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5 golden rules for creating better business messaging

 

Harriet Lynas, Sales Specialist at O2, takes a look at recent business messaging campaigns at O2 and what we’ve learnt.

Communicating to customers is one thing. Engaging with them is quite another. Like asking them to pay a bill on time or to take up your latest promotion.

In my professional life I spend hours considering the detail behind these brand communication strategies. Yet I’m still pleasantly surprised when I receive great messages from brands in my personal life. Whether it’s my local pizza delivery service or my mortgage company.

Great business messaging offers brands – big or small – a way to deliver timely, relevant and engaging comms.

The question is, ‘How?’

To answer this, I’ve looked at best practice campaigns we’ve been involved with here at O2 and set down my five golden rules to great business messaging:

1. Don’t just personalise. Hyper-personalise.

Adding a customer’s name is a start. But there is so much more you can now do with your direct comms. Hyper-personalisation isn’t as much hassle as it sounds either. It uses an AI engine and real-time data to present your customers with content they actually want to engage with. Think of your favourite retailer texting you a snapshot of the abandoned items from your last online shopping basket, as well as a voucher you can use to put towards them. Or your bank messaging you with a quick video about how to protect yourself from fraud, if you have recently lost your card. The opportunities with hyper-personalisation really are endless.

2. Trigger the right response

Knowing where people are in your customer lifecycle can set you apart. No one wants a bill reminder that they’ve already paid. Or news of the latest mortgage rates if they’ve still got a year to run on their current deal. Using pre-defined business rules, you can send automated messages at just the right time. Some might require a direct response, like a renewal. Others might keep people informed about an order. You can feed the reactions to these messages into your CRM system to decide on future personalised messages. This kind of brand experience is more likely to generate loyalty and ‘sticky’ customers.

3. Consider richer channels

Different comms channels have different strengths. Start by asking what it is you’re trying to say to your customers and then decide on the best channel. SMS is great for sending service messages about setting up products or system outages. But if you’re chasing payment then a standard SMS can feel impersonal. And constant calls from your contact centre can be unhelpful in an already stressful situation. Using a Rich Communications Service (RCS) means you could send useful content instead. For example, a range of options like ‘Pay now’, ‘Pay in 14 days’ and ‘Speak about a payment plan’. Messages that offer visual aids or buttons mean customers can interact with you on their terms.

4. Think beyond the sale

Not every communication you send has to drive revenue. You can use business messaging to build customer confidence too. If you do use RCS (or other chat channels) or chatbots, you can ask questions and present options. These conversations provide you with more information on what your customer might need and when. They allow customers to avoid waiting times on the phone and self-serve when they want to. They also free up your contact centre staff to focus on more complex enquiries.

5. Build confidence in your comms

Customers who are victims of fraud are more likely to switch. In today’s social media world, even individual issues can become negative headlines that damage your brand. The good news is that business messaging offers a direct method of alerting customers to any potential issues. You can also add two-factor authentication to any customer login pages for extra security. If you’re a financial services provider, you can add on checks to make sure a sim swap hasn’t occurred. And if you opt for RCS, you and your customers can relax because Google recognises it as a verified sender process.

Do you have a question about creating a business messaging strategy? Please get in touch with me directly at Harriet.Lynas@telefonica.com

To learn more about Business Messaging for O2, you can also head here.

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