As marketers, our goal should always be to satisfy our customers wherever they are. As much as we might want to set and control the parameters of every interaction, it doesn't work that way. Greater success lies in allowing the customer to dictate how and where the conversation goes.
These days, priority media across the board appears to be messaging. People – not just the younger generations – seem to be almost allergic to the actual use of phones these days. You can test this theory by trying to order a pizza in a room full of adults and watch each of them say “it’s not so” on the call!
Why is texting so appealing to us? It's easier, for one. It is less intrusive and time consuming. You can multitask while texting in a way you can't when talking on the phone or composing an email. And, if done properly, it is an effective channel to conduct business.
SMS open rates — 99 percent — are simply amazing. Also, it's almost instantaneous; 90 percent of the text is open within three minutes of receipt . In a world filled with endless traffic and noise, text seems to be one of the few ways to get through consistently. They are certainly harder to recover than email or voicemail.
So how can you leverage SMS for your business? First, you'll need to figure out how to enable text functionality through your office or business landline.
Thankfully, our friends at Podium can help you with that. It's not a lengthy or laborious process, but it's also not one you can easily do on your own. I recently presented a webinar on this exact topic – check out the audio for 5 Ways Your Business Can Get More Customers By Texting Them sponsored by Podium.
Once you're all set, put your numbers everywhere. Put it on your website, any business listing, signage inside your traditional location(s), your email signature — you name it! Make sure people know they can text you at that number, then check out the tips below for how you can use text messaging to attract — and retain — new customers. You'll make their life easier — and they'll love you for it.
1. Leverage SMS for Appointments and Reminders
Using text messages to set up appointments (and send reminders for those appointments) can significantly reduce your no-show rate.
The instant nature of messaging will keep your customers interested in their appointments and bookings. Plus, it maximizes your employees' time savings. Fewer absentees and fewer reschedules mean your team can operate at optimal capacity and speed every time.
2. Let your customers text with questions about products or services
All customers have questions. New customers will certainly have more. Being able to text directly will remove the barrier of hesitation for many of them.
They I will ask simple or small questions via text message that they do not want to bother you on the phone. Or they'll ask time-sensitive questions that they wouldn't normally ask over email because they don't have time to wait for an answer. This is especially useful for things like asking for inventory in the warehouse.
3. Text Your Customers Sales Opportunities
You may not think that getting your customers to spend more money with you will improve their satisfaction levels, but it's true! Messaging gives you the opportunity to upsell in a natural, organic way. When it makes sense, you can offer customers add-ons and upgrades to their existing purchases with a quick message. You'll earn a little extra cash, and you'll be able to deliver the right products and services to your customers to increase the overall value of their experience.
4. Receive customer feedback by SMS
Emails may be lost during the scrambling process. There is no telling how many are waiting in the inbox now, never opened. Go ahead and replace those long and boring satisfaction surveys with short and snappy SMS-based surveys.
Podium customers have seen a 26 percent improvement in NPS . score when using Messenger. Great!
People are more likely to respond to a quick message asking them to rate their experience on a scale of one to 10 than they are to click on a three-page online survey asking them to write an essay. Using SMS to respond is unquestionable.
5. Let your customers solve their problems via text
problems sometimes; It is an unavoidable fact. But not every customer problem requires one long phone call or dozens of emails back and forth. Quick, general questions can be answered simply via text message. You can also attach pictures to your text easily if needed.
Need to reschedule? Nothing much. With text, it can be done in minutes. It is this speed and ease that will help you solve problems in the bud before they get out of hand.
These are just a few of the many ways to build messaging into a customer service plan Your business can boost your business. And it all works easily when you have a unified customer engagement platform. The podium can help you get there.
The system consolidates all your text interactions into one easy-to-navigate and manageable dashboard, much like an email inbox. Having this kind of background is essential, as it protects you from conversations on your personal device (which is a terrible idea).
It also assigns chats to the appropriate team members so they are always handled promptly and with an expert hand. Podium engages everyone on the same page internally and ensures that the messaging experience stays cohesive for your customers across the entire site externally.
If you're honest with yourself, you can admit that you'd rather text than call or email. If that's the case, why not offer that option to our customers? Let's keep up with the times and make sure we're getting where the consumer wants to be. There are tools available to help you make the jump with flexibility, so let's get started.