How to Turn Holiday Returns Into Opportunities with Conversational Customer Engagement

Customer arranging exchange through conversational customer engagement

Your business can expect a lot of holiday returns. Each year, friends and families give others presents that just don’t suit them—or that they already have. Managing these returns is part of running a business. But this year, don’t think of holiday returns as a burden. With help from conversational customer engagement, holiday returns are an opportunity. 

Conversational customer engagement is a new strategy. It focuses on making one-on-one, personal connections with customers. Business texting solutions are effective tools for conversational customer engagement activities and content. They empower teams to conduct real-time conversations with a personal touch. 

Read on to learn how conversational customer engagement can help your team turn holiday returns into opportunities. 

Make the Process as Smooth as Possible

For some gift recipients, making a return will be their first interaction with your brand. With conversational customer engagement, you can make the returns process a top-notch customer experience that leaves them wanting more. 

Offer an SMS-centric return process. Let customers text your team to ask questions about or initiate the return process. Your team members can text or email return confirmations. Your team can also set up an automation that texts customers with return shipping updates. With your team managing the heavy lifting, customers will feel like this is the easiest return they’ve ever made. 

Personalize all return-related texts to ensure customers know that good customer service is a priority for your brand. Here’s an example of an initial reply to a return request:

Hi there! Amma here. I’m sorry that your gift from Swift Shoes Inc. didn’t work out—let’s make it right! Do you have the order number on hand? Text STOP to stop receiving texts. 

To get the word out about your easy SMS return process, your team should promote your SMS return system on gift receipts, your website, and social media. Let customers know that they’ll need to text in with a specific keyword to opt in to your SMS services

Follow Up with Conversational Customer Engagement

Once a customer opts into your SMS services to make a return, you can text them when you’d like. Of course, you need to keep all of your SMS content business-relevant and customer-focused. If customers feel like you’re sending them spam, they’ll unsubscribe from your SMS services. 

After a customer completes the holiday return process, send a follow-up text. This text can confirm that the return has been received. Additionally, include a personal note ensuring that their return process went well. 

Here’s an example of an effective conversational customer engagement follow-up:

Hi {{customer name}}! Gifts Inc. has received your return. How was the return experience for you? We’d love your feedback! Text back with a number 1-5, 5 being awesome, 1 being not so awesome. Text STOP to stop receiving texts

Asking customers to send a quick numbered reply is a great way to ignite conversations. Once they reply, your agents can ask whether they’d like to elaborate on that number or what they can do to improve the customer experience. Then, your team can work to ensure customers know their experience is a priority. That’s the beauty of conversational customer engagement—it helps begin important conversations.  

Send Conversational Marketing Content in the Future

After you reach out to customers with a conversational customer engagement text, wait a little while before reaching out again. But don’t wait too long. You want to ensure that customers remember your brand when you reach out next. 

Use conversational marketing content to reconnect with customers who made holiday returns. Like conversational customer engagement, conversational marketing is a strategy that focuses on sending interactive content to customers. But where conversational customer engagement focuses on current customers, conversational marketing focuses on leads and inactive customers. 

Conversational marketing content includes:

  • Polls and surveys
  • Invitations to expert SMS advice sessions
  • Product tips or interesting use cases

Here’s an example of a conversational marketing text:

Hi {{customer name}}! Center Lake Baking Tools plans on introducing a product collaboration for the new year. Which would YOU prefer—a collaboration with Celine’s Cookies or Cafe Chocolate? Text back to let us know! Text STOP to stop receiving texts. 

This kind of content encourages leads and customers to reach out, asking your team questions or making their opinion heard. It’s a powerful complement to conversational customer engagement, as it can help you engage your customers in a conversation. Ultimately, conversational marketing and conversational customer engagement work together to empower your team to build strong customer relationships that last. 


Want to learn more about conversational customer engagement? Check out our blog.

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