We all text a lot. Globally, we send roughly 23 billion text messages every day. And on average, American adults send and receive nearly 18 billion texts a day, and 6.5 trillion texts a year. Businesses have figured out that texting is one of the most reliable ways to reach customers: for marketing, sales, and customer service.
If you’re sending your customers SMS text messages, you’re already ahead of the game. With texting, you’re able to boost your customer experience by offering flexibility and personalization. Texting cuts through the noise in a way that email and phone support just can’t.
But what if I told you that you could take your SMS customer experience to the next level? MMS messaging takes what SMS has to offer and expands it — giving your customer support team a way to reach issue resolution faster. With MMS — multimedia messaging services — your team can send pictures, animated GIFs, videos, and audio recordings to your customers, adding personality to each message.
We know the cliché — “a picture is worth a thousand words.” But we’re going to show you how this is so true when you add MMS messaging into your CX strategy.
How to Use MMS Messaging to Support your Customer Experience
When Running Promotions and Customer Engagement Strategy:
When compared to standard SMS messages with blocks of text, MMS messages provide a 52% higher click through rate. Customers are also 800% more likely to share an MMS message with friends or family than SMS messages. Why? Because visuals are significantly more interesting and attention grabbing than just text. MMS messaging supports your marketing and sales efforts by helping you cut through the noise.
In general, visuals are incredibly important for retention. When people only hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. Yikes…that’s not much. But if that info is paired with a relevant image, people retain 65% of the information three days later. When you add imagery into your messaging, customers will remember that coupon message you sent, or the sale promotion you shared at a higher rate than if you just send a plain old SMS text.
Make your messages more eye-catching by adding in images of the specific products that are on sale. Or work with your design team to create attractive graphics for coupons. For a customer, seeing the goods increases appeal and MMS means you don’t have to rely on customers making their way to your website or store to check you out.
When doing Damage Control:
MMS messaging does wonders for cleaning up customer messes. Adding in MMS messaging can improve your customer experience in that it gives your customers a way to clearly communicate about an issue without having to describe it at length in a text.
I’ve got my own mental archive of customer service situations that would have been handled much faster with MMS capabilities. So many situations I experienced as a support rep took about ten back and forth emails just to get clarity from the customer about what exactly was wrong with their product. Not every customer is going to be the best communicator, able to robustly describe what a broken product looks like. And let’s be honest — regardless of our communication skills, trying to describe something with just words is hard.
MMS messaging, though, helps the customer show the support agent what’s wrong, making for faster and clearer communication. Let me give you a couple examples of this:
I purchased a set of bedding from a company last year — a duvet cover and a set of sheets. The company offers a lifetime warranty on their products and I recently noticed a rip in the bedding.
Now, without MMS messaging, it would have been a lengthy process to advocate for myself. Instead, all I had to do was snap a couple pictures and put it into a text thread with their service rep, and before I knew it, a replacement sheet was on my doorstep. In this circumstance, MMS messaging also helped to protect the company’s policy. They don’t have to worry about customers abusing their warranty policy because they can require an image of the specific damage before sending a replacement.
Let me give you another example. Imagine you’ve just gone to the salon to get your hair done. The following day, you notice some inconsistencies in your fresh cut. Thank goodness the salon offers MMS messaging. Instead of drafting a massive paragraph describing the issue, all you have to do is snap a selfie and shoot the salon a quick text asking for an appointment to get the haircut fixed. Your stylist can see the specific problem with your hair and you’ve avoided any possible miscommunication.
When you Need to Cut Down the Steps to Reach Issue Resolution:
MMS messaging makes the customer service process faster. It empowers your agents by letting them send step by step help in videos and audio messages, reaching issue resolution quickly and efficiently. Instead of your agents having to go back and forth with an SMS thread, giving step by step instructions in massive blocks of text, use MMS messaging to cut down on some steps.
Make self-service easier for customers. When a customer reaches out about a typical issue, send pre-filmed videos that show step by step instructions for resolving different issues. Or, create and send some that walk customers through a specific process — like filing a claim or paying an invoice online. Have agents record audio messages in text threads, talking customers through a tricky issue. Ultimately, MMS messaging saves time for your agents and your customers to get complex issues solved over text.
Let me show you what I mean: I’ve moved about four times in the last five years of my life. With each move, I’ve had to replace furniture or add new furniture to fill the space. And with that comes a whole lot of furniture assembly. I’m not a handy person, and let’s be real — instruction manuals are not always easy to follow. After purchasing a new desk for our home office, I was getting stuck on the steps. I pulled out my phone and sent a message to the company I purchased it from.
Within minutes, with the help of MMS messaging, the agent sent me a how-to video, paired with several close-up photos, and an ebook guide to all in one message to get me through. The ease of this process saved me so much time. I didn’t have to put off my furniture assembly for a couple days, waiting on the back and forth emails to get me the help I needed. I didn’t have to wait on hold just to chat with a human being who could walk me through the process.
By adding MMS messaging, you’re giving your customers and your agents a set of tools that simplify communication, making for a better customer and employee experience all around.