The need of an hour is personalized and targeted communication and hence it is essential to devise a well thought marketing strategy which makes it possible. There are various effective communication methods, but SMS is one such medium which is cost effective, widely use and most desirable by your audience for tailored communication. If it is used strategically by effectively integrating with CRM software, it has huge impact on your business profitability.
There is no denial to the fact that smart phones are changing the way people communicate, but Out of 600 million mobile phones in India, 525 million mobile phones are SMS enabled. And with that statistics any organization can’t afford to disregard the potential of SMS driven communication strategy.
Customer relationship management software which has SMS integration empowers you to optimize sales, marketing and support activities during customer engagement life-cycle. Starting from prospect identification to converting them into customers, delivering unmatched support and retaining them with cross selling activities, SMS enabled CRM tool offers great value to your business.
- Reach high number of customers with lower operating cost
- Effective account management with quick response time
- Deliver high level of customer service at anytime from anywhere
- Effective data management with reduced time
- Lessens your hassle of data management and allows your team to be highly productive.
- And finally every single communication including SMS can be tracked, stored and analysed within one system which helps you take better defined business decisions.
Now let’s talk about Bulk SMS functionality which helps you achieve above mentioned benefits.
The Bulk SMS feature in SMS enabled CRM allows you to send text messages to huge number of database with a single click. This saves time and money. Moreover, the facility of creating custom SMS template allows you to be more relevant in your communication. You can schedule SMS alerts, reminders and promotional messages at specific intervals for variety of target audience. The database of audience is managed within the CRM software and you can easily track the effectiveness of your SMS campaigns by report and analytic tracking.
But let’s not forget the legal aspect of bulk text messages. There are certain terms of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) which need to be strictly followed by SMS service providers and its users.
1. Customers who have opted for Do Not Disturb (DND) can’t be reached for promotional offers.
Promotional SMS/Commercial communication: means any message, voice or SMS, made through telecommunications service, which is transmitted for the purpose of informing about, or soliciting or promoting any commercial transaction in relation to goods, investment or services.
2. There are certain circumstances when organizations need to send important alerts regarding their products or services to those customers who have opted for DND. These are called ‘Transactional SMS’, for instant a message sent by a bank to an account holder regarding his/her available account balance.
In such scenarios the SMS service provider has to comply with certain guidelines of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
- There is a stipulated text format and the SMS has to be written in that format.
- It is mandatory for SMS service providers to submit their company registration certificate with TRAI as proof of organisation’s existence.
- If the SMS service provider violates any of the above rules has/she need to bare high amount of monetary penalty.
Coming back to benefits of SMS feature; if it is used wisely clubbed with CRM’s other functionalities; it can also be beneficial to organization’s internal processes.
- Timely SMS alerts to sales agents for following up with customers
- Providing SMS notifications to field sales force about updated customer details
- Notifying vendor about purchase or sales order status via SMS and
- Introducing SMS enabled interface in various post sales activities can definitely add business value and improve business’s overall effectiveness.
CRM with SMS functionality is the right blend to boost your marketing campaign effectiveness along with other sales and support related activities. If you think of any other ways that CRM and SMS can go hand in hand, do share your views.