Learn how to surprise and delight your customers with these marketing tools, tips, and tricks for creating a satisfactory customer experience.
How to Use SMS Marketing to Create a Great Customer Experience
The customer is always right. The customer comes first. There’s definitely no shortage of phrases that describe an ideal customer relations experience. But what do customers really want and expect from your brand?
We can start by sharing some things that certainly won’t hurt any exchange you have with a customer:
- Honest and transparent communication
- Prompt responses to inquiries
- Personalization of communications
While there’s no cookie-cutter catch-all solution, there’s one tool that can help you hit on all three of those marks above. That tool is text messaging.
Look around you right now. How far away is your phone from where you’re sitting? Statistically, for most people reading this, your phone will be within an arms reach away.
That simple fact alone is one of the main advantages SMS brings—accessibility. Texting gives you access to the universal inbox that is almost never ignored. Harnessing that power can help you deliver a customer service experience that exceeds expectations.
Why is texting the perfect way to keep in touch during the customer journey?
It’s not enough to simply bring a new customer to your brand. If you’re hoping to score some customer retention, you need to wow them from start to finish. Texting is a great, noninvasive way to stay in touch with your customer or client throughout their customer journey.
SMS marketing allows you to:
- Automate courtesy messages that check in throughout the purchasing process
- Create one-on-one customer support conversations
- Segment customers based on preferences and behaviors
- Respond in real time to customer requests
- Send personalized communications enabled by data collection tools
- Monitor and track campaign efficacy to ensure you’re delivering relevant and satisfactory material
But simply text enabling your business isn’t enough. If you want to be successful you must commit to the best practices that help you put the needs of your customers first.
What are the best ways to incorporate SMS marketing into an overall marketing strategy?
Texting is personal. It’s a privilege to have a direct line to the same inbox typically reserved for close friends and family. The best way to incorporate SMS into your marketing strategy then is to ensure it connects with the customer and feels worthy of their time.
We’ve written tons of helpful material that cover the essentials of naturally incorporating texting into your communications strategy. You can explore them on our navigating SMS page and our blog. But here a few pieces we think you’ll find valuable:
- 6 SMS Marketing Benchmarks You Should Be Measuring
- Text Message Laws and Regulations
- How Does SMS Fit Into Multi-Channel Marketing?
- Turn Your Target Audience Into Text Message Subscribers
Tools for Using SMS Marketing to Improve Customer Experience
The customer experience is all about making the individual feel special—even if you’re managing hundreds of customers at the same time. Thankfully, there are some features of text marketing that were developed to help you improve customer service. Tools like…
- Templates and Duplicates: Save time by reusing your frequently sent messages, campaigns, inbox replies, autoresponders, and keyword confirmation messages.
- Segments: Segments make it easy to add audience targeting to your text marketing strategy.
- Data Collection: Gather information from your subscribers like their names and product preferences. Go on to store that data in Custom Fields for use in future campaigns.
- Autoresponders: Keep your audience engaged with a staggered series of texts automatically spaced over days, weeks, or months. Perfect for creating drip campaigns.
- Link Tracking: See how often your shortened links are clicked with our advanced analytics. Track results and measure success for each campaign.
How can you take what you learn from each customer experience and improve using SMS marketing?
It’s hard to get things right the first time up at bat. It’s especially hard to knock it out of the park with customer experience because everyone wants something different! Some customers want a high touch experience, others aren’t as friendly when they tell you to kindly buzz off and leave them be.
That’s why it’s so important to observe trends throughout each customer experience and build off of them. For each problem, SMS messaging offers a solution.
The issue: What is the right frequency of messages for your business?
The solution: In order to remain compliant, you must let subscribers know how many messages they should anticipate from you each month. You can use that as an accountability measure that ensures you stick within your promise and avoid sending extra messages “just because” that might drive customers away.
The issue: Am I sending messages that interest my customers?
The solution: Texting can be casual and quick. The perfect environment for soliciting feedback. Texting is a great avenue to directly ask customers if they’re satisfied and exponentially increase your chance of receiving a response (in comparison to email or phone calls). Utilizing link tracking is also a great (sneaky) way to see if customers are actually reading what you’re sending them!
The issue: Am I responding quickly enough to inquiries?
The solution: With business texting, you can sort messages based on priority level. Organize your threads based on messages most recently received, or how long they’ve been waiting. You can also snooze threads and add notes, a useful tool when multiple customer service experts are trying to seamlessly manage the same customers.
Innovative Ideas For Giving Customers a Great Digital Experience
An ideal digital experience isn’t always the newest and flashiest. A recent survey of 2,056 U.S. consumers found that two-thirds of them see themselves as tech-savvy, but their answers to tech-related questions proved that their confidence is inflated.
With a majority of people overestimating their tech-abilities, you run the risk of encountering frustrated customers who blame you for their misunderstanding of the “flashy” technology they demanded.
The moral of this story is: when in doubt keep your digital experience clean, simple, and user-friendly.
Aside from text marketing, some of our favorite emerging trends in digital experience are:
- Artificial intelligence empowered chatbots: create custom pathways that anticipate a user’s needs.
- Creative utilization of videos: Companies like Warby Parker put a personal twist on their help desk videos much to the delight of their customers.
- Random acts of digital kindness: Encouraging customers to interact with your social media can be tricky. Randomly rewarding customers who tweet or post about you on social media with gift cards and discounts is a great way to surprise and delight.
- Illuminate Customer’s Voices: Share your space and invite customers to write guest posts on your blog!
What are some tips for providing excellent online customer service?
No matter where your customers are reaching you, you want to consistently monitor your digital presence as a brand and ensure that they’re being delivered with the best looking product.
You can read a more in-depth guide to providing a good online customer service experiencehere, but here’s a quick spark notes version to get you started.
- If a human isn’t available to chat, don’t let the lead slip. Provide an automated message acknowledging that their request was at least received, as well as a response ETA.
- Optimize customer service contact for mobile devices. Consider adding a Click to Text button on the mobile version of your site or another third-party solution such as Intercom.
- If you have a social media platform, check it every single day, multiple times a day.
- Supplement your auto-responses and chat bots with plenty of digital resources that can help proactively solve customer issues.
- Push messages out to customers to address upcoming changes
Actively working on these tactics is a great way to start ensuring your customers come back for more.
How Positive Customer Experiences Can Increase Sales
There are more ways than ever for people to share their opinions with the world. If your customers are pleased with what they’re getting from your brand, they’ll feel empowered to shout it from the rooftop.
Customers can become your greatest form of advertisement because they’re trusted voices to their peers.
You don’t have to choose between customer service and sales strategies. The best marketed brands in the business know that working the two together is the synergy for success.
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