For folks in the Northern Hemisphere, August and September typically mean that the end of summer is rapidly approaching. Many are squeezing in last-minute holidays, preparing children for back to school, or, more practically, looking for a way to beat the sweltering heat.
Yes, in many major metro areas, the heat will creep up into the mid 90’s (F). Just last week, Europe may have hit its record high at 117 degrees! Needless to say, the neighborhood pool, the beach, and any place with some shade and a steady breeze are popular destinations at the moment. But specific industries are also working overtime.
Take HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning), for example; phones are ringing off the hook with customers eager to have existing equipment serviced to prevent their homes from turning into a sauna for the next six weeks.
Let’s dive into how omnichannel communication can be leveraged by national brands, or local providers, to help schedule service and keep customers cool as we enter the dog days of summer.
An in-person contactless experience, scheduled digitally
While we think of many of the services that shifted to digital during the pandemic, there are still quite a few times that we need essential maintenance performed. But sending a service technician to your home doesn’t necessarily mean that the experience can’t be contactless.
Let’s use the example of “Joe’s HVAC” out of, say, Scottsdale for a thought exercise. It’s going to be 101 degrees in Scottsdale today, an absolute scorcher!
Megan, a freelance journalist, working out of Tempe, woke up this morning, and the unthinkable had happened. Her AC went out. As perspiration started to creep down her brow, she panicked as she realized that she was going to have to get her kids ready for school, find a way to sort out her air conditioner repair, and hit a 5 pm deadline for an article about the Arizona Cardinals playoff chances heading into the football season.
Fortunately, Megan does a quick Google search and finds out that Joe’s HVAC does contactless repairs, and she can schedule a service visit easily over SMS. Megan texts a dispatcher at Joe’s and, after a few exchanges, finds out a tech can be out later today.
When the tech arrives, they proceed directly to Megan’s AC unit. The tech diagnoses the problem, makes the necessary repairs, and sends Megan a digital receipt. The problem is fixed by the time the kids get off the school bus after their first day. Megan conducted this entire experience from her mobile phone.
Adding convenience to non-digital industries
That scenario was a fictitious example, but there are plenty of Megans out there and plenty of Joe’s HVACs. Digital channels are revolutionizing how we think about particular legacy non-digital industries. The reason channels like SMS, Google Business Messages, and WhatsApp lead this innovation is simple; people demand it.
75% of people aged 44 and below like contacting businesses via text. These people grew up with technology and are now fighting back on the concept of calling a company and waiting on hold for 45 minutes. In addition, 83% of consumers would like to receive appointment reminders via text, but only 20% of businesses send them this way. There is a gap to close there.
A company that wants to leverage technology to separate itself from the competition could go a long way by offering these small conveniences to add to the customer experience. This embrace of technology builds brand loyalty and can even go so far as to add some good old-fashioned word-of-mouth grassroots marketing.
Deploying SMS as a communication channel is a solution for every business. Products like Mitto’s Conversations tool can give small shops a no-code/low-code browser-based option to leverage SMS without requiring the technical resources of deploying an entire API. Mitto is here to help, so if you aren’t using SMS yet, it’s time to give us a call – so your customers don’t have to.