Customer Retention

5 Ways to Increase Retention with SMS Messaging

It's imperative for businesses, regardless of industry, to retain customers by providing superior support, communications, and experiences.

Every business owner knows that awful feeling of losing a customer.  Depending on what industry you're evaluating, “acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one”. The acquisition rate of a customer is so expensive that it's imperative for businesses, regardless of industry, to retain customers by providing superior support, communications, and experiences. When businesses fail to retain customers, they "churn out", meaning they don't purchase from you again. Reducing your churn rate means you're retaining customers and increasing revenue. 
One of the best ways to retain customers is to communicate with them after the sale to keep your business on top of their minds. Many businesses are turning to SMS messaging (aka “text messages”) to help communicate with customers after the sale. Studies show that “52 percent of customers prefer texting over other support channels when it comes to conversing with businesses”. Below are 5 Blustream-approved tips and tricks to increase retention rates and revenue!
Tip 1: Personalize your messaging
Take advantage of the customization that SMS messaging allows. Being able to speak directly to your customers creates that personal touch that makes them want to buy again! Little things like addressing your customers by name or checking in around important dates or holidays can make a huge difference in turning your business from a generic vendor into a trusted connection.
We also suggest finding a messaging platform that allows for two-way messaging, which enables you to respond to customers in a more personalized way. Using two-way messaging lets you ask relevant questions and get feedback from your customers. A drawback to two-way messaging is that it can be a very manual process, and businesses can forget to respond to customers. To combat this issue, Blustream has not only automated the SMS messaging process, but have incorporated AI and Machine Learning so that your messages become more intelligent and dynamic over time, providing incredibly personalized experiences relevant for each customer. 
Traditional SMS platforms are set up to push sales, personalizing messages based on purchase history. For example, a message from a traditional SMS messaging platform would say, “Thanks for shopping at Lawns international, do you want to buy a new lawn mower?”. While a message from Blustream allows for personalized and contextualized messages based on a holistic customer persona. An example of a message from Blustream in the same scenario could be something like “Thanks for shopping at lawns international. We noticed that you got some rain today! Experts recommend using this fertilizer to protect your lawn.” 
When SMS messaging is only personalized with a customer’s name, and messages are heavily promotional in nature, businesses lose the opportunity to personalize messages further, and customer's churn. 
Tip 2: Message frequency & Consistency
How often should I send out messages? It’s very important to set a schedule for how often you want to message your customers. You don’t want to overload the customer, but you still want to consistently stay in contact. Our standard rule of thumb is to message customers once a week. With that said, a different cadence may be required for different industries, or different products. For example, products that would require a lot of onboarding help after the initial process may require 10 messages in one day as your customer begins the setup process! It can also be helpful to increase messaging tempo before a big event or release of a new product. Overall, it’s important to remember to consider your customer’s needs at every stage of the use of their product, and track engagement and opt-outs to adjust your strategy as needed.
Tip 3: Eye catching/message length
Often, less is more.  The standard SMS message length is 160 characters. Most systems will cut off or split your message into two if you exceed 160 characters.  Also, keep in mind that people don’t want to spend time reading a long text message. Keep your messages short and sweet.
Add action phrases, bold statements, and even questions to catch the reader's attention. Try to think about what represents your business. If you are a birthday party supply store, you might use lots of exclamation points or emojis which wouldn’t work in every industry.
Tip 4: Quick and easy communication with customers
Nobody likes waiting on hold for hours, especially when they need urgent help solving a problem with their new favorite product. With a simple text and the right software solution like Blustream, your business can easily and quickly communicate with your customers in seconds, helping them through any challenge or question they may have.  Make your customers' lives easier (and more fun!) and they will want to come back again and again. Automated communication and personalization, while valuable, can be daunting to think about setting up. With Blustream’s APEX platform and AI-powered messages, it’s easier than ever before. After signing up, it takes less than 2 hours to get setup and running contextual relevant messages to your customers.  
Tip 5: Better know your customers
To create the right messages for your customers at the right time, you need to understand who your customers are. You may want to gather information about how often customers use your products, what type of lifestyle they live, what features they would find helpful, and how they use your products. Blustream’s platform enables businesses to gather this information and uses it to help your customers to have a better experience. The system provides your customers product recommendations and advice on how to get the most out of your products. Understanding who your customers are will increase the likelihood of them continuing to buy and interact with your company. 
So what?
SMS messaging is quick, efficient, and could be the difference between losing or retaining a customer. On average, businesses lose 15 percent of their customers each year. Using the skills and tips we have given you; you can now create stronger bonds with customers and reduce your churn rate!
Get Started with Blustream
Blustream is an after-sale Product Experience Platform that empowers companies to help owners be more successful with the products they love. With Blustream, brands engage their customers with contextualized, data-driven touchpoint messages including tips, alerts, and purchase recommendations, sent at exactly the right time. Today, CEOs, CMOs, and Product Executives use Blustream to create a direct channel with their customers to drive revenue, retention, and referrals. Stay connected to your customers. Learn More.


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