Boost your customer’s e-commerce experience

Boost your customer's ecommerce experience with SMS notifications from Magento

It is estimated that 79% of UK consumers choose to purchase online in a single month, spending approximately £55 on average with each purchase. With the high returns that e-commerce brings it’s important to always look for new and innovative ways to boost the customer’s experience in every way possible when interacting online.

Positively impacting the customer experience can now be achieved at all points of the transaction process with the simple addition of our Magento SMS notifications+ extension.

A solution that targets each sale individually rather than something for groups of people is always guaranteed to make the customer feel valued. Particularly as personalisation is always a great way to show how much you value your customers.

Online shoppers want the convenience of high street shopping experiences in the comfort of their own home which is why keeping them updated is a crucial part of the process.

Keep customers updated

Our Magento plugin provides customers with automated and personalised confirmation messages for orders and shipping updates. This empowers customers throughout the buying process and reduces the customer support burden. Let your customers know they can have confidence in the business or product that they’ve invested in.

SMS updates can be sent from the moment an order is placed right through to updates about fulfilment and finally delivery and tracking information.  Choose from up to 12 various order events to send out automated messages freeing up your staff to answer more complex queries.  Each event has a default template for various languages which is fully customisable.

There’s no development required with our free SMS plugin for Magento, just a simple download that supports multiple languages and is able to send messages worldwide through your Esendex account. Create a trial account and start sending SMS today.

For more information on using and implementing Magento SMS notifications+ to boost your customers e-commerce experience, then please call our team on 0345 356 5758.

Show your customers some love this Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day SMS marketing with a short code

It appears Cupid’s arrow shoots straight for the purses and wallets of shoppers in the lead up to February 14th. The average consumer spend is estimated to be approximately £53.38 for the occasion which means Valentine’s Day is big business for retailers, restaurants and hotels, who look set to make a huge profit out of the day – which only seems to be growing in popularity.

Previously an average of £1.6bn has been spent on gifts and treats for the occasion and it is estimated that this will grow to £1.9bn in the UK this year.

With a huge change to give sales a boost in the second half of the financial year, how can you capitalise on the prospects Valentine’s Day offers and entice customers into choosing you over your competitors?

SMS for promotions

With the best open rates of all other marketing channels, SMS is a great way to promote. 44% of smartphone users admit to preferring SMS promotions over other forms of marketing and with the option of a dedicated short code you can even open up potential for responses. Show loyal customers that your business appreciates them by offering promotional discounts to those who text a specific keyword to your short code in time for Valentine’s.

SMS for vouchers and coupons

Vouchers and mobile coupons delivered straight to the palm of your customer’s hands can be a great way to entice new custom, and the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day. Promote your chosen keyword or dedicated SMS short code on your marketing materials, such as posters, flyers and social media in order to encourage customers to take action and gain reward.

Send them their money off coupon or voucher to be redeemed on Valentine’s Day or after.

SMS for bookings

In anticipation of the romantic holiday, orders and bookings are probably already arriving in bulk. Use SMS to send automated booking confirmations by integrating with our API or as a great opportunity to boost your customer service offering. Combine booking confirmations with the opportunity for your customers to reply to your dedicated short code enabling them to easily make changes to bookings, confirm or reject them.

Show your customers some love this Valentine’s Day and treat your business to a new type of SMS marketing with a free, shared or dedicated short code.  For more information on how your business can benefit from SMS please contact our team on 0345 356 5758 or take a free trial.

Transform communication with an inbound IVR

Use and intelligent voice response to transform your contact strategy

Maximising the satisfaction of your customers by ensuring that they are sent in the right direction when they call for information or to make a request is key. Not only that but it can ensure that potential time wasted by contact centre staff on redundant matters or less specific queries is better spent on values which benefit your business.

Introducing an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system into your contact strategy could significantly reduce the time your customers spend in call queues, providing a number of self-serve options without the need for human interaction, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

IVR’s are typically applied to businesses who require streamlined payment processing but are becoming increasingly more popular in other use cases:

Balance enquiries

From credit cards, financial agreements and banking through to utility bill enquiries, give your customers flexible access to manage their finances at times of day which suit them through the simple addition of an IVR. Then provide an additional option for customers to be transferred where staff contact is required.

Satisfaction surveys & feedback

Give service users a simple way of providing feedback and maximise the opportunity to collect it. Service users are more likely to provide honest answers when they don’t have to speak with a dedicated operative. Provide numbered, tiered choices and always a further option to speak with an advisor during office hours.

