“Customer retention is a byproduct of customer service and experience. Create a good experience, that’s consistent and predictable, and you have a shot at customer retention.” – Shep Hyken via NGDATA.com
I think this quote is spot on when it comes to retaining customers and building loyalty. You don’t even need to have a great product to build loyalty. Just look at McDonald’s. Yes, people say negative things about their food all the time, but if the food is so terrible, then why are they the second largest fast food chain in the world (just behind Subway if you’re wondering)?
It comes down to the two areas Shep mentioned, a consistent and predictable experience.
If you have ever been to a McDonald’s in another country, you will notice that the experience is not too different from the U.S., and even the Big Macs are identical in taste. Creating a consistent and predictable experience makes consumers feel comfortable coming back because they know what to expect which eliminates any friction or hesitation.
So how can your business create a more consistent and predictable customer experience? BETTER COMMUNICATION.
Let’s face it, your customers are not sitting around all day thinking about your brand. For businesses to stay top of mind with customers, fast, efficient and personalized communication is essential. One way to achieve this is with text messaging.
It’s no secret that people like to use text message for personal communication as it’s quick, simple and you don’t even need a smartphone to do it.
Businesses can leverage this popular communication tool to engage customers in ways that can’t be done in other channels. However, as with any technology, some businesses are slow to adopt text messaging as a form of customer communication. This is where your business can get ahead and start differentiating yourself from the competition.
How can text messaging build customer loyalty for your business?
Text messaging is only a tool, but when it’s being utilized in the right ways, it can contribute to customer retention and help your business build solid relationships with your customer base.
Here are 5 ways business text messaging helps build customer loyalty.
1) Personalized Communication
You don’t have to try to be best friends with your customers, but sending personalized text messages to your customers can make them feel special. According to Accenture, 41% of U.S. consumers said they ditched a company because of poor personalization. Treating all your customers the same is a sure way to drive them away to your competitors, so sending customers personalized text messages for birthdays, anniversaries and even notifications and reminders for things relevant to them will show them that you know them and care about them.
2) Instant Customer Service
Consumers today demand immediate service. A 2017 consumer study from Arise showed that when calling customer service, nearly two-thirds selected they are only willing to wait 2 minutes or less before hanging up, and over 13% selected that no hold time is acceptable. Alternatives like website live chat is a great way to provide quick customer service, but it’s limited to customers who have an internet connection.
Text messaging provides that same real-time engagement with minimal effort from the customer while the customer service representatives can provide quicker service by interacting with multiple customers at once.
3) Real-time Feedback
Getting feedback from customers can be challenging, as businesses only hear from 4% of its dissatisfied customers. This low number may be attributed to several factors like intruding on a current task, surveys being too long, or surveys that require too much effort. Text messaging helps to solve most of those obstacles with quick and simple surveys that require minimal effort from your customers.
Receiving real-time feedback means more accurate feedback that businesses can act upon immediately to solve customer issues and improve the overall customer experience.
4) Individualized Marketing Messages
The average person is served over 1,700 banner ads per month, but only half of them are ever viewed. Consumers are trained to tune out advertisements from various channels like tv, radio, and even email due to its impersonal mass blasted message.
Text messaging provides a personalized way for businesses to promote their products and services. In recent years, many CRM companies like Salesforce and HubSpot have added text messaging and social messaging to their software as they also saw an opportunity leverage data to reach and engage customers in a new and personal way.
5) Employee Loyalty = Customer Loyalty
Does having happy employees lead to happy customers? Of course it does! We are all consumers and can easily tell if someone likes their job or not. Employees who enjoy their job will go above and beyond for their customers.
Proper product knowledge and process training are vital to employee satisfaction as a study shows that 15 percent of all customer service agents feel as though they did not receive satisfactory training when it comes to handling consumers requests, which undoubtedly leads to customer dissatisfaction.
Text messaging has proven to have a positive effect on customer service staff satisfaction due to the speed and convenience that it provides. For example, The Hilton Grand Vacations Club at MarBrisa, which uses Zingle’s business text messaging software to service their guests, saw a 110% in staff satisfaction score (from 40 to 84) while also seeing a boost in guest satisfaction as call center volume decreased by 25%. (Read Case Study)
Building customer loyalty is not easy, but with the right strategies and processes in place, you can leverage the power of text messaging to deliver a more consistent and predictable customer experiences that build loyalty.
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