Customer engagement is one of the most crucial aspects for running a successful quick service restaurant (QSR). Once a business overcomes the hurdle of building a clientele, a good customer relationship management (CRM) system can help maintain repeat business and provide valuable feedback for the business owner. So, what is the best way to go about management? One of the best CRM channels for many QSRs and fast casual restaurants (FCs) is SMS.
A Text Can Pull Customers Back Into Your Store
One of the easiest ways to get customers to make a repeat purchase is by enticing them with coupons. SMS text in programs can be easily incorporated into a variety of different marketing materials persuade customers to join your mobile club. Let’s imagine that you own a local pizza place. You want to build your customer database by promoting special deals to encourage customers to make a repeat purchase. Utilizing SMS, customers can text in a unique keyword, like PIZZA, to a designated shortcode. From there, they can receive a unique coupon code that they can redeem in your store for a salad or appetizer with their next pizza purchase. This special keyword can be shared among all your marketing channels, like social media, radio, or Groupon, to make a cohesive marketing experience.
SMS Simplifies Continuous CRM
Once customer relationships are built, it is important to retain them. It is difficult for many businesses to find that sweet spot for maintaining customer relations. On one hand they don’t want to be too overbearing, but they also don’t want to be forgettable. SMS can provide a great solution to maintain profitable customer retention among QSRs. It not only provides direct communication to customers, it also simplifies the entire CRM process. An SMS coupon campaign can be used to deliver weekly or monthly specials and get customers to come back. For example, Chipotle’s mobile club texts their members about 1-2 times a month offering BOGO entrees or other free items with next purchase. Since it is only twice a month, it is not overwhelming for their customers and provides incentive for people to make keep making repeat purchases.
Customer Engagement, Mobile Campaigns, mobile CRM, Mobile Marketing, Mobile Solutions, Mobile Strategy
Make Your CRM System More Effective
Customer relationship management systems (CRM) are a key component for many businesses today. Using a CRM is a major priority, but it can also be difficult to execute. Thankfully, there are many CRM platforms with features that make customer relationship management a less daunting task. There’s been a sharp rise in mobile device ownership in the U.S., and so SMS integration has become an important feature to include in your CRM system.
Does SMS Fit Into CRM Strategy?
CRMs provide a simple, all-in-one place for businesses to manage their contacts and conduct customer communications. Since texting is the most frequently used applicationlication on a cell phone – 97% of Americans report that they text at least once a day – SMS has become a valuable addition to a business communications strategy, especially when integrated into a CRM. Texting provides a means for keeping in touch with customers in real-time while simplifying the process of relationship management for users. Many businesses use basic SMS alerts triggered from their CRM, such as banks notifying customers about account balances or schools contacting parents about a child’s progress.
How to Integrate SMS Into Your CRM System
Not only is SMS proven to be an effective communications tool, but it’s also easy to integrate into any software platform, especially a CRM. That’s why many CRM platforms have made mobile and SMS integration a fixture in their offerings. Integrating SMS into a your CRM system can be done in a couple of ways. One method uses an application or third party extension that plugs into your CRM platform with a few steps, which is great if that is an available offering. Many of the more robust CRMs have a whole marketplace of third party plugins. A more customized approach uses an API to connect the SMS platform to your CRM. At 3Seventy, many customers use our RESTful API to integrate specific parts of their CRM system with our SMS platform. The two platforms can send and receive information back and forth such as new customer sign-ups, activity, and contact information updates.
As technology progresses, the emphasis on customer relationship management continues to grow as key component of success. Today’s fast-paced world can make it difficult to both attain and retain customers. With the power of a CRM system coupled with SMS integration, businesses can be better prepared to reach and stay connected with their contacts.
mobile CRM, Mobile Solutions, Mobile Strategy
How are US Universities and Colleges adopting technology into classrooms?
We’ve been going through a ton of research into the various ways schools are integrating technology to create a mobile campus environment – from BYOD (bring-your-own-device) choices and solutions for inside of the classroom to the education enhancements outside of class. What we found are new approaches to learning.
A Mobile-First Approach
The University of Texas System is driving for student success with new education initiatives such as the launch of TEx (Total Educational Experience). This is a personalized, mobile-first learning environment with the goal of making the UT system more accessible and affordable (TEx). The Institute for Transformational Learning (ITL) has developed a proprietary mobile-first application to boost student engagement and retention. The application is accessible from a laptop, desktop, tablet, or mobile phone so that students can be plugged into their education no matter where they are located. This is one way that schools are dealing with the mobile campus concept.
