Why Universities Need SMS to Enhance CX

Why Universities Need SMS to Enhance CX

In today’s environment with multiple communication channels, using SMS (Short Message Service) or Text Messaging is becoming the most effective way for schools to stay connected with their students. With a 98% open rate and most messages being read within three seconds of sending, there’s no quicker way to communicate with your students.

However, SMS isn’t just a good idea – it’s almost necessary. With today’s campus population of Millennials and Gen Z students, it’s becoming more of a requirement for universities to cater to students the way they expect, starting with how they’re already using technology in their daily lives.

The Growing Need for SMS in CX

Creating a great customer experience (CX) has become the new battlefield in recent years, with nearly 90% of companies competing on these grounds alone for growth and customer satisfaction. According to the 2015 Marketing Spend Survey, the reason for this is because CX is continually proving to be the only sturdy competitive advantage.

In response to the focus on CX, SMS communications has emerged as a crucial element of CX in large and small corporations. It offers the personalization over 75% of consumers desire, along with other benefits like immediacy, and short to-the-point information.

Universities are in the same position to bring these values to their student population.

SMS plays into your CX strategy by connecting with students where they already are: on their smartphones.

Smartphones aren’t just for entertainment and communication anymore. For Gen Z and Millennials students in particular, these devices are a way of life. Research shows that Gen Z consumers spend around three hours a day consuming media on their smart devices.

The need for SMS communication on campus is just that—a need. Students expect superior customer service and 24-hour access because they’re already acclimated to these things in other parts of their lives. SMS is poised to bring this level of service to your university.

Top 3 Benefits of SMS for Universities

If you aren’t using SMS as part of your customer experience processes, you’re missing a prime opportunity to build on your CX and feedback strategies. Take a look at the top three benefits to using SMS at your university:

SMS is Instant

Once you send an SMS, your students will receive it within seconds. If you have something important to share, such as school closings, adjusted hours for dining halls, weather alerts, suspicious activity on campus, event reminders, special offers, sports victories, or other announcements, a simple text is probably the quickest way.

You Can Personally Connect With Almost Every Student

Eight out of ten college students use smartphones, so there’s a good chance you’ll be able to connect with nearly every student on campus with an SMS service. And even better, text messages are more widely read than email. While your email communications may make it into your students inbox, they can be easily overlooked due to the sheer volume of emails people receive these days. Social media announcements are also often not noticed amongst the plethora of postings and advertisements.  A text message, on the other hand, is the most effective direct route to getting your students to see your message.

SMS Makes You Accessible to Your Students

From a customer experience stand point, your student’s ability to directly communicate with whoever they need to in order to report an issue or offer feedback is more satisfying then sending an email into the ether. Filling out a standard web form or sending an email to a general email address doesn’t offer the same access or immediacy as SMS.

With SMS, students not only receive important communications from you, but they’re able to send just as important communications to administrators or departments about potential issues, such as a bathroom stall that’s out of order. The convenience of being able to use text messaging makes feedback from your students more frequent and timely, which in turn can result in better service and offerings.

In Closing

Convenience, immediacy, personalization, and access are all the name of the game now when it comes to providing a superior customer experience. SMS is arguably one of the easiest and quickest ways to accomplish this level of CX with your students.

Given the sheer dominance of smart devices and an ever-increasing connected world, SMS is a logical way your auxiliary service at colleges and universities can enhance the student experience.


Subscribe to receive a weekly summary of the latest events, insights, and resources on content marketing, inbound marketing, developing digital content brands, and more:

About the author

Johann Leitner is the founder and president of Touchwork, a marketing management software company.