Customer engagement is a huge focus for businesses—with good reason. As a recent Brand Keys study revealed, a customer loyalty increase of 7% can boost a business’s lifetime profits per customer by as much as 85%. It’s no wonder that businesses invest so much time and money into engaging customers and building relationships with them through channels like social media and business SMS. After all, it’s less expensive to keep existing customers than find new ones.
Business texting is already primed for strong customer engagement. Customers read 98% of all text messages, and read 90% of them within the first three seconds of receipt. All businesses need is a little creativity with their business texting strategies to more effectively engage with customers.
Read on to discover 6 creative ways to engage your customers—and secure their loyalty for the future.
Want a step-by-step look at building strong customer relationships through texting? Read our Beginner’s Guide to SMS Customer Engagement.Get the guide
Send Polls—and Post the Results—through Business SMS
Customers provide feedback through business SMS all the time. Why not switch it up with something a little more useful and fun? Regular polls are a great way to understand your customer better, and show that you care what they think. After all, 79% of consumers only buy from companies that prove they care about earning their business.
Product release feedback. To give customers a voice, ask your SMS list to pick which design they prefer for your upcoming product release or similar upcoming event. These polls will demonstrate that you are interested in your customers’ opinions, and will give you useful feedback to boot.
Serious poll in disguise. Sometimes you just need to know what customers will be interested in before you plan an event or begin a new marketing campaign. For example, which is a better springtime event: a backyard barbeque, or lake-side picnic? These polls will be fun for customers but will also help your teams make important decisions.
Misc poll. What is your favorite Beyoncé song: “***Flawless” or “Sorry”? Who will win the next Superbowl: The New England Patriots or the Arizona Cardinals? These are questions few customers will be able to resist, and fun ways to drive up engagement.
Don’t forget to send the results of your business text messaging polls afterwards; people love to see how their opinions compare to those of their peers.
Play Games via Business SMS
By 2020, nearly 64% of the U.S. population is expected to regularly play games on their phones. Why not take advantage of that enthusiasm?
Offer a weekly round of a simple game, and be sure to create a simple leader board to instill some friendly competition in you SMS list. Simple, business texting-friendly games include:
- Trivia: What brand made the first mass-produced sneaker?
- Song Lyrics: Name this song: “I see a little silhouetto of a man / Scaramouch, Scaramouch will you do the Fandango”
- Fill In The Blanks: The best afternoon snack of all time is _______.
- Would You Rather: Would you rather eat only bananas for the rest of your life, or key lime pies?
Business SMS games can reap impressive results. For example, Spartan WR’s marketing specialist, Christine Johnson, started playing daily games, like bingo, with her target audience and provided small rewards for winners, like $50 and $100 gift cards. By playing the games through business SMS, she easily managed her 85 recipients’ responses. She ramped up customer engagement, formed close relationships with her recipients, and, ultimately, increased Spartan’s monthly revenue by nearly $8,000.
Offer Business SMS Drawings or Rewards
Sixty-one percent of customers think that surprise offers or gifts for being a customer are the best way to engage them and earn their loyalty. These rewards don’t necessarily have to be huge, but they do need to be special in order to interest your customers. This kind of program is most effective when offered to a targeted list of users, like customers who purchased something within the last year or customers who indicated interest in a new product.
Drawings: Offering a small, biweekly drawing for a gift card to those who text in a special word will encourage people to check their phones and text in—and maybe even sign up for your business texting services in the first place.
SMS-specific discounts: Send business text messaging list members featured coupons that they can show store associates for a small discount or free add-on to an order. Don’t send coupons too often, or you may annoy list members and cause them to opt out of your SMS services.
Early sale notifications: Providing your SMS list members with exclusive, early notifications about sales that haven’t been advertised yet will make them feel special, and possibly encourage them to head to your store before their favorite products are snatched up.
Remember: send rewards notifications sparingly to avoid customer opt-outs.
Start a Business SMS Q&A Program
Today, 73% of consumers say they’re willing to pay more for a company that promises more transparency. To demonstrate that your company is dedicated to open communications, offer SMS as an ongoing Q&A channel.
When sharing details about your new Q&A program, explain that your teams can answer any questions put to them. In turn, be sure your teams can answer a wide range of questions like:
- What fabric is your design team’s favorite to work with?
- Are your products ethically sourced?
- How do I become a team member with your brand?
- Is there a way to pre-order your newest product?
- How do you choose the people who provide your services?
Ensure team members include their signatures at the end of each answer. Personalization is a great way to let customers know there is a real person, not a bot, taking the time to answer their questions. With this level of friendly, open communications via business SMS, you’ll encourage people to connect with your business on a whole new level.
Send a Friendly Message via Business SMS
Finally, one of the best ways to encourage customer engagement through business text messaging is with some good, old-fashioned SMS customer service.
Instead of talking about lists, let’s talk about using automations to automatically follow up with customers after a customer service request to ensure they’re happy, have additional questions, or a CSAT survey. Checking in with the individuals provides an opportunity for them to tell you whether anything is wrong, or if they are completely satisfied.
These small touches let your customers know that you’re constantly thinking about them—and want them to get the most out of their purchases.
Ready to boost your customer engagement strategy with business SMS? Read our Beginner’s Guide to SMS Customer Engagement.