There’s an App for That
Small IT teams at large universities and community colleges are among those leading the way to create a mobile campus experience. At the University of Central Florida they chose application streaming – which is where applications run directly from a virtual machine on a central server. According to UCF’s IT and communications director, this choice was made because of the flexibility if gives students access anytime, anywhere. Students can use their UCF Apps on any device (mobile phone, tablet, desktop) from any place. While this is a pilot program right now, the potential here is in how UCF is improving the experience of making coursework outside of the classroom.
It’s powerful to see anonymous data collected from classmates in real-time, so many college professors are engaging students in discussion with polls in class. However, the many programs out there often require a computer or specific program to be installed. More and more educators are switching to SMS (text message) polls. There’s no technology divide or extra download / app requirements with SMS, so professors get more flexibility. Now students can respond with their own personal device, and the professor can share the results within an online portal for later reference.
The key with these polls is the engagement from the less outspoken students. In a typical class of 75 students, there may be 3-5 heavy hitters who dominate the conversation. Using the SMS polls, however, more students are participating and it’s causing a deeper discussion on topics.
Sources: Campus Technology, University Business, Faculty Focus
Outside of learning and course management, the other key areas where mobility solutions are being applied are in the library services, student recruitment and administrative services. More to come on these topics soon…
Education, Mobile Strategy, Universities and Colleges
SMS has gained significant momentum in the realm of recruiting and staffing agency operations. With over 14 million contract and temporary hires per year, staffing agencies are an integral piece to filling the 5.4 million U.S job openings. During the webinar today, we will cover a variety of topics relating to SMS for recruiting, staffing agency operations, and improving brand positioning in the market place. Today’s recruiting webinar will cover 3 main points:
1. Improve Professional SMS Etiquette
About 25% of marketers use SMS with 65% reporting that it is “very successful”. As SMS expands in professional settings, it is important to maintain proper SMS etiquette.
2. Explore SMS Strategies for Staffing Agencies
Staffing agencies deal in a very time sensitive industry. In this recruiting webinar, we will explore a case study in which a staffing agency utilized their SMS database to increase candidate satisfaction. This will demonstrate a real-life example of how SMS is bettering staffing agency operations.
3. Building Brand Trust
Being tech-savvy is now a major component of positive brand image. Candidates are more likely to flock to brands that incorporate relevant, modern technology in their business practices. This not only increases communications, but increases candidates’ trust.
This staffing webinar will be extremely beneficial for recruiters and staffing agencies – learning how SMS can be a viable tool for operations and professional communication. Staffing agencies armed with this information can stay ahead of the curve in both candidate satisfaction and millennial retention. Join us for our SMS Recruiting Webinar today at 1PM CST / 11AM PST for to explore these topics and more.
Customer Engagement, Mobile Solutions, Mobile Strategy, Webinar
It’s no secret that mobile is constantly changing the realm of business. In fact, 61% of people have a higher opinion about a brand when it offers a positive mobile experience. In such a dynamic landscape, it is important for businesses to stay on top of emerging technology and be aware of how their audience is using it. We’ve gathered key recruiting statistics and outlined how changes in the market are shifting the industry.
The recruiting process tends to be a timely process. Great strides in SMS communications have proven to be fruitful for many recruiting and staffing firms. These recruiting statistics reflect those areas of growth.
- Disregarding those over 45, 43% of job seekers consider recruiters who send SMS to be professional
- 17% of recruiters use SMS to notify job seekers about an open position
- 21% of job seekers are using SMS to confirm an interview appointment
- Recruiter texts sent through SMS software had a 26% response rate compared to the 8% response rate of emails
This increasing connection between recruiters and candidates via SMS is highly beneficial for the emerging millennial workforce. As of 2015, the millennial workforce is the largest generation in the U.S working economy. They are described as being quick paced, innovative, and extremely tech-savvy.
How New Technology is Re-Shaping Recruiting
Knowing all of these key statistics, the recruiting business landscape is making room for more mobile solutions. Whether it is mobile marketing, mobile web design, or SMS for their communications, mobile’s high open rate of 98% is perfect for instant up-to-date communications. Mobile media alone now outranks desktop 51% to 42%. This means that room for new mobile and SMS technologies is expanding. So, how do these new technologies affect recruiting and staffing?
Mobile Video for Recruiting
One of the more trendy aspects in mobile technology is the use of mobile video. Mobile videos are a great way to instantly showcase great business related content. Mobile video ad spend is projected to reach $6 billion by 2018. This comes as no surprise since consumers respond favorably to videos in general. Online videos now account for 50% of mobile traffic. Using mobile videos help you to stand out from other recruiters. As MMS is poised to shape the way businesses communicate, video can now be integrated into your mobile strategy via MMS as well. For standard SMS however, recruiters can text links to view videos on a mobile website such as the company overview, tips for success, and general FAQ videos.
