Blog/Digital-First Customer/SMS Sits at the Center of a Digital-First Customer Experience

In the age before smartphones, we did most of our business in person. It seems like ancient history now, but we once went to the bank to deposit a check instead of taking a picture of it on our kitchen table. The digital world is constantly expanding, changing the way we shop, bank, buy insurance, and interact with our favorite brands.

It can be hard to take in the full scope of the ever-widening digital domain and how customer preference and behavior changes along with it. But, when we look at a critical medium like SMS in a year like 2020, we see key lessons businesses have learned about delivering on customer preferences in an increasingly digital world, one of which is the employment of SMS and text-messaging in customer engagement. 

For the majority of 2020, face-to-face interactions have been impossible. As a result, businesses have adapted and found ways to serve their online customers with the same level of care as they would during an in-person interaction. Shifting from physical to digital engagement does come with its fair share of challenges, however.

Security Meets SMS 

Think of a small business that sells home goods. In 2019, the surface area that company secured began at their front door and ended in their back office. In 2020, with the shift to primarily online selling, the area requiring security expanded from their physical office to their entire digital presence. Fortunately, SMS is a critical tool for protecting online business interactions.

One text goes a long way when it comes to making customers feel protected. SMS-based two-factor authentication (TFA) adds a layer of security to transactions, prompting customers to enter a unique code before they complete a purchase or verify a transaction. According to Pymnts, 62% of customers prefer onboarding experiences that put security first, even if that security measure adds a bit of time to their onboarding flow. 

Financial industry giants like Bank of America and forward-thinking auto manufacturers like Tesla have adopted SMS-based TFA to keep their clients’ information safe and their accounts secure—a capability which isn’t solely reserved for Fortune 500 companies. Thanks to Airkit, TFA is within arm’s reach for anyone, whether you’re a huge enterprise or a small business shifting to online sales. 

Removing the Barriers to SMS Innovation  

Airkit helps reduce the barrier to entry for businesses looking to enable TFA. Instead of writing code yourself or working on complex API integrations, you can set up Airkit’s low-code SaaS platform to trigger a text to your customer to verify a purchase before pushing it through. Now, you don’t need to rally a team of engineers or fight for resources to deliver a better experience to your customers. You can roll out new SMS-based customer flows with just a few clicks. 

According to FICO, a non-trivial amount of financial institutions still require customers to verify their identity in person before completing major transactions or reaching critical account milestones like opening a new account or transferring an account’s ownership. That’s partially due to the fact that these companies haven’t found the right way to build the type of automation they need. 

Over 50% of US and Canadian banks still rely on manual processes to verify user identity. In doing so, they’re missing out on the medium customers respond to most effectively—SMS. 98% of all text messages are open and read, and Airkit can help remove obstacles to SMS-innovation to help brands build a better quality experience.

Airkit gives brands the power to build self-service flows that let customers verify their identity, sign up, and get the information they need, all without having to wait on hold or commute to an office. While there is value to conducting business in-person or over the phone, the speed and ease expected from customer interactions are harder to achieve across those channels. SMS and digital self-service flows deliver on both fronts, allowing customers to get what they need faster, at a fraction of the cost of calling a support line or staffing a support center.

Using Airkit, banks and brands can deliver the secure, seamless, authentic experience their customers want. SMS is more than a way to protect a customer’s account—it’s a lifeline of communication that brands can use to deepen their relationships with their customers in 2020 and beyond. 

If you’d like to learn more about building better digital CX, get in touch with the Airkit team here.

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