Increasing Customer Engagement Using SMS – Unwrap 10 Simple Techniques
10 min read
In this post, we take you through how you can increase customer engagement using SMS and SMS communications best practices. Discover the power of a simplified communication channel that can activate a variety of strong customer engagement activities.
As a business leader, you know that each customer experiences numerous touch points with your company throughout their life cycle. Each of these touch points provide an opportunity to engage with your customer, have a positive interaction, and move them to the next stage while creating a positive experience for them. Finding ways to engage with your audience is one of the toughest problems you face as a company. The key is to truly listen to and talk to your customers – share news, tell a story, listen to them, reward and delight them, and keep them coming back for more.
Before we begin, let’s answer a pertinent question.
Why use SMS for customer engagement?
SMS messaging, thanks to its pervasiveness and popularity, has proven to be a powerful and effective tool in the customer engagement and marketing strategy of many leading businesses. 97% of smartphone users regularly use text messaging, making it undisputedly the most widely-used feature or app. SMS message click-through rates average 35%, over 10 times theCTR of emails, making them an incredibly effective means to communicate with current and potential customers.
But more importantly, SMS is how customers want to interact – more customers would prefer texting versus email or phone calls. According toDigital marketing magazine, 75% of customers want to receive offers via SMS. Texting puts power in the hands of the customers. Empowered customers make for happy, engaged, and loyal customers.
Boost Customer Engagement Using SMS
#1. Get to know your customers
Customer engagement isn’t just about deriving value from your relationship with your customers, but also diving deep to focus on the value you can deliver to your customer. Collecting data to learn all about your customers’ needs, preferences, buying patterns will help your customers develop an emotional connection with your company. Be it through SMS polls, surveys, or questionnaires, go that extra mile to truly get to know your customers.
#2. Keep customers updated on progress
This one’s a no-brainer. Use SMS to keep customers continuously updated on something that is important for them. Used correctly, it can be a very positive surprise for them to receive the right information at the right place and time.
#3. Personalize and target
73% of customers want to engage with businesses that use their personal information to provide more relevant shopping experiences for them. Implementing personalization and targeting could be as simple as thanking a customer for a recent purchase, directing them to another product they might be interested in, or even a reminder to buy something they’ve bought before.
You could also use segmentation to send personalized SMS messages based on their recent behavior. For example, you could entice a customer who hasn’t made a purchase recently, with a personalized offer or a discount.
You can further create personal discount codes and URLs for their contacts so that anytime a customer uses a code or clicks on a link, you can track their behavior to guide their next steps. For example, using a personal discount code while making a purchase which triggers a personalized follow-up thank-you message, and offering similar products.
This approach works because besides increasing customer loyalty and retention by offering products/services that are valuable to customers, it also eliminates expenses on ‘blanket’ marketing campaigns that at best, have moderate success.
#4. Integrate SMS with your outbound marketing and advertising
Get customers to text in an ‘SMS keyword’ in response to an offline campaign to unlock discount codes, special offers and event invites, could boost engagement and convert leads in an omnichannel setting.
#5. Run polls and surveys
Engage with your customers by using SMS polls that provide them with a platform where they can feel free to express their true opinions. It also lets customers know that you value their opinion and that your business is there to serve them. You can also use SMS to integrate Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys to understand how your customers perceive about your business.
#6. Make targeted marketing offers via SMS.
SMS is a powerful channel for targeted marketing offers. Based on customer preferences and purchase history, you can schedule text updates announcing upcoming sales as well as discount codes or vouchers. Geo-location tools can also be used to send offers to customers when they are in-store, as many studies have shown high redemption of in-store offers.
#7. Remind of events, appointments, or pending purchases
Use SMS to promote events so that people get the information in a timely manner. The immediacy of SMS makes it ideal for promoting events that are time-sensitive. You can also use SMS to remind customers of important appointments, pending purchases, or their shopping carts. This timely thoughtful gesture could be all it takes for your customer to engage further.
#8. Improve customer service
SMS is a very personal method of communication makes it ideal for customer service. It’s no surprise then that64 percent of customers choose SMS over voice if the choice is presented to them. SMS connects with your customers directly, making it a secure and private space where customers express their feedback and complaints freely.
Texting gives the customer a record of the conversation as opposed to voice calls where the recorded conversations are only available to the agents. This again places the power in the hands of the customer, leading to more empowered and engaged customers.
#9. Provide tips and advice
This content marketing exercise using SMS lets you use customer information to delight them with timely advice and thoughtful tips that help you develop an emotional bond with your customer while showing them that you care, while also letting your brand’s personality shine through everything you do.
#10. VIP, Loyalty clubs
People love feeling like insiders. Build customer investment and loyalty by creating VIP and loyalty clubs based on their buying habits, preferences, demographics, geographies, and other identifying information. Send targeted messages exclusive deals, early access to events and other messages that make them feel special and rewarded for their loyalty.
Make your message relevant – A well-executed customer engagement strategy enables you with knowledge and insights that truly add value to the customer. Make sure your SMS messages are concise, easy to understand, up-to-date, and relevant.
Think about timing – Devise your campaign to think about your customer and what their day looks like so that you’re engaging them at the right time. Remember that your customers have trusted you with this information and access, making it imperative that you use it smartly and judiciously.
Make your message easy to act on – One of the main benefits of using SMS messaging is the immediacy of delivery and response. Highlight exactly what they can do and how long it will take them. Your customers will love you for it.
How important is it for your business to have your customers loyally coming back to buy from you?
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