Another emerging mobile technology trend is geo-targeting your SMS messages. Typically, geo-targeting is used by mobile marketers to deliver content to a user-based on their location through a mobile app. However, geo-targeting can also be leveraged through SMS dialog technology to support recruiters with candidates ranging from technophiles and college students to truck drivers. Knowing the zip code or general area that candidates are in helps to shape the way recruiters stay connected throughout the recruiting process. By utilizing geo-targeted SMS, candidates can receive on-the-spot communication from their potential employer as they walk through the door. Transparency is highly favored by job candidates, especially as they begin to narrow down their options.
Overall, recruiting statistics show that the industry is growing their use of mobile as a dominant communicationmethod in the job market. Mobile technology is crucial to everyday life and business functionality – especially to the younger, millennial market. It is important for job recruiters to keep up in the fast, dynamic, and mobile world or fear getting left behind.
Sources: Software Advice, Tech Crunch, HubSpot
Mobile Marketing, Mobile Solutions, Mobile Strategy, Staffing
As of 2015, the millennial workforce is the largest generation in the U.S working economy . However, 53% of hiring managers say it’s difficult to find and retain new millennial employees. One reason for this large gap is the differences in communication styles. While email remains a popular communication medium for all working generations, Millennials are more skewed towards text message-based communications (MarketingSherpa). This schism between generations can be both frustrating and detrimental to the hiring process.
Simplify the Hiring Process
SMS-based recruiting and hiring tactics are becoming a lot more common. About 82% of hiring managers believe millennials have very unique skills and are more technologically adept than previous generations. In addition to the staggering 98% open rate, text messaging is a great way for hiring managers to dip into the millennial workforce.
An SMS hiring strategy provides the immediacy that millennials are accustomed to while taking away some of the burden for the hiring company. By enabling text message notifications, details about an open position, scheduling, and FAQs can be handled at a much faster pace.
Bridge the Communication Gap with the Millennial Workforce
So, now that you’ve hired millennials for your company, what’s next? How are you going to maintain an open line of communication?
39% of millennials say that having a great working relationship with coworkers is a priority. Not only is SMS important for hiring millennials, it’s also important for staying connected with them. Consider making the inter-office communication easier by using an SMS dialog campaign – creating collaboration, information sharing, and operations instantaneous. 86% of millennials see themselves as adaptable and nothing caters to fostering that adaptability like instantaneous SMS communications.
The millennial workforce continues to grow, and it is up to innovative companies to be ready for the change in processes and communications. Tapping into this pool of talent can seem daunting – especially since there is a 72% chance millennials are open to change, more so than the 28% for other generations. Stay ahead in both the hiring and communication process by allowing millennials a home-field advantage. SMS is a great bridge for integrating the millennial workforce into your company or organization.
Sources: Pew Research, Elance o-Desk,
GREAT OPPORTUNITY: There will be a webinar focused on how staffing agencies and recruiters are using mobile technology. Get the webinar details.
Mobile Solutions, Mobile Strategy, Staffing, true dialog
The interview process is probably the most important step for both staffing agencies and job candidates. Scheduling the interview, checking in, the interview itself, and follow-up can all be extremely stressful. Staffing agencies need to be in peak form for the onslaught of scheduling and interview operations. Thankfully, a lot of the work can be accomplished using an SMS technology to support your tactical plans.
Schedule With SMS
Scheduling interviews can be a challenge – especially if the candidate has multiple opportunities and the client has limited windows of availability. For staffing agencies, supporting candidates so that they are properly scheduled for interviews is integral for both the success of the candidate and maintaining good relations with the hiring company. An easy way to simplify interview operations is coordinating schedules using text messaging. Staffing agencies can easily allow candidates to select interview times via SMS, as well as send text reminders about upcoming interviews. By automating this process, it reduces the margin of scheduling errors.
Allowing candidates to check-in before an interview using their mobile phones helps you stay abridge of their status. When staffing agencies send out an interview reminder text, they can also include a follow-up message asking candidates to confirm their attendance. By having real-time confirmation with SMS, staffing agencies avoid wasting the hiring company’s time with no-show applicants. Since these no-shows would be documented on the staffing agency’s system, it aids in siphoning out the “frequently flaky” candidates.
Interview Operations Using SMS
Prepping for an interview is a nerve-wracking task for most job seekers. During this time, staffing agencies may be swamped with questions about the logistics, tips, and techniques. An easy way to provide interviewing resources to job candidates is by mobilizing the hiring / interview FAQs. Send out tips via SMS periodically, or create triggered messages that are sent the day of a candidate’s interview. This cuts down on time spent on answering general questions so that more time is spent on finding new candidates, in-depth interview questions or training.
58% of employers don’t communicate to applicants about how long the interviewing process will take (Career Builder). That means, in addition to being stressful, interviewing can cost a lot of time and money. This could be detrimental to the staffing agency’s reputation. Those who work hard to place the right candidates in the right jobs may get public whiplash from reviews. Armed with mobile tools however, staffing agencies can ease the burden of interview operations on both themselves and their candidates.
