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Keep up to date with current news and highlights from the SMS industry

Financial services are banking on SMS

Sending SMS in the financial sectorThe sensitive nature of information in the financial services makes finding secure and reliable communication platforms a high priority.

A new study has shown that 88% of organisations in the financial sector believe sending texts to customers has a considerable impact on customer service (IDC InfoBrief). On top of this, 73% consider SMS to be effective for mission critical employee-focused transactions.

To engage effectively with their customers, organisations need to use a suite of channels to interact at every stage of the customer journey – it’s by going above and beyond that attracts and retains their customers.

With communication channels readily available at our fingertips we expect no less when it comes to customer service – it has to be instant and straightforward. To engage effectively, financial organisations need to adapt to the changing communication preferences of their customers.

Other powerful business communication channels

Whether customers want to make a payment or speak to an advisor they can text your shortcode or reply to a text message to receive an instant or scheduled voice callback. This makes the whole experience simple and hassle-free for the customer.

The number of consumers that prefer self-service has doubled in the last five years – it’s now at 55% (Convergys). Financial organisations can use an interactive voice response (IVR) system to allow their clients to self-serve by interacting with their voice system. Whether they want to make a payment, access their account or request a cheque book or quote all they have to do is dial a number and simply navigate through the options.

An online payment portal gives the freedom to accept payments 24/7 online – here at Esendex our payment portal is highly secure and PCI DSS compliant.

Are you communicating effectively? If you would like some more inspiration just get in touch today – call us on 0345 356 5758.

Are you having valuable conversations with your customers?

In a world that’s becoming increasingly social, where we Tweet, Facebook and Instagram our every move, SMS still remains the most effective way to reach people. The beauty of sending text messages is that we are glued to our phone, making it an ‘always on’ channel – in fact 91% of people keep their phone within 3 feet at all times (Morgan Stanley).

Businesses are sending text messages to their staff and customers, but are we missing a trick? Whether you’re looking to answer queries, suggest products or provide help, our SMS chat platform allows you to engage in real time conversations.

According to HeyWire Business, up to three-quarters of consumers prefer texting for customer support as opposed to email, phone or social media interactions. Nothing frustrates customers more than being placed on hold for hours trying to get through to a customer support agent, with SMS chat the conversations can happen at a time that suits them. It also means you can be more efficient, with more conversations happening all at once.

If you want more information on how you can use SMS chat just get in touch today – email sales@esendex.com or call us on 0345 356 5758.sms-chat-blog-image-large (1)

 

Do your good deed and give blood

Esendex give bloodBlood donations are a vital part of any healthcare system, after all it saves lives every day. With this in mind, a group of us at Esendex have gone down to our local blood donation centre to give blood.

According to NHS Blood and Transplant only 4% of us in the UK give blood – could SMS prove valuable to increase donations?

Blodcentralen in Sweden have found sending an SMS to donors when their blood has been used to treat a patient encourages donors to continue giving. The scheme which has now been running for three years has had a really positive response.

Innovative schemes like sending SMS updates to donors are a great way of encouraging blood donations that will one day save lives.

Introducing a refreshed website

We’ve just revamped our website and we’re really excited – we don’t want to keep the news to ourselves!

At the end of last year you might remember we acquired Collstream (a business communications provider based in Derby). With a suite of complimentary products and services, an outstanding team, great technology and a really strong customer base, our products and services combined really set us apart from the competition.

Our newly refreshed website is a great place to become more familiar with what we offer across our SMS, Voice, Web and Multichannel portfolio.

Why not take a look at our website – we’d love to hear what you think! Please send any feedback to marketing@esendex.com.new-website-email-header

The ‘Father of SMS’ Matti Makkonen dies at the age of 63

Source: BBC

Source: BBC

It’s a sad time for the tech world – Matti Makkonen, widely known as the ‘Father of SMS’ has died at the age of 63.

Although he didn’t develop the technology on his own, he had the idea of sending text messages via mobile networks. Speaking on the 20th anniversary of the first text message sent, Makkonen said “the real launch of the service as I see it, was when Nokia introduced the first phone that enabled easy writing of messages (Nokia 2010 in 1994)”.

SMS has and will continue to have a massive influence on the technology world. Text-speak and auto-correct have spawned from SMS, whilst also providing a template for hugely influential social media platforms like Twitter.

Matti Makkonen believed that some form of text messaging will be around in some form forever and we have to agree, its effectiveness is undeniable!

He has been described by friends and colleagues as a man whose fascination with communications technology was irrepressible, and he will be missed across the entire technology industry.

NEW: Introducing enriched Unicode SMS messaging

unicodeWe’re excited to launch our brand new Unicode feature, allowing you to personalise and further enhance your customer communications. With our new feature you can use special and regional characters for sending text messages to smartphones.

In an increasingly globalised and competitive market it’s important that your communication is personalised to your audience. With Unicode you have access to thousands of characters for sending SMS, making it easier to communicate effectively with your customers.

All modern smartphones support Unicode including: Windows Phone, iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices.

For more information or if you have any features you’d like us to add, get in touch today, call us on 0845 356 5758 or email sales@esendex.com.

Serving up our exclusive offer just in time for Wimbledon 2015

Tennis playerWe’re celebrating our 25% free SMS credit offer* by looking back 25 years and rediscovering amazing sporting moments in 1990. In a series of 3 blogs throughout this month, we’ll bring you a mix of the iconic, the downright surprising and emotional moments during what was an amazing year of sport.

