Quick question for your colleague who's on a lunch break? Might as well text. Need to check in with the kids for their dinner plans? They'll answer a text. Now do you have a grocery run request for the spouse? Yep, you should text.
In our multitasking, by-the-minute modern days, texting has become the quick, catchall communication. It's immediate, it's in your pocket, and despite its ubiquity, it still feels personal. It's no surprise that brands have seized the opportunity to reach consumers on a flexible channel with real-time communication opportunities.
Different modes of reaching customers have different advantages, but we don't have to remind you that you want to be where the customer is. 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. With great power comes great responsibility: 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 that are looking for text-based communications. We realize that 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 dashing off a quick request, getting an immediate answer or having an in-depth conversation to solve a problem, make sure you’re speaking your customer's language.
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.
Labels: communication channel preference, frequency of communication, preference management, product interest, texting, unique consumer characteristics