Seven best practices for text messaging with your customers

Women shopper texting on mobile

It’s no secret that people love to text. In fact, according to a Gallup poll, 68 percent of Americans under 30 prefer texting over any other method of communication. But consumers don’t just want to text with their friends and family. Recent research has found that 90 percent of consumers want to use messaging when communicating with a business.

One of the reasons many businesses are reluctant to start texting their customers is because it’s new and they don’t really know where to start. But don’t worry. We’re here to help you identify moments during your customer journey that would be optimal to text with your customers and provide you with some tips to ensure you are successful.

  1. Set appointments and send appointment reminders

One of the biggest frustrations for anyone who owns a service business or operates a medical or dental practice is when customers or patients don’t show up to appointments. This can cost a single medical practice as much as $150,000. Time is money and missed appointments result in wasting both.

But you can eliminate a large number of appointment no-shows by texting out appointment reminders and setting appointments with your customers. This is much less intrusive and time-consuming than having your staff call out and remind customers about upcoming appointments.

  1. Inventory check

It can be frustrating for customers if they drive all the way to your business only to find out you didn’t have what they were looking for. Giving your customers the option to text your business can be very helpful in this situation. Now customers can send you a quick message to check on inventory. Your employees can then send a picture of what you have in stock, providing a better experience for your customers.

  1. Look for opportunities to upsell

Having a texting relationship with your customers will also give you the opportunity to upsell them from time-to-time. This will provide your business with incremental increases in revenue that will not only improve customer satisfaction but also boost your bottom line.

  1. Ask for feedback

A number of our customers have started to replace traditional customer satisfaction surveys with a text message-based survey. These customers see a higher open and response rate because text messaging is more conversational and less intrusive than a survey.

  1. Be a resource to solve problems

Not all of the questions your customers have will warrant a phone call. Some are simple and can often be answered with a very short text. Because texting is more visual than a phone call, it allows your customers to send pictures of a problem they might be having. This can eliminate a lot of confusion that might arise if they were to try and describe the problem verbally.

  1. Close business

This might sound crazy to you, but it’s not uncommon for Podium users to make a sale in a text message conversation – even for big-ticket purchases like a car. Oftentimes, this person is a really hot lead and wants to be connected to the right product or service quickly. If your business isn’t making it as easy as possible to engage with customers, you could be losing out on these ‘easy’ sales.

  1. Collect reviews

Finally, you should invite all of your customers to review your business via text message. Podium’s platform makes it easy for your business to connect your customers directly to review sites they are already using like Google and Facebook. Building up your online reputation is important because it makes it easy for consumers to find your business via online searches, while also helping to influence purchase decisions.

Download the full guide and find out how to get started. For more on Podium and what they offer HFA members, see their Solution Partner page.

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