• April 1, 2016
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Vibes Launches Transactional Mobile Messaging

Vibes has added a transactional messaging solution to its Catapult mobile marketing platform to enable companies to create, deliver, and measure the effect of transactional and service updates on mobile devices.

Using Vibes' Catapult platform and APIs, business users can set up messages and rules, which are triggered by events such as shipping updates, service prompts, processing alerts, or product updates. They can power automated service messaging programs across mobile channels, including text (both SMS and MMS), push notifications, and mobile wallet applications like Apple Wallet and Android Pay.

Mark Tack, vice president of marketing at Vibes, says the ability to send transactional messages via mobile wallets and push notifications "are new and exciting areas for mobile messaging."

Vibes' application also takes mobile messaging beyond its traditional marketing purposes. "Once you have them as a customer, it's about how you provide them with timely information about their accounts or other information and getting it to them as quickly as possible at the moment when they need it," Tack says.

Key features of the new application include the following:

  • Channel prioritization. Catapult enables companies to orchestrate, prioritize, and deliver transactional and service updates to customers via SMS, MMS, push notifications, and Apple Wallet and Android Pay notifications.
  • User-friendly transactional messaging templates and logic. Catapult enables users to create message templates, update message content, and set up message logic.
  • Real-time in-platform reporting and analytics. Catapult's reporting capabilities can conduct deep cross-channel analysis to help business users understand transactional messaging’s impact on the customer experience.
  • Subscription management and URL shortening. Catapult enables users to activate in-app features applied to transactional messaging, including a built-in URL shortener and subscription management across channels and message types.
  • Unique APIs for messaging and transactions. Catapult splits, or decouples, messaging content from the transactional APIs, allowing for channel, cross-channel subscriber, and preference logic control.
  • Flexible event API. Catapult's transactional messaging capabilities ensure API integrations are future-proof.

According to Tack, a lot of companies have been asking for this sort of solution for the past six to 12 months.

Leading up to the product launch, Vibes worked with select partners like Esurance to integrate and test the new service. Esurance developed more than 20 transactional messages, ranging from updates that a vehicle is ready at a repair shop to an alert that additional info is needed to continue resolving a homeowner's claim.

Eric Brandt, chief claims officer at Esurance, said in a statement that the solution gave its customers more ways to stay updated:

"As our customers increasingly prefer to communicate and connect with us through their mobile devices, Vibes' self-service messaging solution helps us meet that demand in a seamless, more modern way. Vibes' transactional messaging tool not only gives our self-directed customers more options to stay updated on their claims status via text messages, but it also gives us the ability to manage communication preferences and gain visibility into how our customers are actually interacting with the messages, all from a single interface. As a result, we can improve the actual messages we're sending, increase efficiency, and ultimately help drive revenue by delivering a better customer experience."

Beyond that, Vibes' own research found that consumers actually welcome and prefer to receive these types of messages. The majority of consumers (70 percent) prefer to receive service-based messages on their mobile phones. Most consumers (78 percent) said text message is the fastest way to be reached for important service updates on purchases.

But there are considerations, Tack points out. "The last thing you want to do is bombard customers with the same message across platforms. You need to make sure that it is all orchestrated in such a way that it adds value to the customer," he says.

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