NEWS: We are hosting a webinar just for staffing agencies and recruiters. Get the Details.
Mobile Solutions, Mobile Strategy, Staffing
When it comes to communication tools, very few industries possess the wide variety that education institutions use. Between 2012 to 2013, there were 13,500 public school districts with nearly 98,500 public schools. Each one of those schools utilize different software tools for school communication including grades, attendance, and school updates. However, the majority of this interaction occurs within school administration. How do people outside the schools’ main offices connect with teachers and administrators?
School Communication with Parents
The #1 external contact for any school is parents. 80% of teachers consider parents to be supportive and 88% of parents consider teachers to be crucial to their child’s success. Transparency is key for maintaining good parent-teacher relationships and making an overall good impression. Without parents staying in the loop, pertinent information can be missed that could drastically impact a student’s success.
SMS (text messages) has been utilized to keep parent’s updated in real time. Email may be the most popular school communication tool but, texting is the most prevalent form of communication for Americans under the age of 50 (Gallup). And it makes sense, because the ability to text is in your pocket – whether you have a smartphone or a simple flip-phone.
School are integrating SMS with their notification systems so that important school updates, such as school closures, emergency notifications, and event reminders get to parents in a timely fashion. But integration doesn’t stop there. Using an SMS API has begun to show up as a tool for school grading and attendance so that parents can be aware of student progress. When schools connect their attendance software with a SMS API, a triggered message is sent to the parent when a student is marked absent – transparency in school communications. SMS integration with grading software allows parents to see if student assignments are being turned in both on-time and complete, rather than waiting for the infamous note in the backpack. The school sends an alert when there is a missing assignment or low score to notify the parent in real-time.
Internal School Communications
Another great use of SMS in education is for internal school communications between teachers and administrative faculty. Departments, grade levels, and other types of faculty groups can use SMS to keep in touch. Having SMS integrated with a meeting scheduler allows those always on-the-go staff members to keep up with meetings and appointments. Many teachers are bombarded with emails, so things can be missed. Important school updates don’t get lost in the fray when schools setup internal SMS alerts to communicate important school news and updates to faculty members.
With so many things that happen for day-to-day school operations, maintaining clear, accurate, and timely communication is important. SMS has proven to not only boost message open rates, it’s also much faster than traditional email and phone call methods. No matter what the use, SMS can be a vital asset for school communication tools.
Sources: National Center for Education Statistics, National Education Association
Education, Mobile Strategy, operations
Take a Mobile Success Inventory of Your Business in 2015
Did your business conquer the mobile strategy this year? Are there things you could have done better? How do you know what worked and what didn’t work? Can you say that your business saw mobile success in 2015?
You could simply look at the revenue for the company, see that it is up, and call it a day. However, that would not do justice to the work that you and your team accomplished in 2015. Nowadays, it is well known that the organizations properly leveraging a mobile strategy will grow customer loyalty. A good mobile strategy provides clearer lines of communication and visibility with customers and improves internal processes that increase both employee satisfaction and productivity. We have created a simple process for how you can take inventory of your mobile success this year:
What did you contact database look like in January? Look closely at the numbers as well as the number of contact attributes you’ve collected throughout the year. Learning about your contacts (birthday, zip code, shopping preferences) is just as important as the number of total contacts you have in your database. If you have learned a lot about your contacts, then one could argue that is even more valuable than gaining a significant number of new contacts. Great CRM means knowing your people.
Through which channels did your database grow the most? Was it your SMS campaigns, mobile app, website, in-store, events, or a mixture of some of these? If you are seeing a trend in the channel(s) where people are opting in the most, then you may want to dig deeper.
- What was the opt-in process like?
- Which channel made it the easiest to get connected to your business?
- Were there different incentives for each channel?
- What was the call to action that lead to the sign-up?
When people opted-in or signed-up to receive communications from your business, what were the campaigns that you ran throughout the year? Having a calendar or list format of this information will be most helpful during this part of the review process.
- Did the content that you delivered align with your brand and vision all year long?
- What types of content were you sending out? Was it just plain text, videos, photos, a mixture of the three?
- Was all of your content mobile-friendly? If you sent a SMS message with a link to a landing page, was it a responsive page?
- How frequently were communications sent out? And did you segment your contacts into lists?
These three sections of review will help you to find places of possible growth and improvement for your mobile strategy and communications with your contacts in general. You may even find that there are places for expansion such as internal communications, new customer communication options, and mobile notifications. Try this out, share the idea with your marketing and technology department heads. Consider stating it as a progressive business challenge – an opportunity to prove the value in your hard work and mobile success.
Mobile Strategy, Mobile Video