Why SMS Alone Isn’t Enough for Your Energy CX Strategy

By Will Crowley

The Benefits of Text Messaging for the Modern Enterprise

Customers today are checking their mobile devices constantly.  And as smartphones keep getting, well smarter, it’s no wonder companies across all industries – especially energy – are trying harder and spending more to integrate mobile communications into their customer experience and service efforts. Today’s customers now expect easy and efficient interactions with the important businesses in their lives, and a big part of that includes communicating with them on their preferred devices. In fact, 9 out of 10 customers say they want businesses to communicate with them via text.

The allure and potential of texting your customers is hard to deny given its high response rates and ability to cut through clutter. But texting by itself has limitations that energy provides should consider when formulating their customer experience strategies.

The Limitations of Text-Alone Solutions for B2C Communications

Paramount to meeting rising customer expectations for experiences that are fast, easy, and personal is understanding when and how to use the right technologies. Here’s a few instances where communicating with your customers may require something more than a text-only solution:

  • Security is a priority: Messages and communications sent via SMS are not password protected or HIPAA compliant. Companies in highly-regulated industries such as energy often need to deliver critical information to customers about billing, servicing, or account updates, but this type of information is sensitive and requires a level of security that SMS alone doesn’t offer. 
  • Multiple, dynamic steps are required: For multistep customer journeys – think renewals, account set-up, or service upgrades – a text can feel fragmented and one-dimensional. Add in the need to educate and communicate with your customers at multiple points, and you’ve got a recipe for a customer experience flop.  Customers want dynamic, personalized experiences that usually can’t be addressed with simple text solutions.
  • It needs more than 160 characters: See what we did there . Now you see how annoying it can be when you try to jam a detailed, important message to your customers into a constrained space.  As a result, businesses are limited to low value messages and a heavy reliance on abbreviations when they use on text only solutions for customer communications.

 

It’s no question that text messaging is an effective way to reach your energy customers. But when you need a way to securely engage, educate, or guide them through an important lifecycle event, it may not be enough. So what’s a company to do?  There are technology companies that offer a new solution by helping businesses deliver proactive, individualized mobile messages that improve and simplify the customer experience. Proper mobile engagement ensures businesses are delivering the right message, to the right customer, at the right time.

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Will Crowley is a Marketing Manager of Relay Network