What Is an SMS Conversational Flow and How Can Your Business Benefit From It?
Conversation is a great way to get social support. It helps us think things through and connect with people in a way that goes beyond words. The speed of a conversation also matters. According to Hubspot, 36% of sales leaders track conversations as a productivity metric.
Likewise, SMS conversational flow is a key element for any successful marketing strategy. It involves sending text messages to customers automatically based on their responses to predetermined triggers.
In fact, more businesses understand the value of direct customer interaction, as 38% of them purchase from brands that provide quick, real-time chat support.
Do it right and SMS conversational flow can bring impressive returns for your business. In this article, we’ll explain what a conversational flow is, and how it can help you. Also, learn about the types of conversational messages and how to create an actionable one.
What Is an SMS Conversational Flow?
The conversational flow system works similarly to SMS chatbots and is built by incorporating digital technology, automation, and AI.
It’s all about two-way messaging that facilitates customer interaction and enables the launch of effective text campaigns using data. With conversational flow, you can craft messages that offer leads and customers relevant content.
Rather than the monotonous ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, a conversational flow allows you to create messages that are tailored to individual leads and customers.
You can interact with customers in a more meaningful way by asking questions and providing keywords for them to respond with. And each response will trigger a new automated response in the flow.
What Are the Types of Conversational Flows?
There are various kinds of chat flows. Let’s explore what they are and how they work.
1. One-way Conversational Flow
This approach is like a one-way street. You send messages to clients with no expectation of a reply. Think automated receipts, booking confirmations, and other info where no response is required. It’s inexpensive and straightforward to implement, but not the perfect fit for every business.
2. Two-way Conversational Flow
Conversational text messaging with two-way SMS is a huge upgrade from simply sending out one-way text messages. With two-way messaging, you can automate conversations and give customers pre-programmed responses.
Take for example a reservation confirmation: your business can send out a text requesting confirmation, and then give the customer the option to select “A” to confirm the booking, “B” to cancel, and “C” to speak to the customer support.
Every response is conveniently recorded and updated in the software. And of course, two-way SMS comes with its own local phone number. But this doesn’t mean that clients can then respond to one-way messages.
3. Conversational SMS Flow
Taking it up another notch, conversational SMS goes beyond two-way messaging. While it still utilizes a localized phone number, customers won’t be restricted to pre-selected answers.
Comprehensive two-way conversations take place through a centralized chat portal, accessible by anyone at your company. An example of this is the SMS chatbot.
Rewarding Benefits of SMS Conversational Marketing
From streamlining customer communication to providing an efficient way to monitor customer engagement, there are plenty of advantages to be gained from this chatty approach. Here’s why business conversational flow makes all the difference to your business.
Gather Customer Data with Ease
SMS Conversation flow is a great way to get essential customer information. Users who respond to your questions with specific keywords will almost certainly be willing to share their information with you.
Step Up Your SMS Personalization
Giving customers a personal feel is essential for any B2B, according to 84% of them – it’s important or very important. With new customer data, you can craft highly relevant and tailored texts that will really resonate with your customers.
And research shows that offering personal experiences can increase customer patronage by a whopping 80%. In a highly competitive online landscape, personalization through conversational SMS flows is an invaluable resource – giving you direct customer data that you can use to provide a personalized, targeted experience.
A Fantastic Resource for Crafting Magnetic Promos
SMS chat flows have made it amazingly achievable for companies to find out more about their clients and use that info to offer tips, deals, and appropriate material to their customers. All of which lead to heightened involvement and conversion.
Introduces a Natural Vibe to Client Interactions
Making client interactions feel real and personal will help you establish trust with the customer. Plus, you’ll be able to create and develop lasting connections with them, which significantly helps customer loyalty.
How to Create an SMS Conversational Flow: Step by Step Guide
Want to keep your customers coming back? Nearly 70% of them are looking for real-time customer support via SMS. So, designing an SMS chatbot conversation to reflect their expectations is key.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for creating seamless conversations that flow naturally.
Step 1. Crafting the Flow
Start off by asking yourself, “What’s the aim of this flow?”
Maybe you’d like to confirm bookings from customers, test reactions to a new product, build relationships with first-time buyers who haven’t made purchases yet, or any other goal. Whatever it is, begin by deciding what kind of data you want to collect.
Step 2. Select the Perfect Keywords and Triggers
SMS keywords and triggers enable users to activate different functions by texting a chosen word to a mobile number. Triggers are mainly utilized with two-way messaging to make interactions with clients more personalized and stimulating.
These keywords can be basic, like ‘Y’ or ‘N’ for yes and no, or more advanced with longer phrases like ‘send me alerts’. But you’d have to pick the right keywords for the right replies and make sure they’re not too hard for customers to write. The shorter and more distinct, the better.
Step 3. Create Autoreplies
Craft polite, on-brand responses for each possible response to your text. Whether your text has 3 options or 14, you’ll need tailored replies for everyone.
Step 4. Trial Run & Optimize
Before you hit ‘send’, make sure to double-check for any errors in grammar, words that need to be changed, and sentences that need a trim. And, if you can, get a second opinion.
Finally, once your conversational flow is live, keep an eye on its performance. Analyzing the data gathered will help you replicate, redesign, and modify your flow to boost sales.
Use Cases of Conversational Messages in Various Industries
Let’s go over the plethora of possibilities that SMS conversational flow has to offer across a spectrum of industries.
A study has revealed the remarkable benefits of communicating with customers through texting. We can observe this trend in the accompanying image.
No doubt, e-commerce is at the forefront of text messaging utilization; especially when it comes to targeting customers who abandon their carts or those who often visit, yet don’t make purchases.
Additionally, retailers are now substituting traditional, printed receipts with text message sales receipts. Customers can neatly store their receipts and retailers can personalize future text messages according to past buying behavior.
Text messaging for customer service provides an enhanced method for addressing the customer’s deepest wish. Through this messaging-based system, customers can ask questions and get guided through using your products whenever they need. Support agents and customers can chat simultaneously or at different times, with no fear of losing the conversation.
Conversational flows also provide a means for spreading the word about upcoming events in a more direct way. Texts can help interested individuals find all the relevant details and even book the event through SMS.
Generating leads and converting them into paying customers is another area where SMS conversation flows have seen success. For example, you could send a text to people who just heard a cool ringtone. And they can opt to get that ringtone or browse through collections to find one they like. But be careful, as this could be seen as spam by the customer.
Your customer base is hungry for personalized experiences, and conversational SMS marketing is the perfect way to accommodate that. While this can seem challenging for new businesses, retailers, and SMS operators, BSG is here to lend a hand.
We help make this process effortless, so you can merge a natural progression of chats promptly for your customers. We offer a fast, reliable, and easy-to-integrate API for your marketing needs. You can even take this to the next level by using our bulk SMS or Viber service. Plus, our rent platform offers a budget-friendly approach for those looking to start their own SMS business. If you have more questions about how we can help, just give us a shout.