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Why Apple Relies on SMS

When you think about Apple’s technology, most people imagine sleek space gray laptops, best-in-class smart phones, and wearable technology.

But when Apple needs to communicate with its customers, they often still turn to the humble text message.

On a recent episode of SalesForce’s Marketing Cloud podcast, cohosts Heike Young and Joel Book interview Greg Murphy, SalesForces’s Mobile Product Manager.

When Book asks for an example of a company smartly using SMS, Murphy mentions Apple’s Genius Bar, where Apple technologists help customers with support issues. The Genius Bar often has over an hour wait. To ensure that their customers have a satisfying experience, Apple wants customers to be able to leave the store at will – but also to return when their place in the queue is ready.

“The channel they have chosen to manage that experience is SMS,” Murphy says. “They know that every single customer that is coming up to their store … has a phone with them that is capable of receiving text messages. No question. It is a ubiquitous channel to use to reach their entire audience. They also know that if they leave…90% of SMS messages are read within the first three minutes of delivery. So these customers have the means of leaving, and when Apple sends them a message saying they’re ready, [the messages] are read very quickly.”

“Apple tak[es] advantage of the ubiquity of the SMS channel and the immediacy of the SMS channel.” – Greg Murphy, SalesForce

“That’s a great example of Apple taking advantage of the ubiquity of the SMS channel and the immediacy of the SMS channel,” Murphy continues. “They’re not going to send  a message that will get caught inside of an email inbox, buried while someone is shopping inside of Nordstorm. And they also don’t have a dependency on a specific app being placed on the phone. They don’t have a dependency on this being an existing Apple customer with iMessage capabilities. They have full reach and immediate delivery and read rates with SMS.”

Listen to the whole interview on SoundCloud »

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