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Texting_and_Customer_Service

When you think of great customer service, chances are some blend of interpersonal conversation, intimate knowledge of the product or service in question, and a willingness to go above and beyond for the consumer help establish an acceptable ideal for this process. While there’s definitely merit to championing all of these points, it’s also important to understand that with every modern advancement via mobile technology, the consumer experience is moving farther and farther away from just what happens within the doors of your brick-and-mortar shop. With this in mind, let’s talk about how adding in a few customer service features to your SMS marketing operations could give you a crucial advantage over the competition that’s still stuck focusing on the best practices of the past.

The Particulars of SMS Messaging as a Consumer Service

If you’re familiar with how SMS marketing works, chances are you’re probably wondering just how this medium actually helps enhance the service offered to your customers. Sure, you’re already offering deals, discounts, and vital product information via text, but what else can you really do to make this connection even better?

According to Michael Essany of Mobile Marketing Watch, it’s all about answering the questions and inquiries that matter most to these shoppers. Whether it’s offering account balances and notifications via text, or firing off sales confirmations and fraud warnings, utilizing texts to handle any problems that would require the helping hand of a customer service professional is the key to deploying this SMS “trump card” on behalf of your brand.

Supporting This Shift

Obviously, all of this sounds nice, but is making this move really what your customers want? If the information offered up by T.J. McCue of Small Business Trends is any indicator, the answer to this question is an emphatic yes. Essentially, there’s nothing your customers would rather be doing than texting – especially when compared to more traditional methods of reaching out to brands and organizations. Considering that text messages have a 98 percent read rate, in addition to the fact that consumers read most of these texts within 15 minutes, it’s safe to say that there’s plenty of extraordinary data to back up such an extraordinary claim.

Making This Move Your Own

Logically, now that we’ve set up the reasons why customer service deserves a complimentary role beside your standard SMS marketing tactics, it’s time that we tell you how to implement this system. Unfortunately, there’s no “one size fits all” method or process that translates to every brand. With each audience you add into the mix, as well as an ever increasing number of products and services with their own problems and concerns, the formula for success becomes even more muddled and convoluted.

However, that doesn’t mean you’re completely in the dark when it comes to establishing a customer service texting system that goes hand in hand with your brand’s other text operations. As Kern Lewis of Forbes magazine explains, your best bet to adding text messages to your customer service repertoire and giving these shoppers what they want is by starting with the big picture, specifically in terms of service, and working your way up from there. By doing this, you can build peace of mind and spread quality service among the loyal shoppers that rely upon your brand.

For instance, as you delve into the consumer data surrounding your audience, think about what problems and issues face these individuals on a daily basis, as well as how you could eliminate these concerns with a simple text. Even if you have to get a little conceptual with your thinking by putting yourself in their shoes from time to time during the development of this system, you’ll still find that all of this hard work is well worth your time and effort.

Going Above and Beyond for Your Customers

Of course, this is simply the beginning of the steps that go into integrating customer service into your text operations. As great of a start as this discussion has been in terms of getting you acclimated to this new take on two formerly disconnected services, if you want to stay one step ahead of the competition on this front, you simply can’t stop here. Whether it’s increasing your marketing efforts and spreading the word about this new take on customer service within your target demographics, or testing out new features and offerings from time to time, avoiding the temptation to rest on your laurels is the key to sustained success on both the SMS and customer service fronts.

 

 

We have seven new templates for our clients this week.

You can check them out below or in our template gallery in the Holiday and Retail sections.

Check back here next week to see what our team will come up with next.

 

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We have 10 new templates for you this week.

They can be found in the Basic and Retail sections of our template gallery.

Check them out below or click the link to see all our templates in our online gallery.  And don’t forget to check back next week to see what new templates we will have for you then.

 

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This week, we are releasing 6 new templates for our customers.

You can find them in the religious, retail, and card sections of our template gallery.

Check back here again next Friday to see what new templates we have for you as we move further into October.

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We are releasing 9 new templates for our customers this week.

You can find these new templates in the promotion, religious and retail sections of our template gallery or check them out below.

Our design team is still hard at work so check us out next Friday to see what new templates we have for you then.

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retail232 retail233 retail234
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Someone recently forwarded me an interesting article on FastCompany titled “Can A Startup Store Change The Retail Business?” (read full article) that I thought was worth mentioning here because of how this neat new retail concept is using email marketing.

The basic idea is that a new store has opened up in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood that features a rotating selection of startups and their products at this retail outlet. Essentially, the store completely changes and has a new design and all new products (featuring new startups) every 4 – 6 weeks. This constantly changing inventory and complete reinvention every several weeks is a very interesting idea and certainly keeps things very fresh. After all, most people assume that if they visit a retail store today and then visit it again in a few months, that the product lineup would be something similar. I mean, imagine the next time you walked into Best Buy you found out they no longer dabbled in electronics but sold something totally different.

Most retail stores already understand the importance of email marketing to keep their customers up to date on the latest sales, new items, new store openings, etc, etc. For those retail outlets, email marketing is a crucial part of their marketing mix… and, in those cases, their product lineup is usually the same. Now imagine how important it is for this new “Startup Store” where the store literally reinvents itself every 4 – 6 weeks! The communication strategy for a store like that is even more vital because they constantly need to be telling their customers what is in the store right now, and it can be entirely different than the week before.

According to the entreprenuer who founded this new venture, Rachel Shechtman, a whopping 75% of the people who have come into the store have given their email address to join their mailing list and be informed of the stores next new theme. That amount and percentage of mailing list growth is incredibly impressive! Plus, it highlights the fact that when people are interested in an organization, they are eager and willing to give out their email address so they can receive updates.

The faster their mailing list continues to grow, the more they are going to be able to reach out to people and drive them back into the store. In this case, the email may just be the key driver of all in-store traffic because people might wait until they get an email focusing on what the store has this week that is appealing to them before taking the trip back (and risk being disappointed if nothing is interesting to them).

I always love seeing new unique ideas like this, and since I’ve always got email marketing on the brain, seeing a new venture (even one that is a traditional brick-and-mortar store) have email at the heart of the marketing and communications strategy is great.

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