Event promotions and invites

Allow fans, patrons and customers to share their interest in events or find out show times with the option to speak with an advisor where questions need answering or a secure payment portal where purchases are prompted.

Appointments

Send a text reminder of a booked appointment and include your IVR number should you wish to offer an option to modify, cancel or book a follow-up.

Renewals

Send an automated text message to notify members or customers that gym memberships, insurance contracts or rental agreements are up for renewal and make it easier for them to continue their agreement with an IVR. Simple, reliable and seamless without the need for contact centre agents.

Technical support & help desk enquiries

Help to direct call and user traffic with a series of options, beneficial where technical support is required. Filter the priority enquiries from those which aren’t.

Automate and prompt the above actions through the use of simple SMS or publicise your dedicated IVR number on your website or existing communication materials to see inbound contact from your customers transform.

To discuss how an inbound IVR solution could benefit your business and improve your communication or marketing strategy call us on 0345 356 5758 or contact us.

Esendex take Action on Hearing Loss

Esendex are raising money for Action on Hearing Loss

It seems four members of the Esendex team have taken their January resolutions to keep healthy and fit that little bit further, this year, by opting to take part in the Great North Run. The “greatest half marathon in the world”, a 13.1 mile route in Newcastle will take place on Sunday September, 11 2016 and will see four of the Esendex team join more than 50,000 runners on the day to raise money for Action on Hearing Loss.

Project Manager, Robyn Charlton, Software operations lead, Jonathan Relf, Digital Manager, Nadya Ahmed and Web apps team lead, Oliver Tomlinson all decided to take on the challenge, each for differing reasons but with one shared goal – to raise a collective £1,200 for Action on Hearing Loss.

The charity, Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) is the largest UK charity helping people who are confronting deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss. It gives support and care, develops technology and treatments, and campaigns for equality.

Robyn, who is originally from Newcastle has been going to watch the Great North Run with family for years. She said: “Every year I think ‘I’m going to do it next year’, well that next year, is this year!”

“I love the buzz and excitement that the event brings to the North East and I’ll be proud to run over the Tyne bridge and raise lots of money for a great charity!”

Donate via Robyn’s JustGiving page.

Nadya loves to run and said it was the perfect opportunity to raise money for a charity so close to home.

“My mum suffers from tinnitus and as a result is deaf in one ear – to support a charity which is raising awareness about the condition is important to me.”

Donate via Nadya’s JustGiving page.

Oliver said he was taking part in the Great North Run to give himself a target to aim for in his running ambitions.

“I want to raise money for a great charity in the process.”

Donate via Oliver’s JustGiving page.

Jonathan has chosen to take part as he has asymmetric tinnitus.

He said: “I’m fundraising for Action on Hearing Loss to continue to provide support & research to help others with hearing conditions.“

Donate via Jonathan’s JustGiving page.

Technology plays a huge part in assisting those with hearing loss. SMS has been one of the key contributors to this transformation, in the way that emergency services, businesses and consumers all communicate with those suffering from conditions resulting in hearing loss or tinnitus – just one of the many reasons the four members of the Esendex team have chosen to support the charity.

Introducing Esendex Integration guides

Integrate your software with esendex to send SMS

Do you use business software or applications to support your processes and are looking for ways to automate the way specific actions are communicated? Our free integration guides, the latest addition to our SMS product suite, offer seamless and simple methods of communication, whether aimed at customers, sales teams or stakeholders all through automated SMS.

Designed to guide you through the steps to trigger alerts, notifications and updates for SMS, in whatever industry sector you work in, from support and sales through to marketing and finance. You can now integrate Esendex Echo and Esendex Echo for Email with the software your business uses without the need for development support.

Everything in one place

If you have your contacts in one program and your messaging system in another how do you ensure that contacts aren’t missed where instant communication is needed? Whether you are using a contact management system or CRM platform, our integration guides make it simple for you to find everything in one place without the need for negotiation between various applications.

Update stakeholders instantly

Where you want to update stakeholders or give your sales teams full visibility on the latest sales figures or trigger alerts when actions such as purchases or refunds are made, our integration guides contain practical steps which make it simple for you to trigger SMS alerts out of your CRM system or application while they’re on the go. Set your own rules specific to your business requirements.

No need for development support

We have seven guides available which guide you step by step through each action to successfully trigger SMS from ecommerce software, Shopify, support platform Zendesk right through to application connection software, Zapier, which open up opportunities for more than 500 application integrations. This means you can send automated SMS through Esendex’s high quality API without the need for development support (in-house or outsourced). This saves on lengthy waiting times and costs to staffing.

