassle-free service experience by enabling customers to text in service appointments. You can also text the customer when their car is ready to increase efficiency and wait time.
5. GYMS & FITNESS CENTERS
80% of gym members who join in January quit after just five months. (Source)
We’ve all heard it before, tons of people join gyms in the beginning of the year as a new year resolution, but many just don’t keep it. There may be many reasons for members canceling their gym memberships, but member engagement is something that is usually lacking and texting is a way to keep them coming back.
Gyms and fitness centers can use text messaging for:
Reminders: Send text notifications to remind your members to come in based on their preferred schedule. This will keep them on track if they get busy and forget.
Classes & Events: If your gym has cool classes or special events, be sure to let them know.
Scheduling Trainer Sessions: Allow members to quickly schedule sessions with their favorite trainer by simply sending a text message.
53% of travelers would like to receive notifications via SMS. (Source)
Airlines deal with thousands of customers every day. Quick and clear communication is important as different people have different schedules that are time sensitive. Texting allows airlines to communicate with multiple customers at once while still maintaining speed and efficiency.
Airlines can use text messaging for:
Check-ins: Everyone hates the dreaded check-in line. Allow customers to check-in via text message to avoid long lines and missed flights.
Alerts & Notifications: Text customers with flight reminders, flight delays or any other time sensitive information.
Responding to Complaints: Don’t let frustrated customers wait on hold, as it will most likely show up on a review site. Responding to customer complaints via texting is faster and more efficient.
Nearly half of Millennials want to receive SMS alerts from their bank. (Source)
The banking industry has made great technology advancements throughout the years including mobile banking. But what if a customer doesn’t have internet access where they are? Text messaging is the way to go.
Banks can use text messaging for:
Account Information: Allow customers to access account information anywhere by simply sending a text message for “account balance”.
Account Activity Alerts: Keep customers informed of all account activity in real time. For example, send a text message when funds are withdrawn or account balance is lower than the set amount indicated by the customer.
Check Deposits: If online/mobile deposit is possible, why not text deposits? Texting an image of the check for deposit makes it for customers to do it anytime, anywhere.
8. CRUISE LINES
With an unprecedented open rate of 99%, SMS content delivery is undoubtedly driving the mobile marketing revolution for the travel and tourism industry. (Cruise&Travel publisher Peter Lynch)
Like hotels, cruise lines rely heavily on the guest experience in increase loyalty. Engaging guest through text messaging is the best way to communicate with them regardless where they are on the ship.
Cruise lines can use text messaging for:
Cruise Information: Text guests cruise information like departure/arrival times, location and times of stops as well as dining times.
Activity Schedule: Cruises are full of activities and guests are always out and about. Text them daily event schedules and reminders to make sure they arrive on time and not miss out on the fun.
Cabin Service: Similar to hotels, allow cruise guests to text for housekeeping, room service or other room-related needs.
9. RETAIL & ECOMMERCE
SMS text decreases the price of a customer service call from $6-$20 per call to pennies per session. (source)
In the world of retail and eCommerce, it’s all about being omnichannel. Retailers can ease the shopping experience by implementing a text messaging solution so customers can communicate with them no matter where they are.
Retailers can use text messaging for:
Inventory Availability: Let shoppers quickly text to find out if the product they want is in stock.
Shipping & Delivery Alerts: Notify customers when their products have been shipped and when to expect delivery. Not everyone checks their emails regularly.
Sales & Promotions: Have a special on sneakers at your San Diego store? Text your customers to let them know if they are near the store location.
10. SHIPPING & LOGISTICS PROVIDERS
Texting is highest rated contact method for customer satisfaction compared to all other communication channels (Text – 90; Phone – 77; Facebook – 66). (source)
Shipping and logistics companies focus heavily on the customer experience. Providing customers easy ways to communicate such as texting can greatly improve the experience while making workflows more efficient.
Logistics providers can use text messaging for:
Package Tracking: Visibility to package status is extremely important to customers. By sending daily text alerts to the customer on package status, it keeps them from getting frustrated and provides a better overall experience.
Order Management: When customers want to change their order but don’t have internet access, allow them to text in their order changes to quickly make appropriate adjustments and keep them happy.
Customer Inquiries: alleviate customer service resources by allowing customers to text their questions or concerns. Setup automatic responses for frequently asked questions to maximize operational efficiency.
Companies of all different types can greatly benefit from using business text messaging to improve the customer experience and overall satisfaction. This results to better reviews and more loyal customers.
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