One of the most common ways to communicate with friends, loved ones, and colleagues is through text messaging. In fact, every day, about 6 billion messages are exchanged in the United States alone. This goes to prove that text messaging is an effective communication tool that stands the test of time. Business owners need to take notice of this and incorporate SMS messaging into their business.
Three Ways SMS Messaging Can Help Improve Customer Experience
Text messages have a higher opening rate than emails because the recipient gets an automatic notification, making them hard to go unnoticed. If you are running a business, you may be a bit hesitant to switch to text messaging. Understandably, this is a big change, but it’s also a great way to get in touch with your clients on a personal level.
There are also privacy concerns where some business owners feel like a text message is intrusive. Still, it is necessary that you effectively reach your customers. You can use text messages to improve the customer experience and make them want to buy your products and services. Here are three major ways to do that.
Use SMS to Make Targeted Marketing Offers
Text messaging is an excellent tool for targeted marketing. Look at the customer’s purchase history and preference, then schedule text updates informing customers about vouchers, discount codes, and upcoming sales. You can also take advantage of QR codes that allow you to split your customers into groups based on specific keywords and send highly tailored messages. You can also use location-based texting when your clients are in the store.
Studies have shown that there is a high redemption of in-store offers. Say a customer is shopping for a dress. If they get a text informing them they will get 20% off after spending a certain amount, they will likely reach that target. If someone at home gets the same message, they might feel motivated to shop even if they didn’t plan to. Other tips on using SMS for targeted marketing offers include:
- Know your customers
You can get a customer relationship management tool to help you make targeted offers. Look at the purchase history and the location to ensure you are sending the right messages to customers.
For instance, if you are in a cosmetic shop, sending a message on your new anti-wrinkle cream to someone in their twenties is not wise. Also, if you have a selective offer for your store in Houston, try not to send messages to customers of the Boston store.
- Write a clear message
Try and keep your messages short, clear, and concise. Go straight to the point as that quickly catches the attention of the customer.
- Recognize special occasions
It is also a great idea to recognize special occasions like birthdays or a customer’s first anniversary with you. You can then reward them with a special offer such as a discount or a gift.
Provide Customer Service
Another way to enhance customer experience through messaging is by providing customer service. SMS marketing should not just be about you sending texts to customers. It is also a great way to ensure you are receiving messages from customers. You can enhance customer service by allowing customers to text you back as well. Most people prefer using text messages for comments and inquiries.
Texting is cheap, fast, and can be done anywhere. So when you start using a service like appointible.com, you make yourself accessible. It also helps reduce the amount of time used in resolving issues. In return, you get to enjoy a high rate of customer satisfaction. Some of the ways you can improve your customer service through SMS include:
- Respond to texts as fast as possible
If a customer texts you back with inquiries and comments, try and respond as fast as possible. You can also have chatbots that respond to common customer inquiries quickly.
- Keep your tone in mind
Text messaging is often less formal and more casual compared to traditional channels like emails and phone calls. Therefore, if this is something that your customer service team lacks experience in, you can train them. The conversation needs to be friendly but with a professional tone that matches your brand’s standards.
- Personalize communication
Texting is a personal channel of communication. It’s what your customers use to communicate with close friends and family daily. Once you decide you want your brand to use this marketing tool, try and provide a personalized experience. That means addressing customers by their names in the salutation followed by your message. Getting additional customer information like location, purchase history, etc., can help you tailor personalized messages to customers.
Do Not Use It Negatively
While text messaging is a great marketing channel, it can also create a negative customer experience. For instance, it can be annoying and frustrating to keep sending messages to customers that they have not signed up for. This behavior can easily create resentment where customers feel you do not respect them. It is necessary only to send text messages to customers that have opted into the service. Other common SMS marketing mistakes include:
- Not providing a clear way for customers to opt-out of the service
You gave your customers an easy way to opt into the SMS service, so make sure opting out is just as easy. For instance, you can include a line like “Text STOP to unsubscribe” at the bottom of your message.
- Being disrespectful
As mentioned earlier, text messages are more personal than other types of marketing channels. It is therefore essential not to abuse your privileges once a customer opts into the service. Even if you are sending automatic messages, time them adequately and ensure they’re respectful and transparent. Otherwise, you will start getting angry messages from frustrated customers and losing them.
- Sending too many messages
One way that is likely to drive your customers to opt out of your SMS service is by sending too many messages. As much as you are trying to be relevant, do not overdo it. About two to three messages in a week will do.
Smartphone usage is deeply integrated into society. That is why SMS marketing is an excellent marketing opportunity, especially when combined with modern smartphones and the internet. Take advantage of these text messaging tips to improve customer experience in your business!