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5 Best Practices For Texting Your Customers

1.    Personalize the message.

Consider this a No. 1 tip for really any form of customer communication – use their name, make it personal, and let it feel authentic and intentional. With Captivated, the {{salutation}} field allows you to insert a customer’s name (similar to any keyword insertion or merge field). This has been proven to increase read/open rates and response rates. Captivated messages can also include a personal signature, with the name of the team member from your company who is sending the text to the customer – this can increase how personal a conversation feels, especially if the team member who is reaching out is someone who has worked with the customer in the past, so there is established rapport there.

2.    No text ‘blasts’ – keep it relevant.

This should go without saying, but there are very few messages, offers, or announcements that can/should go out to everyone in your database or customer list. If you aren’t already doing it, make room in your current processes to start tagging or categorizing customers to better-segment them (for example, tag customers who have purchased a certain number of times, first-time customers who have not yet returned, customers who have purchased a certain product or service, spent a certain amount of money, etc.). This will allow you to send more targeted messages, so they’re more relevant and actionable.

For instance, say you get a new product and would like to announce it; if you just blasted all of your customers with a blanketed text or email, you might generate awareness and get some quick exposure, but it may not feel personal or relevant enough to generate action. With more segmented lists, you might send a targeted and attractive offer to people who have purchased a similar product in the past, because you know they’ll be likely to buy. And likewise, a different offer might go out to customers who haven’t returned, to try to bring them back in. Those are two different strategies, and it would likely take different messages to impact them – just like if you were texting friends individually, you might say things differently to one than the other.

3.    If something doesn’t need to be a call – text them instead (i.e. appt confirmations, order updates, appt-related communications, etc.)

It’s almost 2023. We need to stop hoping customers are going to make time to a) listen to your voicemail, and b) actually call you back, just to confirm an upcoming appointment. That should be a text! And, frankly, texts should be used for any appointment-related messages, because of the convenience they provide: send intro questionnaires or forms, give day-of-appointment instructions, and/or introduce the tech or team member they’ll be working with – and do it all via text so it’s not invasive, but still connects you to the customer. Check out our page on mastering appt-related communications, with an example timeline showing you exactly what to send and when to send it!

4.    Don’t use personal cell numbers

There are a few things wrong with just having your team use their personal phones to work with customers. For one, their personal phone number is now given to anyone they do business with – and that can feel uncomfortable or vulnerable in general. But moreover, there’s little visibility into their conversations with customers – so there’s no way to easily check in on how a conversation is going, or for them to be able to add another team member to the conversation to answer a customer’s question if needed. If that employee is off for the day (or leaves the company), there’s no way to easily cover that customer conversation (and if they’ve left the company, there’s no easy way to ever get that conversation back into your system for your records!).

This is where using a texting provider, like Captivated, can be the easiest and most affordable solution: in Captivated’s case, everyone on your team could use their own phone or even personal computer, but they are using the Captivated app to send messages, so there’s accountability and visibility for every conversation. You could even set up team queues or keyword routing, so certain groups of people can handle different inquiries or conversations based on their roles or specialties.

5.    Keep on a cadence

So your customer bought a product or service – awesome! But when they leave, how are you filling that mental parking space with them until they’re ready to come back in? What if they find a different provider before then, and end up with a competitor? Texting campaigns can be key here (and going back to tip number 3, these should be targeted, relevant, and specific campaigns). If a customer turned down a recommended service, check back with them in a week or a month to see if you can offer them any incentive to come back in. If they’re on an annual subscription, text them a few months before their renewal period to weigh products, add-ons, or other subscription levels.

Your messages do not need to be long (in fact, they shouldn’t be). You don’t have to give your business away by texting significant offers, either. They just need to be relevant enough to capture the right attention, and specific enough to generate the right response.

If you’re already a Captivated customer and would like to figure out how you can level up your texting game or get some help brainstorming new campaigns, we would love to help! And, of course, if you’d like to learn more about how you can get started with us and see results from implementing these 5 tips for yourself – head to our website!