Of course this doesn’t compromise our support as our friendly team are always on hand to guide you through your SMS journey.

Learn more about our new integrations, take a free trial or call our team on 0345 356 5758.

Esendex – proud sponsors of Hack24 2016

Hack24 logo for Esendex's sponsorship announcement blogFollowing the success of last year’s event, Esendex is proud to announce that we will be sponsoring Hack24 for the second year running. Hack24 is the first technology event to receive Nottingham City Council’s backing, and has grown to become a hugely anticipated event by coding enthusiasts both locally and nationally. As an active supporter of the local tech community, Esendex is extremely proud to be a part of this exciting event.

The 24 hour hackathon, hosted by Tech Nottingham, will take place in the prime location of Nottingham’s Council house over the weekend of 19th and 20th March 2016 and will play host to 135 participants. As in previous years, Esendex will be setting a challenge for participating teams to enter, with prizes up for grabs! Keep an eye out for our challenge announcement soon.

Esendex’s Product and Technology Director Alex Lea shared his excitement for the event and said,

“Hack24 is a fantastic opportunity for us to explore and generate new ideas at the same time as giving something back to the local developer community. Our sponsorship helps to fund an event that brings together developers from across the UK, putting Nottingham firmly on the ‘tech map’- We can’t wait!”

To be the first to know about Hack24 ticket availability enter your details here.

Put a Spring in your step with Mobile Journeys

Mobile Journeys blog images

It may not surprise you to know that 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to do their shopping. You could be missing out on a lucrative opportunity for your business if you’re not targeting mobile. Not only will you be giving customers a user-friendly platform to access your product or service but you will also be making it easier for your business to reach them when it’s most convenient.

With the January sales now over, thoughts are already turning to the next big product launches, promotions or Spring sales, which is why now is the time to plan the best approach to promote your next product, service or initiative – that’s where Esendex Mobile Journeys offer the perfect solution.

76% of consumers have purchased via a smartphone (OFNS)

Whether your intentions are to boost sales, spread awareness or shout about the latest deals and offers, adopting our tailored Mobile Journeys is a great way to achieve these goals. Design a thorough user experience that is specific to your product, service or customer that can be sent instantly by SMS.

Accessed via a simple URL link in a text message, the customer simply has to click the link to explore the journey or collection of mobile landing pages you have created for them.

And while timing can be everything, the instant method of SMS means that the customer can choose to explore the journey immediately or at a time more convenient to them – a perfect opportunity to maximise Spring sales and promotions while they’re in the comfort of their own home.

Direct your customers to promotional pages without the need to navigate awkwardly on a non-responsive site – take them to where you want them to be.

Seize an opportunity to reward loyal customers by personalising landing pages with everything from your own branding to the user’s personal details, such as their name.

Navigation can be made as simple or as complex as your business requires taking customers through simple steps from first click, right through to purchase, with the added extra of secure mobile payments, at the press of a button, where transactions are required.

There’s still time to give your Spring promotions and sales a boost with Mobile Journeys. Contact our sales team to discuss your requirements on 0345 356 5758 or try our interactive demo here.

How can ISO 27001 help you prepare for Data Protection reform?

Esendex is ISO27001 registeredYour customer’s data is probably the most precious thing that your business owns and how you choose to use it could mean the difference between good working practices and successes, or hefty fines and failures. With the looming European Reform of Data Protection set to replace the current Data Protection Act 1998, later this year, it is likely that there will be some instrumental changes for businesses, consumers and those in control of regulating – particularly when it comes to digital technologies.

Given that one month has passed since Esendex were awarded the ISO 27001 certification for the fourth year running, we take a look at why choosing a business communication provider that operates and works to the globally recognised security standard and adheres to global legislation, is far better than choosing one that isn’t.

Protection

Have better damage control and minimise the risk to your business, staff and customer data as well as the risk of security incidents. Any sensitive data that you share with Esendex from your own business account details and customer’s mobile numbers right through to addresses and full names is treated in line with our information security policies which are accredited to ISO 27001 standards. Prevent disclosure, modification, unauthorised access and destruction.

Edge

If you’re trying to win an exclusive deal or contract, want to have the edge over your competitors or work within the public sector then ensuring that your own business is compliant with information security standards in addition to ensuring that any outsourced providers do too could mean the difference between potential customers choosing your company first.

