Businesses want better ways to communicate relevant, personalized, and timely information to customers. Account notifications are one way to do it, but doing it well can be a spider’s web of timing, various notification types, preferred channels, and a lot more—all while trying to scale.
Channel choice can make or break customer engagement. Consumer preferences are changing, and more than two-thirds of consumers prefer to communicate with businesses via messaging. Consider this: four-out-of-five emails go unopened. In fact, SMS has five times the open rate compared to email.
SMS alerts are the single best way to keep customers in the loop about important changes to their accounts. And notifications via SMS and push notifications have been shown to be more effective. By ensuring customers are notified in real-time (regardless of channel), and are receiving these notifications via their preferred channels, companies can reinforce customer loyalty and increase customer satisfaction.
Since account notifications can be sent via SMS, app-based (OTT), push notifications, and email, the best practice is to give customers the option of choosing from which channels to receive account-related communications.
Deciding which types of notifications are best suited for which channels requires asking two questions:
- How business-critical is the notification (is it nice to have or imperative)?
- What is this message’s timeliness?
For example, an account breach notification, which is both business-critical and urgent, is best delivered via SMS because it’s the most immediate channel of delivery, whereas a quarterly account summary is less business-critical and only occurs four times a year, so an email is probably best.
Transaction-based e-commerce companies and financial services, in particular, often need to communicate with customers about important security-related issues, such as whether a credit card has been declined or if someone tried to fraudulently access an account. By employing SMS account notifications as part of their commerce communications, customers can receive these critical alerts faster to act on them more quickly. Netflix, for example, uses messaging to send alerts to customers when their credit card is about to expire or if they need to reset their password. For businesses looking to differentiate themselves, or who are merely trying to stay competitive, adding the ability for customers to message with them is key.
Based on a global survey of 2,500+ smartphone users, we’ve created an eGuide, Blueprint for Mobile Customer Notifications, which shares the best practices for businesses to engage with customers through notifications. In this guide, we help you map different types of customer notifications to the best channel for delivery: SMS, app-based (OTT), push notifications, and email. There are challenges and benefits unique to each. The eGuide also shares a notifications maturity model to help you create a differentiated customer experience through your notifications strategy.