As the saying (more or less) goes: people may not remember what you said or what you did, but they’ll always remember how you make them feel.
When it comes to cultivating strong relationships with your customers, it’s important to realize that it doesn’t all come down to delivering good products, or reliable services. Customer relationships are ultimately about a lot more than reliability and product performance; they’re about feelings. This is why the strongest customer relationships are those that prioritize things like humanized experiences and touchpoints, or non-sales communications that show customers you care about them as much as you care about your business goals.
As far as building out a communications strategy that takes all of that into account, SMS can be a powerful tool that helps personalize your brand experience for users. Personalized experience = the foundation for a strong customer relationship.
Here are a few tips for taking customer relationships to the next level through SMS marketing:
Actively send updates to keep users up to speed.
Customers like brands that keep them in the loop, whether it’s updates about their recent purchases, updates on new products, or general information about what a brand has been up to. Providing customers with value in the form of informational updates creates a relationship that’s about a lot more than you just trying to sell them something; it demonstrates that you care about being transparent and communicative. This goes a long way for consumers as it gives them a sense of assurance and reliability in the experience you’re providing as a brand.
Because SMS is a quick, direct way to communicate with customers, it can be one of the best tools to relay updates, which tend to be timely and can benefit from being seen and engaged with promptly.
Engage in two-way conversations.
Something that is a big friction point for customers is unresponsive or inconvenient customer service. When it comes to customer communications, it’s important to remember that the relationship a brand fosters with customers isn’t one-sided. That is, while a lot of your marketing efforts might consist of talking to your customers through promotional blasts and updates, it’s important to also consider talking with your customers.
SMS marketing offers an easy and familiar channel for you to have two-way conversations with customers that help strengthen their connection to your brand. SMS-enabled customer service, for example, is actually preferred by 52% of consumers. By creating responsive messaging over text that promptly addresses consumer questions and concerns through back-and-forth communication, brands can tremendously improve customer relations.
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Provide value in the form of content.
When you think of using SMS to maximize your sales and revenue, one of the best ways to do that is by offering promo codes or discounts that encourage text subscribers to convert. When we talk about using SMS to nurture customer relationships, though, the measurement of success is less about overall sales performance and more about customer retention and lifetime value.
One of the best ways to utilize SMS for nurturing your customer relationships is using text campaigns to share high-quality content that is relevant and useful to your audience. Content marketing is a huge tool for brands looking to improve overall experience and build a more meaningful relationship with customers. In the same way you might send out a weekly newsletter or update your company blog to create value in the form of content for your users, it’s important to think about how content can play a role in your SMS strategy. Whether that means simply using texts to distribute content or using them to create new content altogether — e.g., interactive texts that customize content, like how brands like Nudge operate — SMS can be a great way to provide additional value to your customers through relevant content that keeps them engaged.
Ask customers for feedback.
Customers appreciate brands that take their thoughts and ideas into consideration. This is especially critical in an age when 89% of businesses are competing primarily on the customer experience front. By asking customers for feedback, whether it’s for a product/service they recently purchased or their general brand experience, your brand can show customers that you’re committed to satisfying their needs and improving your brand experience over time. This helps foster a positive relationship with consumers based on trust and respect.
SMS is an incredibly effective tool when it comes to requesting feedback from users because it is a high-engagement channel that increases the likelihood of someone opening your message and responding. It also helps the request feel a little bit more personal by delivering it via a channel that inherently feels more direct and humanized to consumers than an email blast.