B2B Firms Can Leverage Text Message Marketing
Sitting at an airport dinner awaiting your flight, you’re nervous. Can I make it to the gate in time and finish my burger? Then you get a text message from the airline telling you the gate number, you’ve been upgraded, and the flight’s delayed — plenty of time, and you know to which gate to head.
United Airlines doesn’t have dozens of people in a windowless office texting 250 people on a flight – they use a cPaaS to send key, relevant, personalized information individualized to each customer. Businesses like AirBnB, Uber, and the like were built on these platforms, and now they’re available to businesses large and small from companies like Twilio, Bandwidth, and Textedly.
While these are largely B2C use cases, there are many ways B2B firms like manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors that can leverage the persistent and pervasive use of mobile phones to establish closer relationships with their customers, suppliers and partners.
Before we get into those emerging use cases, let’s talk about how these cPaaS platforms are deployed.
Deploying SMS messaging tools like short codes, links, product information through the fiber lines of incumbent communications companies like AT&T, Verizon etc. is rife with federal regulations on how you can use those lines and how you can (legally) outreach to customers at the end of those lines. The cPaaS companies provide services to B2B companies that enable them to do several things without a significant capital, legal or HR investment:
1. cPaaS firms manage all the regulatory and infrastructure matters that enable you to use the platforms freely and without fear of doing the wrong thing.
2. They provide integrations with your IT systems and infrastructure which include developer tools and out-the-box templates and workflows that allow you to get up and running quickly to solve for very targeted business use cases relevant to you and your customers.
3. The software and communications infrastructure is on the cPaaS vendor side, so the investment is largely limited to setting up a business-user centric interface to manage the SMS tools and templates. The cost model is usually based largely on cost per message delivered (fractions of pennies per), so by controlling how many messages go out from your business, you control the cost of the service.
Customers Already Know How to Use This Technology
How could B2B firms leverage these tools?
Whether you manufacture high-cost, complex, configurable machinery, or circuit board assemblies, or cosmetics planner sets for drug stores, your customers, their teams, and the end users all have their phones at hand. They’re all quite savvy about using them, so there is no need to train anyone. Solve a problem. Provide information in real time, update them on trends or shifts in the marketplace.
1. Operations + Logistics: Fulfillment + delivery tracking, just-in-time delivery, product availability and last minute cancellations or order alterations – these can all be managed quite effectively with SMS tools. Field techs can provide key, timely information to get systems back online fast.
2. Customer Service + Orders: There’s a question about the generation or warranty on a part or product. There’s an incomplete order or question within an order. There’s a new product or service which, based on a customer’s order history, may be relevant and timely. Each of these scenarios have SMS, eCommerce, and inventory management systems seamlessly integrated. Further, in battling ecommmerce fraud, 2-factor authentication leveraging SMS is a tool that can save a lot money and authenticate true orders.
3. Customer Feedback: The more manufacturers, dealer networks, and distributors can comprehensively and systematically contact customers via SMS upon receipt of orders to gauge happiness, the better those long term relationships can bear fruit. It’s inexpensive and demonstrates great brand + customer service attributes.
4. Most cPaaS providers, in addition to SMS, also integrate with other of your B2B channels like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Voice, Email, and more.
These highly customizable and brand-centric communications tools can enable B2B companies to build sticky relationships with clients and demonstrate sophistication and depth in customer service that conveys size and strength as a business.
Envalo can help customers examine these tools and develop low-cost use cases to dip your toe in managing SMS and other communications with customers in a way that can grow and cost-effectively scale with you and your customers needs. If you’d like to start a conversation, reach out to us.
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