When Consumers Want to Change the Channel

Bzzz. It’s your teen texting you. Bzzz. Now it’s your husband. Bzzz. Here comes a link sent to the whole family, and you brace yourself for the onslaught of reply-all group texting commentary. Bzzz. Bzzz. Bzzz. Bzzz.

For many of us, texting has become an integral (and maybe even annoying) part of our daily communications. But the convenience and immediacy of texting – whether it’s to your spouse about dinner plans or your boss about the upcoming meeting – is appealing, isn’t it? The modern-day equivalent of trading notes in class allows for responses either in real time or at your own pace, providing a uniquely flexible channel for communications from brands.

In fact a survey by The Harris Poll found that 93 percent of 18-34-year-olds use text messaging, and that 86 percent of 18-34-year-olds strongly or somewhat agree that it’s frustrating to be tied to a phone or computer to wait for customer service help.

If we know that much, it’s not hard to realize that one of the many channels your customers might want to use could also be specific to a type of communications they want. Are you letting your customers untie themselves from desk-bound devices for certain customer experiences?

Preference management, the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication is the best way to figure out how, where and when your customers want to relate to you.

As marketing experts, we already know it’s not just kids with noses buried in screens who are looking for text-everything, but providing customers opportunities for brand communications in different settings can let them set the pace and tone for certain communications.  Whether their style is about passing notes in class or having a heart-to-heart, make sure you’re speaking your customer’s language.

About the Author: 
Eric V. Holtzclaw is  Chief Strategist  of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hit bookstores last summer. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.

Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

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