Most of us instinctively know that messaging is the most effective way to engage with existing customers. The data demonstrates it as well: over 98% of text messages are opened and some businesses have reported an 80% reply rate.
We’ve worked with thousands of businesses and learned some easy tips for getting the most out of messaging with customers.
1. Introduce Yourself
Messaging is an inherently intimate medium. Customers and vendors will have a better experience and continue the conversation if they know who is on the other end. Introducing yourself in the first message is the best way to do that. It’s even easier if you have an auto-signature or template that includes your name. And with messaging, the shortest greetings will help you get to the point with your customers – something they’ll appreciate. Our customers have mentioned that the most common greeting they use is, “Hi, this is <first name> from <company name>.”
2. Personalize It
Once people message your business, they expect to get an answer in seconds to minutes. After that, they will have likely moved on to the next task or app on their phone. Brevity with personalized, targeted messages is the best way to account for that.
One way to do this is to keep notes about each customer. A full history of internal notes, alongside the message history, will provide context for the next message you send a customer.
You can also setup templates, or pre-defined messages, to automatically insert the first name of the contact you’re messaging. This allows the customer to know that you recognize them and can immediately help.
When sending a message to multiple customers, use small lists (fewer than 10 people) to send highly targeted messages. Some businesses report a reply rate of 80% by simply sending short, targeted messages to a handful of customers at a time.
3. Staff Accordingly
If you’re messaging multiple customers, you’ll need to be available to answer the series of replies that will come in one after another. Staff your team accordingly to handle the stream of inbound messages. Saved replies and templates are a great way to efficiently answer all of these customers requests with a consistent level of service. You can also triage conversations by assigning them to the appropriate people on your team.
Messaging is Different
62% of customers now prefer messaging, over phone and email, when communicating with businesses.¹ To adapt to this change, businesses should rethink how every aspect of they interact with customers. That includes the length of messages they share and how responsive to be. In return, you’ll find customers appreciating the quicker resolution time and better transparency.
¹Heymarket Messaging & Positioning Research, IDG Research Services, 2016