I had two experiences recently that reinforced our product development direction at Rally. So much so in fact, I made it a point to talk about them with our engineering team and now I’d like to share them with you.
They went something like this…
A few weeks ago, I started getting marketing campaign texts from a leadership development group I’m part of announcing recent updates to their blog. At first, I was a little annoyed because, while I’m sure they’ve had my permission in the past, it has been awhile.
A friendly yet straightforward message would have been most appreciated.
“Hey, James. We are going to start sending updates via text, want to get them (1-2 a month tops)? — Reply yes, no, or with any comments and questions. — Yours truly, Mary in Marketing”
I would have said yes and might have even asked about the upcoming conference. I literally had a todo to call them but never did (that’s another story).
Now, to add insult to injury, after getting a few of these text messages, I had another crap-I’m-outta-here experience. One of these blog posts was posed as a question, and that is how the message came across my phone. So, being the smarty-pants I am, I figured I’d respond to the author on the subject using the same communication method.
Guess what happened? Yup… nothing. Crickets! That didn’t feel right, and it wasn’t the experience I’d expect from their brand. So, I promptly unsubscribed as it was clearly a one-way “conversation.”
The second experience related to a recent trip to my dentist.
The night before my scheduled cleaning, I received a text reminder about the appointment, which was expected and easy enough, but the following morning I was running a bit late, so I replied to the text letting them know. When I arrived, the receptionist had no idea what I was talking about as she never got my message. Frustrating.
So what are the takeaways?
- If you are going to add people to a texting campaign, make sure you not only have their permission but make it personal and conversational. It never hurts to get their approval again at the moment if you are starting a campaign for the first time or restarting after awhile.
- Always always always put a human on the other end. Please don’t make it one-sided! If you are concerned about doing this at “scale,” you are using the wrong solution.
- Make the experience timely, relevant, and helpful, as if your customer is texting with an old friend. Most people will enjoy using text messaging as a means to get updates and connect with you when needed. Provided, of course, it benefits them.
Text messaging is a great way to connect with customers in the moment. Research still shows that 99% of text messages are read with 90% read within 3 minutes. That’s amazing! When done right, it can go a long way toward creating a better experience. But as with anything, never forget the Golden Rule and do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Before sending that automated message, ask yourself…
“is this helpful, relevant, and personal?” and “am I (or my team) ready and able to respond personally if someone replies?” If not, PLEASE don’t hit send.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Let’s connect, click the chat icon below or Text mrjamesmartin at 24365