With less than two weeks until Wimbledon 2015 officially begins (June 29th), we’ve delved back in history – it turns out that 1990 was a very special year for one of the most iconic sporting tennis stars of the 20th Century. At this years Wimbledon, it will be 25 years since Martina Navratilova, the Czech born U.S based player, scooped the Wimbledon ladies singles title. It turned out to be the last of her amazing 18 grand slam single titles (to go with her 31 major doubles titles – which is still a record!).

Dubbed by tennis historian and journalist Bud Collins as “arguably the greatest tennis player of all time”, Navratilova has also been hailed by former number one champion Billie Jean King, former “the greatest singles, double and mixed player who has ever lived”. Keen tennis fans will know the names of the all time greats such as King, Navratilova, Graff and even now Serena Williams, but do you know the name of the original Ladies Singles Champion, the first lady of Wimbledon – Maud Watson? No?

Maud Watson (MBE) from Harrow-London, was the first Ladies Wimbledon Champion who won the title 131 years ago in 1884. Maud began playing competitive tennis in 1881 the year the ladies open events were introduced in England. Back then she played in a white corset and petticoat against thirteen competitors and even defeated her older sister Lilian.

Arguably the oldest tennis tournament in the world, the tournament was first played in 1877 in its London namesake and borough; Wimbledon. Back then it was only men that were permitted to play, won by Spencer Gore in front of only 200 spectators who paid a shilling to watch the final. Given that in 2014 the four tennis Grand Slams generated an estimated revenue of $268m* (Sports Sponsorship Insider ) through sponsorship and ticket entry prices, it’s unlikely the organisers of the 1877 matches would have foreseen the sustainability and success of Wimbledon as an industry in its own right.

We work with a range of sports clubs across football, rugby and cricket, by utilising our multi-channel communication platforms we are able to assist with season ticket renewals, routing customers to ticket offices, generating awareness of key fixtures, key player or manager voice blasts to fans, kit launch promotions, off season events (such as stadiums, gigs and shows) and stewarding and security messages.

With an expected 38,500 spectators for Wimbledon 2015 (Wimbledon official website), over 42 acres of the club’s car park and courts, it’s likely to be another iconic year for tennis fans and could well be a stellar event for your business, take advantage of our 25% free SMS offer and give us a call today – 0845 356 5758.

*25% free SMS credits for any bundle purchased and sent before the end of June 2015 with no minimum purchase.

4 ways SMS can help you become an effective online retailer

Using SMS for E-commerceAccording to Econsultancy, this year in the UK online retail sales are expected to hit £52.25bn (a massive 16.2% increase on 2014). On top of this, the average UK consumer is predicted to spend £1,174 online in 2015, making us the most frequent online shoppers in Europe.

As more of us are shopping online it’s not just our spending habits that are on the rise, our expectations are too! With this in mind, here’s 5 ways SMS can help retailers to deliver an efficient and hassle-free experience for their customers:

1. Going above and beyond
When people can find everything they would ever want (and more) online, good customer service is not just desirable it’s expected. 94% of consumers who have a hassle-free service experience will buy from that company again (CEB), so not meeting these expectations can have a serious impact on sales.

Let your customers know when their order is being shipped, send delivery confirmations and allow them to change their delivery time via text message. You can also engage in two-way conversations via SMS to resolve any problems quickly and easily.

2. More effective communication
Most retailers use email to communicate with their customers about their order, but why stop there? SMS is the perfect channel to either accompany or replace your email communication.

SMS has near perfect open rates at 98% compared to an open rate of 22% for email (Frost & Sullivan), on top of this 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes (mobileSQUARED). The instant nature makes text messaging ideal for sending time-sensitive delivery updates and answering customer queries or complaints quickly.

3. Add that personal touch
When a purchase is being done over a computer, tablet or even mobile there is no human interaction. By sending a text message direct to your customers’ phone, personalised with their name and order number, it gives their order that personal touch.

4. The possibilities are endless
Retailers can use SMS in lots of different ways to enhance the online experience they provide – it’s time to get creative! Get customer feedback instantly by using SMS surveys, you could even offer a special discount code once the survey has been completed. Send text messages to boost your sales by sending an automated message once an item is back in stock or encourage customers to complete their purchase by reminding them what is in their basket.

To keep your customers happy you need your communication to be fast and reliable. Here at Esendex, we’ve got direct connections to all the major networks so you can count on us.

Do It For Framework Day at Esendex

framework-blog-collageLast Friday was Do It For Framework Day! We had lots of activities going on in our Nottingham and Derby office to help to raise money for this great cause.

First a little bit about Framework…
They are a charity and specialist housing association working to not only prevent homelessness and help homeless people, but also to provide opportunities for vulnerable people to change their life. They work tirelessly, helping more than 11,000 people a year – the work they do really makes a difference.

Raising money for Framework
All in the name of fundraising we had a raffle, a bake sale and a few played dress up for the day.

We even managed to get a few of our managers and our CEO to get a soaking in the stocks. Our wheel of fortune decided their fate – would they be hit with water balloons, foam pie, icing sugar, water or eggs?

It was a great day in the office and in total we managed to raise over £800 for a worthy cause – thanks to everyone for getting involved!

Our latest feedback survey winner revealed!

Here at Esendex we’re always looking for ways to improve our products and services. With this in mind, we recently asked our customers to give us their feedback via a survey. Everyone who took part was entered into a prize draw – Moores Furniture Group were the lucky winners!

We thought this would be a perfect opportunity to give you a bit of an insight into how they use our platform…

moores-furniture-blog-image-thumbWith over 60 years of experience, they are known for their high quality kitchens and bathrooms. Moores Furniture Group use our platform to send their customers delivery notifications and updates. Sending text messages ensures the process of getting a new kitchen or bathrooms runs as smoothly as possible.