SMS Masterminds helps small businesses better engage with their customers through the use of SMS/text messaging, social media and email. Their ‘Loyalty Rewards Kiosk’ makes it easy for customers to check in using their phone number, earning rewards with each visit, and get notified with offers from the merchant.
Based in San Luis Obisbo, California, the company has about 16 employees in their corporate offices and 75 licensees around the country that sell SMS Masterminds’ service to SMBs in their market. As of January 2014, over 1.4 million people have joined their program.
SMS Masterminds had used their in-house knowledge base to upload videos, case studies and testimonials; they also had a social forum – and it turned into a headache.They wanted a solution that would combine features of a knowledge base and social forum into one easy-to-use interface that would encourage participation.
“The feedback we got from employees who were using our in-house knowledge base was that it was cluttered and that it took too much time to search,” said Alex Minicucci, CEO and Founder of SMS Masterminds. “There was no social aspect to it and we were getting a lot of the same questions from licensees.”
The Search for a Solution
They searched online for a solution that was both a knowledge base and a client forum. Bloomfire was one of the few options that fulfilled both needs in one platform.“We really liked the features Bloomfire offered but it was the simplicity and clean interface that really set it apart from the pack,” said Minicucci. “We liked the fact that we could post content and create a dialogue around that content. We also liked the ability to group/sort content through series. Lastly, being able to answer a question with video or screen capture was a very nice feature.”
The SMS Masterminds corporate office uploads educational materials and case studies to share with their licensees and encourages a dialogue and questions about those items.
The next step will be to roll out some of the permissions options to share some of the materials with the public to create a customer forum.
“Our Bloomfire is easily viewable because we have our own URL and it’s got everything that might be helpful to our licensees including top categories, top tags, and the ability to view their feed by most popular, most recent, or by what’s of interest to them based on who they follow and the groups they have joined,” said Minicucci.
“We are seeing fewer direct calls and emails since more people are empowered to help themselves and collaborate with the larger team,” said Minicucci. “Our licensees know that they can just go on Bloomfire and post the question and it will be answered quickly either by our corporate office or another licensee.”
Before using Bloomfire, SMS Masterminds estimates that only 60 percent of their licensees engaged with the in-house knowledge base. With Bloomfire, that number has increased to 90 percent.
“We were able to increase engagement by fifty percent among our licensees since rolling out Bloomfire,” said Minicucci. “As a result, we have saved a lot of time that we were spending on the phone or on email answering questions.”
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