Customer retention is an important goal of any business and there are many reasons for that. For example, did you know that it’s 6-7 times more expensive to gain a new customer than it is to retain an old one? And that loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase?
SMS isn’t only about promotions and coupons. It’s a form of communication between you and your clients. And no other medium is as effective at reaching customers as SMS messages. Customers are over four times more likely to open an SMS text than an email, making it the top choice for customer service.
But how exactly can texting help you increase customer loyalty? Here are some tips:
Conduct mobile polls
Want to know what your customers are thinking? Just ask them. Mobile polling is a fast and effective way to gather information about your clients. You can use mobile polling to gauge customer satisfaction, product preferences, and also to evaluate customer response to future products that you’re planning to launch. Mobile polling not only gives you insight into your customer’s opinions, it also makes the customer feel like you care about what they think.
Use texting to address clients’ problems
The average amount of time it takes someone to open an SMS message is three minutes. And it’s that lighting-fast efficiency that also makes it ideal for addressing customer problems. 70% of customers will do business with you again if you resolve a problem for them. And the top two reasons for losing a customer are:
1) Customers feel poorly treated.
2) Businesses fail to solve a problem in a timely manner.
In the case study of Total Tiles, a hardware dealer in the UK, they used texting to replace email and phone calls in addressing customer concerns. When the company detects that a customer is experiencing technical difficulty on their website, they send a text, thus reducing the bounce rate by 70%. They also send texts to address outstanding issues which had a 92% success rate with significantly reduced timescales as compared to email.
Bottom line: Texting helped them address client problems faster and more efficiently.
Send texts that provide benefits
Whether it’s an appointment reminder, an invitation to an event or a discount on a product, make sure that your texts are relevant to your customer. Texts that don’t provide a meaningful benefit to your customer will start to look like spam and you’ll see more people opting out. Once they’ve opted out of your SMS program, you’ve lost a powerful link to that customer. So make sure you plan your texts carefully.
Don’t spam your customers
Plenty of companies have been sued for sending texts to customers who haven’t opted in. In the case of Papa John’s they were sued for abusing customer data and customers who hadn’t opted in complained that they would be bombarded with texts immediately after placing an order for a pizza.
The lesson here is twofold: first, make sure you don’t abuse customer confidentiality by sending them messages when they haven’t opted in. And second, conduct an SMS campaign with a reasonable amount of texts that don’t overwhelm your clients. And speaking of respect, be sure not to invade your customer’s sleep by sending texts too early in the morning or too late at night. Acceptable texting hours are generally 8am-8pm.
Send targeted texts
Most businesses have the ability to track and analyze customer information including things like demographics, the amount of purchases they make at your business, the frequency with which they shop and the products they prefer. The more personalized you make your texts, the more successful your campaign will be.
For example, if you run a restaurant and a customer normally comes in on a Friday night with their children, you could send them a promotion “John, eat with us tonight and get one FREE Kid’s Meal.” Or if a customer usually buys a bottle of perfume every eight months, you could send them a coupon for a discount on that perfume after seven months. A client who normally has their dog groomed at the end of every month, could benefit from a promotional code for a grooming at the end of this month.
The more specific and targeted your messages are, the more results you’ll get. Customers will feel that you’re paying attention to them and that you care about their satisfaction. Blanket promotions and coupons take less effort to generate and cost less in the short-run. But over time, targeted texts have a higher ROI and create more customer loyalty.
Any business owner can tell you that customer retention saves you money and increases revenue. Businesses who have used texting to address customer service issues to create targeted text messaging campaigns have seen great results in customer satisfaction.