From inquiry to sale, communicating with consumers throughout the process is vital. According to recent research out of Ellie Mae®, the financing industry platform, communication preferences are shifting to text.
“Consumers have been telling us that text messaging is well suited for their on-the-go, digital lives,” said Nick Hedges, senior vice president, Consumer Engagement Strategy at Ellie Mae, in a statement, “and while consumers expressed a nearly universal expectation for text communications from sellers, there were a number of surprises regarding the appropriateness of texting them for different reasons.”
Ellie Mae’s “Great TEXTpectations: The Text Messaging Playbook for Sellers,” contains those findings, as well as insight from more than 500 consumers and 350 professionals in sales. The highlights:
The consumer experience can be streamlined with text, but only if properly used. Just 29 percent of the consumers who participated in the research believe it is appropriate to get promotional texts, 26 percent believe it is appropriate to get a “Happy Birthday” text, and 19 percent believe it is appropriate to get a “just to say hello” text. Consumers did, however, express an interest in receiving appointment/deadline reminder texts.
“Sales professionals have a tremendous opportunity to improve engagement and outcomes by integrating and synchronizing text with other communication channels,” Hedges said. “They can deliver a more optimal consumer experience by aligning text use and other efforts to individualized preferences.”
There are barriers for professionals, the research shows. There are compliance concerns (cited by 56 percent of professionals surveyed), in addition to lacking options regarding technology (50 percent) and a hesitance to employ a personal phone in the process (34 percent).
“Though it has a long way to go, the widespread upward trend of preference for text raises the possibility that text might someday become the preferred method of communication,” said Hedges, “but for the foreseeable future, consumers prefer text on a situational basis and there is no contact strategy that is one-size-fits-all.”
Source: Ellie Mae®