3 Easy Ways to Use Text Reminders

Businesses like Yelp, Netflix, and Airbnb are using text reminders to reach their customers in new ways.

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3 Easy Ways to Use Text Reminders

When was the last time you made an actual phone call? For many of us, calling someone can feel as unusual as writing a letter with pen and paper. Even sending an email can feel like a cumbersome and lengthy process compared to sending a text. The fact is, messaging is how we do the majority of our communicating today. Our phones are always nearby and connected, and texting is quick, easy, and convenient.

As much as you like to text, your customers do to. And chances are, they’d like to communicate with your business via text as well. In a recent report, messaging ranked as the #1 channel in the majority of regions surveyed, with 9 out of 10 users wanting to talk to businesses using messaging. Millennials in every country chose messaging as their preferred method of engaging with a business.

It’s no surprise that consumers find messaging to be a convenient, familiar, and immediate channel of communication, since they’re already texting with friends and family. We exchange more than 50 billion messages a day on the planet, and that number is rising quickly. The continuing explosive growth of messaging suggests it will be a lasting phenomenon. That’s why more and more businesses are choosing to communicate with messaging. Messaging use cases range from urgent notifications such delivery status or service delays to timely messages such as order confirmations and appointment reminders.

Reminders, in particular, are a popular use case for businesses and customers to communicate by text. Here are 3 examples of how leading consumer businesses are using text messages to send reminders:

Your Table is Ready

Yelp created Yelp Reservations to give customers and businesses an easy way to communicate with each other. Customers can text their favorite restaurants to make, modify, or cancel their reservations, and businesses can reply to their texts as well as update customers on wait times and reservation availability. In the critical moments before reservation time, Yelp Reservations gives restaurants a way to reach out to their customers with reminders. Yelp chose Twilio SMS as the medium for this communication because of its immediacy, high open rates, and the fact that it’s inherently mobile-centric.

Yelp Reservations Reminder

Confirm Your Booking

Airbnb hosts don’t always receive email requests for bookings right away, leaving potential guests hanging. So Airbnb chose Twilio to automate mobile communication between rental hosts and potential guests using text messaging. If a host has not responded to a booking request by email, they receive an automated SMS reminder message from Airbnb with information on the guests, the dates of the requested stay, and the price for the stay. Hosts can then quickly respond with a text. Enabling hosts to confirm a reservation with a text has increased Airbnb’s number of successful bookings and improved the experience for potential guests, because they don't have to wait as long to hear back on a reservation.

Reset Your Password

When Netflix rolled out SMS messaging to its members, the first thing they offered was the ability to reset a password, an option previously available only through email. Since password resets are one of the biggest customer service requests Netflix receives, allowing customers to reset their passwords using SMS made it easier for both customers and the customer service team.

Build for flexibility

In all of these use cases, there was an opportunity to engage with customers in a new way. While texting has been the most popular form of mobile communication for more than a decade, it’s only recently catching on as a popular way for businesses to communicate with their customers.

Building a customized messaging solution allows for flexibility, and in today’s changing technology landscape, staying flexible is critical. With API building blocks, adding SMS to an application is simple, because your developers don’t have to write extra code to accommodate for the complexity of mobile carriers and global regulations. That means you can focus your time on building the exact communications workflows you want.

Is your business ready? To learn how you can start communicating with your customers over text, visit the Commerce Communications page.