There’s a good chance your business has several communication channels. At the very least, you probably have business SMS, email, and phone calls. While it’s a good strategy to have more than one channel for customer communications, you may wonder how exactly to use them all at once.
Let’s start with some frequently asked questions: Should you send the same content on all three channels? No. Should you save certain content for certain channels? Yes.
Business SMS, email, and phone calls each have their own strengths. Your team will elicit more engagement with customers if you use the most appropriate channel for each type of content you send.
Read on to learn each channel’s strengths and weaknesses—and learn which kind of content you should send through each.
Manage Daily Communications via Business SMS
Business SMS is a highly responsive and quick channel. It has an open rate of 98%. On average, 90% of texts are responded to within the first three seconds of receipt. Texts are also responded to in 90 seconds on average.
In other words, business SMS is your best bet for content that you want your customers to quickly read right away. It’s also a good channel for interactive content or conversational marketing content that you hope customers will respond to.
Depending on your business, there are a lot of types of content that it makes sense to send through business SMS. Most often, we see companies texting customers for:
- Appointment scheduling, confirmations, and reminders
- Customer service assistance (casual or quick queries)
- Order and delivery updates
- Paperwork updates and reminders
- Polls and survey requests
While it’s a good idea to send most content through SMS, there are exceptions. Texts are short, which means that they aren’t great for longer content, such as training instructions. Business SMS is not encrypted, so your business wouldn’t want to send confidential messages directly through it. However, you could send texts that link to secure portals or draw customers’ attention to confidential emails.
Share Attachments or Longer Communications through Email
Email is one of the most well-known business communications channels. In fact, 3.9 billion people worldwide had email accounts as of 2019. Email is reliable and safe, as most emails are encrypted during transmission.
It’s also easy for customers to read longer content in emails, since most people access it from their desktops or laptops. Your team can use it to share attachments, too. You can send attachments through tools like business SMS, but customers may struggle to open and read that content from small screens, like their phones.
Your team should focus email efforts on longer content that may include attachments, such as:
- Business updates
- Customer service assistance (complex)
- New login information
- Manuals or PDFs
Email is a good choice for this kind of information. However, because email has an average 21% open rate, it’s not the best channel for content you want customers to open right away. (If you want customers to open an email quickly, consider texting them with a notification that they have a critical email waiting for them in their inbox.) It’s also not the ideal channel for quick customer service resolutions, as it can take time for customers to respond to even the most simple instructions or notes.
Save Critical Conversations for Phone Calls
Businesses have been reaching customers through phone calls for decades—and probably will for decades to come. However, phone calls are becoming less in demand for businesses now that teams have quick channels like business SMS and email to take over small tasks. After all, phone calls consume employees’ full attention for the duration of calls, whereas professionals can answer multiple emails or texts at once.
There’s still an important place for phone calls in your business. Because phone calls attract customers’ attention right away, they’re great for critical conversations. They’re also good for situations in which it may be more tactful or safer to speak person-to-person.
Your team may consider using phone calls to:
- Discuss sensitive complaints or information
- Express emergency changes in business operations or emergencies that affect your customers
- Nuanced conversations
When you save these few communications for phone calls and funnel other conversations to business SMS and email, you’ll find your team resolving more queries, faster than ever before.
Want to learn more about the differences between communication channels? Look through our blog.