OpenMarket – August 13, 2018
To improve customer retention, look at your SMS history with your mom. No really.
When businesses try to improve customer experience, they tend to focus on measures that will improve customer acquisition.
But in most cases, customer retention should be just as big a priority.
So if you’re going to get it right, you need your customers to enjoy being part of an ongoing conversation with you.
This is particularly true for A2P (application-to-person) text messaging. Get SMS messaging wrong and it’s a spammy experience that’s no good for anyone.
Luckily, there’s already someone out there who is thrilled to be receiving text messages from you.
And there are some valuable lessons you can learn from how you text your mom that will positively impact the way you do CX. Really.
The CX of texting mom
You may not think about your mom like a customer. But when you think about your customers like you think about your mom, some important things happen. You start being more helpful and you stop taking them for granted.
Here are five big principles of texting your mom that are fundamental to effective customer retention strategies.
Don’t waste mom’s time
A fair amount of marketers forget the fundamental rule when sending an SMS: How relevant is it to the person receiving it? If your mum was going golfing on a hot day and you sent her a reminder to pack sunscreen, think how touched she’d be. You can do exactly that for your customers with an automated SMS (and they’ll appreciate it a lot more than another sales message).
Tell her what’s going on
If you’ve got a plan with your mom for the weekend and the plans change, you let her know. You’re helpful like that. In the exact same way, flight companies can send their customers an SMS to let them know of a gate change or a delay. You wouldn’t put the onus on your mom to find out that plans have changed, so don’t be one of those marketers that does it to their customers.
Don’t talk at her
No one likes a conversation that only goes one way. If a company is contacting a customer but there’s no way for that customer to talk back, how do you think that makes them feel? How would it make your mum feel if she couldn’t reply to your messages? Now imagine the alternative. A system where a customer in a pub can order a drink by SMS and get a text reply with their receipt.
Sometimes Do Not Reply messages are necessary – but a lot of times they just make it harder for customers to tell you what they need.
Ask about her day
How does your mom know that you care about her? You ask questions. CX is no different. If you set up a quick survey for your customers after they’ve bought your product, they know you care about them. And if they aren’t happy, you get ahead of the problem, potentially turning a disgruntled customer into a loyal one.
We all know that when you’re reminding your mom about doing something for you that she’s forgotten about, you need to remind her tactfully, and at the right moment. But it’s another thing that marketers seem to forget when communicating with customers. A tactfully timed ‘can you still attend?’ with a simple response mechanism will feel like care, not condescension, and your customer will thank you for it.
The key to keeping customers: empathy
When you text your customers like you text your mom, you tap into the natural empathy needed to turn your customer experience into a real driver for growth.
Your customer feels more engaged, they tell their friends (and moms) about you, and they’re more likely to buy from you next time you send them a product message. As long as it’s a relevant one.
These are all simple things that you’ll be able to start doing today, just by tapping into the instincts you already use when texting mom.
And if customer retention is a priority for your business, they’ll be well worth the effort.
(Also, if you haven’t texted your mom recently, get on that too.)
Want to know more about how to leverage A2P SMS, check out: The A2P SMS messaging workbook.