Trust

The ISO27001 standard helps drive further standards and the credibility of business communication technologies forward. It also offers transparency for our customers – businesses like you, to pass on to your own. This showcases that security is at the forefront, not only within your business but ours too combined with us offering high quality messaging and communication services at all times.

Data protection

While the current Data Protection legislation was not written with the technologies that have emerged over recent years, working with a company that complies with ISO27001 regulations indicates that your company has a commitment to working towards new EU reform and shows you are taking steps to work toward future changes.

 To learn more about our security standards or about any of our products or services contact our team on 0345 356 5758.

Automate customer contact with Esendex Voice

Blog image for voice blog

While many consumers are looking to save money at the start of a new year, so too are businesses, and in the midst of the financial year, big savings are always welcomed. Whether your customers are looking to save money by switching utility providers, renew membership packages or repaying debts accrued over Christmas, before interest hits – communication with them is key.

Introducing an automated Voice solution to your business could be a potential fix to your existing contact strategy. Cutting the amount of time your contact center staff spend on the phone and in turn the amount of money your business spends on wasted minutes, all while improving processes.

Integrating our Voice Broadcasting platform to your existing system is simple using pre-recorded message options from a real person rather than a computer processed voice. With the option to include several numbers in each of your customer’s records, you can prioritise the time of day certain numbers are attempted for maximum effect. Use to increase your customer’s satisfaction, by serving gentle reminders about renewals, offers or even payments which are overdue, all without the embarrassment of having to speak to contact centre staff about private information or unnecessary lengths in conversations.

Where contract or membership renewals are due offer a gentle, well-timed reminder in the form of a voice callback, sent by SMS, with a dedicated call handler on the other end or through an interactive voice messaging solution. This provides the customer with various options including contact where an agent’s assistance is required. Perfect for handling large call volumes and collecting more payments or processing more renewals at a time of year when they often decrease.

Voice can also be used to reward frequent customers by promoting various loyalty scheme events or offers through simple automation.  Consider integrating Voice Broadcasts or Interactive Voice with SMS, email and even web to create multi-channel campaigns.

Customers can receive a text message detailing their account and prompting a response, to which they can schedule calls for times convenient to them, avoiding queues and premium rates which all encourage them to keep their account or custom with you.

For more information on the various Voice services or other products that we offer to help automate your contact strategy this year, please contact the team on 0345 356 5758.

Communicate in a crisis with SMS

Image for UK flooding blog

It seems 2015 was one of the wettest years on record. According to MET office reports, and existing severe flood warnings, there is still more rainfall to come in January. Live warnings are still in place advising people of potential disruptions due to adverse weather conditions. Are your teams prepared for bad weather scenarios and equipped to communicate in an emergency situation?

With the recent floods of December, many roads have been closed, bridges collapsed and electricity and water supplies cut off. In such situations, whether you’re a local council having to communicate road closures, road works or transportation delays, having the information to hand when service users call is not going to be quick enough to prevent delays.

Integrating our API with your own warning or alerts system could trigger SMS alerts to be sent out to taxpayers or service users in the event of such a disruption This allows people to adapt quickly, change routes or advise others whether family or staff members on the best action to take – proactive, not reactive.

Utilities companies often suffer the worst in a crisis – jammed telephone lines and over-subscribed email inboxes can all be avoided with the adoption of pre-emptive SMS alerts to those likely to be affected in the case of a power loss, electricity works or water outages. Advising customers what to do regarding safety in such an emergency can also reduce risk, cutting costs to time and staff.

In the North of England, especially, floods have been an increasing problem throughout December causing disruptions across industries, from transportation through to agricultural farming. The loss of crops and livestock due to flooding could be reduced when weather warnings are sent instantly by SMS. Many agriculturists and farming groups already use the medium to communicate with one another and adopting it now could mean better damage control in the future.

When transportation is affected, whether car, coach, train or air keeping customers and travelers up to date on the latest delays, flight times and check-in waiting times could mean less congestion at stations and airports and better traffic flow. Using emergencies as an opportunity to turn a customer or user’s experience around is great in a crisis and could see them favour you over other brands, companies or institutions in future.

Parent’s will also appreciate instant contact with schools, shut due to adverse weather conditions, meaning that they have to worry less about consulting alternative news sources and find all their information in one place – their mobile.

Where further crisis control is needed, consider voice broadcasting with the potential to filter out where emergency response is really needed.

If you want to make sure that you can communicate well in a crisis and have enough SMS credits for a rainy day call us on 0345 356 5758.