Ask the Expert
RICK AGAJANIAN, Chief Product Officer, Workwave
What ongoing trends in customer communication do businesses need to be aware of?
Technology is constantly moving forward and creating new avenues for people to communicate with one another, and those communication methods naturally grow to play a role in business-customer communications. Whereas once upon a time a business owner might only expect to hear from a customer when they called on the phone or walked through the door, today’s customers are accustomed to communicating in quick, convenient ways and expect the same from those they do business with.
Today, customers want to be able to communicate with a business in the way that they prefer; studies have shown that 31% of customers would like to choose how they communicate with a business, and more than 45% emphasize the importance of two-way communication and being able to receive a response via the same method they used to contact a business.
Perhaps the most significant trend in customer communication, SMS text messaging is quickly gaining in popularity for B2C communications and won’t be going away any time soon. Studies show that 60% of consumers are likely to see a new text within 1-5 minutes and that 70% consider texting to be a good way for businesses to get their attention. Metrics also show that SMS marketing sports better open rates, click-through rates and conversion rates than email marketing.
What communication gaps are arising for pest control operators?
Adoption of SMS texting for marketing purposes is on the rise overall, with 56% of businesses using SMS marketing for scheduling reasons, in particular. However, if it’s not managed properly, adding a new method of communication into the mix can sometimes create new pitfalls. For PCOs who are sending out texts but not allowing for two-way communication, customers who need to cancel or reschedule after receiving a confirmation text are forced to call on the phone or reach out online rather than simply texting back, eliminating the convenience for customers that texting is meant to enable.
Another frequent headache for pest customers is a lack of cross-channel communication. If an issue isn’t resolved during the first contact, there’s little that aggravates customers more than having to rehash every detail of their problem and past communications to a representative during a follow up. Considering how easy it is for today’s customers to find another provider and start new, it’s crucial to keep in mind that keeping your customers happy is the key to keeping them—period.
How can pest control businesses rise above those challenges?
Modern challenges call for modern solutions, which means PCOs need to leverage technology to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to communicating with customers. Anyone running a business has heard the adage about meeting your customers where they are, and these days that means on their mobile devices. Enabling two-way SMS texting—a flagship function of WorkWave’s Communication Center—for your business instantly opens the field for customer communication and allows you to take full advantage of the higher open and click-through rates while making communication as easy as possible for your customers.
Additionally, PCOs need to seek out technology that provides them with a single CRM tool to communicate with customers and store those conversations, along with related account and service information. Having access to past communications and customer information not only enables faster resolution, but also prevents customers from having to recap their needs every time they reach out. Communication Center fills that gap perfectly, serving as the only inbox you need—even when customer communication carries across channels. With easy access to a Customer Information Panel that pulls up location details, customer information and account histories associated with any ongoing communication, Communication Center is designed to help PCOs resolve inquiries in one interaction, automate time-consuming tasks and encourage stronger customer relationships.