You’ve probably been hearing the term CPaaS a lot lately, an acronym for Communications Platform as a Service. But what is a CPaaS exactly, and what can it do for your business? CPaaS is a one-stop-shop for all of your communications with your customers. SMS, Rich Communication Services (RCS) messaging, Over the Top (OTT) messaging, and Push notifications — CPaaS can do it all.
Why is it so important for brands to be available on multiple channels? Customers today are constantly redefining how they want brands to contact them. For example, they might prefer SMS notifications about delivery status and an OTT messenger such as Viber for quick feedback or troubleshooting. It is thus critical for brands to be available on all of these platforms. It is also more efficient for brands to manage all communications from a single platform. On top of efficiency, CPaaS is beneficial for marketers for driving customer engagement. Below we’ve got five examples of how you can use CPaaS to drive engagement for your business.
Message your customers with the services that they use
The majority of services now are available through APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). CPaaS messaging channels are added to the platform using their API. Imagine a large majority of your users currently are on WhatsApp and you expand to the Philippines, where the number one messaging app is Viber. Without an integrated platform, you would have to possibly run through two separate processes to message your users on their preferred platforms. With CPaaS, you can send the same message to multiple channels at the same time.
You’re always going to get better customer engagement if you use a channel they like and use already. Most of us will know the annoyance we get when you look for a film you want to watch on Netflix, and it isn’t there. This is a similar feeling. If a customer has to open a different app to talk to you than the one, they message their friends on, they are way less likely to talk to you.
Personalisation & Bulk Messaging
A CPaaS solution enables you to send both hyper-personalised single messages as well as bulk messages, offering you a range of possibilities for your marketing campaign.
A savvy marketer can drill down into the details of a user and send them a curated message just for them, or an accounts team can send a message out to a user who has missed a subscription payment.
You can also send bulk messages to a large number of users with a single action. You could use this to share a promotional code for an item that has been overstocked or to alert loyal customers that your store’s opening hours are changing. Worried about bulk messaging getting blocked by the carriers? Don’t worry you can schedule the send over a set period to avoid this.
With both kinds of messages GMS’ Business Communications Suite can receive replies for you to carry on the conversation too.
Reminders, Scheduling & Appointments
We’ve all missed an appointment, haven’t we? Maybe it was the dentist, a house viewing or a car test drive. Unfortunately, sometimes events conspire against us, and we don’t make it to an appointment, or sometimes we just forget. In fact, one (admittedly older) study showed that of the surveyed patients who missed an outpatient appointment, 30% missed it because they forgot.
Missed appointments are a significant drain on resources, costing the UK’s National Health Service £216m a year. But it is not just the healthcare industry that has this issue. Businesses in lettings, sales and many others also have to deal with forgetful customers.
But how can CPaaS help? A well-timed reminder message is a fantastic way to reduce your missed appointments, but when you send a reminder with using a CPaaS solution, you can use multiple services, which massively increases the chance that your message will be seen.
One of the huge advantages of a CPaaS solution has over previous communications implementations is the reporting and analysis functions that it offers. With BCS, you can get near-instant reporting on your campaigns. Sent a promo to a segment of your customers and not getting the uptake you would like, why not change the content of the message, and try again?
With traditional services, you would not get the results in time to do anything about them, but with CPaaS, this wait time is a thing of the past. It is also a great way to A/B test something. For example, pick a subset of your target customer base, A/B test your promo and the version that performs best can go to the rest of your contact list.
Persistence Pays with Channel Fallback Options
It can be hard to balance being persistent with being annoying in marketing — we’ve all received one too many emails from a company that has changed our opinion of them. But there’s one place where persistence is critical, getting the message to the customer in the first place.
With a CPaaS solution, you do not have to comb reports or segment users to see who did and who did not receive your first message attempt as you attempt a resend. You can set up a flow of messaging in order of your preferred platforms, so you send the first message by Viber, but if that is not delivered, you can set the platform to try SMS automatically as a channel fallback option.
This is great because while SMS might not be everyone’s preferred method of communication, it has a 98% delivery rate. So, this means you can prioritise where your customers want to talk to you. This might be an OTT messenger, and if it does not get to them, you can have SMS as a channel fallback option. All automated, without you needed to step in, segment, and resend.
Using a customer’s preferred service will increase engagement with your campaigns, as the customer is likely already looking at that service to message friends and family.
What is the most engaging method of talking with somebody? A conversation. In a Harvard University study published in 2019, it was found that students who took part in a discussion on a subject remembered more when tested than those who just listened to a lecture.
Traditional SMS promos have often been akin to a lecture — telling the recipient the product and the offer and why it is great. But with a CPaaS solution, you can have an open two-way conversation with your customers. It enables you to ask questions and get responses as well as reply to questions from a customer. This is so much more engaging than a traditional promo.
Also, with CPaaS, you can use chatbots to conduct these conversations, which saves more time and allows you to talk to as many people at once as you like. For more on making the perfect chatbot see our latest article on the topic.
Your Next Steps
Ready to find out how GMS’ CPaaS solutions can work for your business? Contact our experts today for a free consultation.