If you’re running a business right now, in amongst all these social distancing restrictions, you’re probably finding you’ve got fewer opportunities to interact with your target customers. For example, while retail and hospitality businesses will be missing their daily walk-ins, many in the service sector will be exploring ways of doing as much as possible for their customers remotely.

Unsurprisingly, more and more businesses are turning to SMS to fill the communication void they’re currently experiencing. In fact, when maintaining customer engagement during challenging times is often considered key to coming out the other side stronger and more resilient, SMS could offer the personal touch and cut-through you really need. As many as 95% of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes compared to emails which have open rates averaging 20%.

Here are some of the top ways businesses are using SMS throughout the global Coronavirus pandemic to keep their customers feeling connected and well informed.

Open for business

Nothing is too obvious in the current environment. With so many people still coming to terms with the impacts that COVID-19 restrictions are having on the world, sending an SMS to let people know you’re open for business could stop customers assuming otherwise.

Changes to operations/business hours

If you’ve had to change or shorten your opening hours, move business online or even temporarily close, make sure your customers don’t find out by accident. A short SMS detailing those changes could be all it takes to avoid adding to your customers’ frustrations while ensuring you don’t lose potential sales.

Delivery notifications

Despite your best efforts to keep business running smoothly, there’s no avoiding the operational difficulties delivery services are facing. Supercharge your customer service experience with personally targeted SMS’s to inform your customers of delivery delays, ETA, or even reassure them that they haven’t been forgotten when things are unpredictable.

Promotions and offers

Relevant and well-timed offers on your products or services is one way to capitalise on the speed at which customers read SMS. For inspiration, these could be short-term discounts on takeaway coffee, grab and go lunch deals or a promo code for your online store just in time for a weekend at home.

Invoice reminders

Maintaining cash flow is crucial at any time of the year, but especially now. So, you can’t afford to let your invoices slip. Regular SMS reminders could prevent upcoming or overdue invoices from slipping to the back of your customers’ minds.

Loyalty and rewards

Everyone’s feeling a little more discerning when it comes to spending money, so why not tell your customers about all the benefits of doing business with you. You could do this by sending a short SMS with details and sign up options for loyalty rewards or any points schemes you might be part of.