U.S. consumers have gone wild for speedy delivery. Of online shoppers, 63% expect 3-day delivery, and 88% are willing to pay for same-day delivery services. Consumers don’t just want fast deliveries, either; they want to see care taken with their orders. Nearly 57% of consumers say that if they experience any kind of unprofessionalism from a delivery person, they won’t order from that company again.
High-quality and fast delivery services have, in turn, led to a massive influx of online orders for businesses who offer expedited shipping. Now, many businesses are putting considerable effort into trying to figure out how to speed up their operations to improve their quality of service—and this challenge is leading them straight to business text messaging.
Business SMS for dispatch and operations teams is one of the best ways for companies to meet this growing customer demand. Dive in to learn about business SMS, how it improves deliveries for both customers and businesses, and how your teams can use it for your specific industry.
Defining Business SMS
Business SMS—also called business text messaging or business texting—is different from personal texting, which you are probably very familiar with. Business texting is used solely for communicating with customers or clients, and is conducted from business texting platforms instead of personal phones.
When it comes to dispatch and operations, the use of a business texting platform especially makes sense: these advanced business apps help teams manage, track, and send large numbers of texts to customers and contractors each day. Without such a system, managing deliveries by SMS on personal phones becomes a challenge. Business SMS platforms also allow companies to review reports on customer-facing messages and control which employees have access to specific messages and controls.
One of the other differences between business SMS and personal SMS is that, according to U.S. law, recipients must opt in before receiving texts from your business.
Business SMS Keeps Customers Up-To-Date
Knowing the estimated delivery date of an order is important to nearly two thirds (63%) of online shoppers. This isn’t the end of it, either: customers often like to know exactly where their orders are at all times. Preemptive delivery notifications are the best way to ensure customers feel satisfied with your delivery service—and business SMS is the perfect way to seamlessly provide those updates.
Schedule step-by-step notifications. Customers should receive three notifications, at the very least: an order confirmation, a guaranteed delivery notification, and a final delivery notice. (Additional notifications are encouraged, depending on your industry.) With the help of an advanced business texting platform, your teams can automate these notifications. Simply set up an automated text campaign that sends personalized messages to specific lists on the schedule of your choosing.
Send real-time requests. For delicate or expensive deliveries, it’s imperative that your customer is ready to receive your delivery. Sometimes customers need to sign release documents, reserve the service elevator, or open up spaces in their driveways. Once customers opt in to your texting program, it is easy for operations agents to quickly check in before a delivery to ensure that customers are ready to receive their orders.
Enable multi-channel messaging. Customers don’t always remember how exactly to get in touch with your business, and often simply try to communicate with the device they have on hand. Business texting platforms enable customers to message in using the channel they prefer, like Facebook Messenger or SMS, and receive a response within that very same channel.
Business SMS Streamlines Delivery Operations
Business SMS improves the customer experience, but it certainly doesn’t leave businesses themselves in the cold. Texting is a top-notch way to manage your internal operations as well.
Centralize business communications. If your business texting platform has a shared inbox, your entire customer service team can see each and every message that is sent to your business, no matter the channel it was sent from. When a question from either a customer or contractor arises, the team member with the most relevant experience can assign the message to himself or herself and quickly solve it. Otherwise, messages can be routed to the appropriate agent based on intent. If the team member needs assistance, he or she can add a team member to the conversation and communicate privately for help.
Provide real-time logistics information. With the help of business SMS, contractors or full-time delivery team members can text in for quick, accurate answers. For example, if a contractor experiences a problem on the delivery route, an operations agent can quickly text back instructions or solutions. If a contractor needs to report a delay, he or she can send a text to the operations team, then have the operations team text the customer. Business SMS is also useful for sending a single message to multiple contractors at the same time. For example, you can send a message saying “We’re expecting a surge in orders this weekend. Please reply if you’re available to work extra hours.”
Industries Using Business SMS For Deliveries
There are many industries that use business text messaging to manage their deliveries, but some industries use it more than others. There are three key industries that use it the most today:
The transportation and logistics industry. As the demand for fast deliveries increases, more businesses are outsourcing their deliveries to the transportation and logistics industry; in fact, spending in the U.S. logistics and transportation industry totaled $1.4 trillion in 2016. These companies use business SMS to manage product dispatch and coordinate both deliveries and also passengers.
The retail industry. Besides the transportation industry, eCommerce businesses deal with deliveries the most. While eCommerce businesses also use business texting for managing Buy Online, Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) orders and SMS marketing campaigns, product deliveries are often handled through text message, too. Business SMS is also helpful for other retailers who use business text messaging to provide a more personalized experience for customers to track their orders.
The food industry. Some restaurants that offer deliveries handle them through third-party apps like Foodora, but many restaurants rely on phone calls to manage deliveries. Business SMS is an excellent choice that is more convenient for both customers and busy restaurants. One food kit company found that business SMS helped streamline their delivery so much that it increased customer retention.
Due to its speed, convenience, and business-grade features, business SMS is the perfect channel to help businesses fulfill the current consumer demand for faster, higher quality deliveries.