Direct communication with customers can be one of the best paths to brand loyalty. Yet I still come across hundreds of businesses that are missing one key trick – are you one of them?

Remember the last time your delivery was shoved around the back of your house because you were getting out the shower or couldn’t hear the knock at the door? Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

If only your delivery driver had spoken to you, or maybe they tried via email, but you didn’t see it until later that evening?

This type of issue may sound like a simple inconvenience, but in reality, this could be costing your business a substantial amount of money and more importantly, eradicating the chances of repeat custom. In fact, it happened to my fiancée just the other day.

Someone’s in the dog house

My fiancée recently took some time off work to make sure she was in to sign for a delivery.

Unsure of what time the delivery was due (first mistake from the delivery company), she decided to do some gardening for an hour. She wasn’t given a time window for her delivery and as it was her day off, she thought she’d make good use of her time. Because let’s face it, who wants to sit around wasting a long overdue day off?

Unsurprisingly, whilst my fiancée was gardening, she missed the knock on the door. Problem.

So, what’s the damage?

Well, the courier had to re-arrange the delivery. This means they’ll have to pay more money on fuel and resource – what a waste! We had our delivery late and my fiancée had effectively wasted a day off for no reason. As a result, we no longer trust the reliability of this brand and will think twice about ordering from them again.

Depending on the size of your business, just think what impact this would have if you had 10, 50 or even 100+ dissatisfied customers. You could potentially lose millions in revenue across the next few years. Can your business really afford to do that over a simple lack of communication?

The irony of it all is that millions of customers shop online because it’s more convenient. However, the process often proves to be a lot more stressful due to missed deliveries.

There are also similar pain points in many other industries as well. For example, dentists, opticians, and car garages often experience a lot of missed appointments because a customer simply forgets. For instance, the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS lost £3.5m last year due to appointment ‘no-shows’!

Thankfully, there is a solution – hallelujah!

Enhance your communications with business SMS

What if my fiancée received a text? There’s a 98% chance she would open it and a 90% chance she would have read it within the first three minutes. Crisis averted. My fiancée’s delivery man can afford to wait three minutes, while the local dentist can dramatically increase the likelihood that they’ll see their customer the following day.

In our latest white paper, Mobile marketing for small and medium size businesses, we asked consumers what the most useful business texts are. Guess what was at the top? An incredible 67% of consumers said that they find business SMS delivery updates useful. Closely followed by appointment and booking reminders (64%) and order confirmations (64%).

You see, business SMS isn’t all about promotions and marketing, it’s about keeping your customers informed and taking the necessary steps to improve their overall experience with you. A simple text message service can help your business achieve this. For example, Dolores Marshall Opticians started sending SMS reminders a day before their patients’ appointment and saw a huge drop in ‘no-shows’.

Although, despite these startling facts and results, business text messaging remains massively underutilised. In fact, a mere 36% of businesses are currently using it, whilst only 14.3% of agencies place SMS as a core component of everything it does for their clients.

My fiancée had her smartphone by her side at all times that day, but the delivery company made no attempt to get in contact with her – excluding an email sent two hours after! Had she received a simple business text message, she would have had a better experience, it would have cost the courier company far less money/fuel/time and I wouldn’t be writing this article.

So, if you’re not using SMS to send delivery updates, appointment reminders and confirmations, you could be missing a trick. Try business SMS free with our award-winning platform today, and see a vast improvement in the number of satisfied and loyal customers.

Subscribe to join our 165,000+ strong community to get the latest SMS, marketing and business tips and advice.

open rate

Over 98% of the text messages sent from our SMS tool are opened and read. That’s unmatched communication power for your business. Try it for yourself.