If there is one thing my mobile phone provider and I can probably agree on, is that we don’t want to speak to each other unless it comes to getting a new, cool mobile phone.  Generally, if I have some thing to say, it is because (of course, to no fault of my own) something is wrong with my bill. 

“There’s no way I went over on my minutes!  Impossible! It must be a mistake in your system. And running out of data, you must not be taking into account…”

It’s never my fault. 

So this month, I was sure I had enough minutes left in my account as I approached the end of the billing cycle. Then I received a text message:

“Your account has used about 75% of the minutes for the billing cycle ending on the 2nd. Monitor at ____.com”

Well, that was helpful. Whereas, I would think that my phone company would want me to go over and they could reap the absurd per minute costs that I would incur by using up my anytime minutes, they actually kept me from doing so. When I hit 90% of my minutes, I received another message alerting me of that.  Guess what, I didn’t go over. 

And for the phone company, they didn’t receive an angry call about how it was their fault for allowing me to run out of minutes. And we both didn’t have to go through the item-by-item breakdown I would have asked for if I did go over. And, honestly, since it was past the end of my contract, they might have had to deal with a customer leaving for another provider.

So, I asked myself aloud (in my über quiet office) “Why don’t more companies do this?”

Not just SMS campaigns to GET my business, but more as a courtesy service as part of building a stickier relationship. Here are some industries that need to be using text as part of customer relationships now:

  • Banks- Text communications could alert me when I near overdraft (not that that ever happens…), or if any suspicious activity is occurring with my card. Also, when my monthly statement is available.
  • Mortgage lenders- I have an equity line, a mortgage on my rental property and a main home loan. It can get confusing when each one is due. A text placed with enough gap before the payment is late adds a little affinity to my relationship with my lender
  • Utilities- Cable, Water, Power and Gas. I pay these bills monthly, at different times, and through different (bank draft, credit card, online, etc) methods. A quick text with the amount due, and a link to my billing document (mobile friendly, please) makes my life easier

So, my point is, a text from a business that I’ve chosen to do business with is a great way to show me that the business is looking out for me, and not just their bottom line, It’s good business and, in the case of my phone, the practice saved them a customer.

LOL, brb, OMG