Customer feedback has the power to nourish businesses—strengthening their ability to attract new buyers through positive reviews, while improving products and services with feedback from the existing consumers that constitute their base.
However, creating surveys and the messaging around review requests can be a time-consuming process. What’s more, the effort is only worthwhile if the reviews lead to an increase in conversion rates. The best way to ensure your efforts net a response is to communicate in a way they’re most likely to receive, open, and actually read.
Business SMS is one of the best channels to engage with customers and inspire them to provide feedback about your products or services, customer service practices, and overall brand experience. The advantage of these two channels lies in both open and response rates.
SMS Marketing & Text Messaging Answer The Call For Customer Feedback
These days, people are rarely, if ever, away from their smartphones. And when they do pick up their phone after any amount of time away from it, the first thing they do is check to see if they’ve received any messages or notifications. And the evidence is not merely anecdotal. Check out these stats:
According to marketing campaign management research, SMS boasts a 98 percent open rate. Engagement rates via business text messages are high, too, with a response rate of up to 80 percent. This decimates email, which has an open rate of 20-30 percent and a response rate of a paltry 6 percent. Not only that, 90 percent of SMS messages are read within three seconds.
And it’s not only the open rate that benefits when businesses deploy SMS efforts. In terms of conversion rates, 32 percent of recipients respond to SMS offers, with texted coupons being redeemed 10 times more often than traditional coupons. Meanwhile, 29 percent of SMS marketing message recipients click on the links they receive, with 47 percent of those going on to make a purchase. That’s close to a 14 percent conversion rate. Also, research by Smart Insights shows that SMS-based surveys also enjoy high conversion, with 31 percent of consumers responding to the request to take a survey, often within five minutes of receiving the message.
The Difference Between Customer Reviews and Customer Feedback
On the surface, it may seem like the two things are fairly similar: you’re asking for someone to provide a comment on the product and/or service they’ve bought from you…right? But the difference between reviews and feedback comes down to a simple distinction: visibility. While customer reviews are typically intended for publication for as wide of an audience as possible, feedback is the process of gathering in-depth information that your internal teams can use to identify pain points and flaws, and improve your products and processes going forward.
That distinction also means you need to be careful about which consumers you’re targeting these requests to: given how important peer reviews are as part of the buying process, it’s critical that you have systems in place to only ask your happiest customers–a/k/a the “evangelists”–to provide them. One rule of thumb to keep in mind is that negative reviews will always find you while positive reviews, more often than not, have to be requested.
For feedback, meanwhile, almost the opposite is true: while it’s certainly worth asking your happiest customers what they love, many of your best insights are likely to come from those who haven’t had the smoothest experience.
The Best Time to Send Text Messages & Marketing Surveys
Since you can count on 20 percent of consumers clicking on a link in a text message, you should consider sending messages at the best possible moments during the customer journey.
Request feedback on a recent purchase or service. After a customer makes a purchase, suggest they sign up for your SMS or texting service. If they opt in, offer a short survey to rate their satisfaction.
Request a review following positive feedback. When a customer has indicated a high level of satisfaction with their purchase and/or the service they have received, it’s a perfect time to follow up with a review request. Whether you’re linking to a review form on Google, Amazon, Yelp or your own site, there’s no time like the present. Even better, with a solution like Salesmessage, you can add an event trigger to automatically schedule this followup for you.
Request feedback after a text-based support session. Since the customer is already using a messaging service to communicate with you, this is the perfect time to ask for feedback about your customer service team.
Send a more in-depth survey at a later date. Measuring customer experience long after they’ve made a purchase can provide valuable information. Sending a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey tends to receive high response rates when sent around two weeks after the customer’s journey is complete.
Keep Your Text & SMS Messaging Professional
Even when writing in the shorthand often associated with text messaging, your style should always sound just as professional as your emails and other communications. It’s best to adhere to best practices when communicating through business texting and SMS surveys, no matter what stage of the buyer’s journey you find your customer.
Here are a few quick points to keep in mind:
- Stay on brand. Mention your company’s name.
- Be positive. Maintain a polite tone no matter the customer’s response.
- Keep it short and sweet. Brevity will keep the conversation going.
- Schedule text messaging. Stay consistent in messaging and marketing efforts.
- Proofread multiple times. Spelling and grammar errors could spell your doom.
Any text messaging marketing programs you deploy can have many benefits. While people have constant access to their email via smartphones, they still open text messages at a much higher clip. SMS plays a fundamental role in any marketing strategy—and it’s a role that will only continue to expand.
The key to making all of this work is the ability to trigger messages automatically based on specific events, and to coordinate your SMS outreach with your other marketing channels. While Salesmessage integrates seamlessly with many existing CRM solutions, this functionality also exists natively within our platform, meaning you can easily filter customers while using out broadcast feature to target requests for requests for surveys, interviews, reviews and more. To learn more about how Salesmessage achieves this, and how we can help take your business texting to the next level, sign up for a free trial today.