Drive Customer Engagement and Build Loyalty with Mobile Messaging
Mobile messaging has an important role to play in driving customer engagement and building loyalty with your users. It enables businesses to connect more directly with their audiences to understand their customers better, provide a better service and develop a stronger relationship with their audience.
What is Mobile Messaging?
Mobile messaging typically refers to any text-based message to mobile devices, such as SMS and MMS, instant messaging services like WhatsApp, and can also include social media communication targeted at mobile users. Email is usually not included in this list despite its availability on mobile devices.
These are 6 of the most impactful ways that mobile messaging can engage your customers and strengthen their brand loyalty:
1. Keep it relevant
Every message you send to customers should be relevant to their interests. Customers dislike irrelevant messaging, and it doesn’t get results. In fact, 79% of consumers say they will only engage with a promotional message if it reflects their past interactions with your brand. Besides annoying your customers, this is also a great way to run afoul of texting regulations such as GDPR. These require businesses to only text consumers about specific topics that they opted into beforehand. Failing to do this will result in fines and risks your future messages getting flagged as spam.
Instead, use your customer browsing and purchase history to only send news and offers to those who might be interested. If you want to promote a sale of a specific product or service category, you might only message customers who have recently bought or viewed a related product or service. This means you don’t waste money sending marketing messages that won’t go anywhere, and customers stay engaged with your texts because they always provide an offer they might actually use.
For example, if a customer recently bought summer clothing from your store, then they might like to get an offer for other seasonal items and accessories such as sunblock and sunglasses, but promoting other clothing items such as business attire probably isn’t relevant to their needs.
Getting users to interact directly with your mobile messaging is one of the best ways to drive customer engagement. Interactive mobile messaging can be used to share useful tips and information, gather feedback or create a fun experience to participate in.
Contests and other events to request and share content created by your customers increase engagement by creating opportunities for user-generated content. Customers can take part in and share these events with their friends on social media. For example, Whole Foods Market encourages users to share pictures of their shopping carts on Instagram. This helps turn shopping into a fun experience that customers can share on social media, while at the same time the image helps promote Whole Foods products to their Instagram friends and followers.
Social media posts involving UGC generate 28% higher engagement than other posts.
Surveys and Polls
Surveys and polls have several uses. They can be used to start interesting discussions on relevant topics, get customer opinions on what they want from your industry or gather feedback about their experiences with your business. Customers are more engaged with businesses when they feel they can influence its direction. This is why companies that proactively reach out to improve their customer experience increase engagement by an average of 20%.
Chatbots and autoresponders
Chatbots, chat plugins, and automated responses encourage customers to interact with your business by ensuring they can always get an immediate answer. These can answer simple queries regarding your brand and services, enabling customers to learn more about your business without calling or waiting for an email reply.
3. Promote self-service
Self-service enables customers to get help and answers on their own terms, at any time. This is especially true for mobile users, and mobile messaging facilitates a wide range of self-service options.
Besides answering customer queries, chatbots and SMS autoresponders can also carry out many customer service tasks such as booking appointments, sending reminders, and providing order updates. These methods can also be used to share and increase awareness of your other self-help resources by linking to online FAQs, tutorials, blog posts, and videos.
For example, a customer who recently bought exercise equipment might need help setting it up or using it correctly. Instead of waiting for a response from your support team when they would rather be getting started with their new purchase, the customer could text a keyword to your number according to the help they need. A keyword like ‘SETUP’ could prompt a link to the manufacturer’s instructions or ‘WORKOUT’ to get links to videos of suggested workouts.
4. Referral programs
Giving discounts and other benefits for sharing a referral link is a great way to reward customers for their enthusiasm about your business. These are especially effective when they can enhance customer’s use of your products or service. For example, Tesla gives customers free charging equivalent to 1,500 km per referral, so that referring potential buyers enables existing owners to use and enjoy their own car more.
Make sure customers can easily find their referral code or link using a mobile device, and the process is easy for their recipient to complete on mobile as well. A simple, mobile-friendly referral process means new customers can act on their friend’s recommendation straight away instead of putting it off until later or forgetting about it entirely.
5. Affiliate marketing programs
While affiliate programs are most often seen as a way to reach new audiences, they can also drive existing customer loyalty and engagement. For starters, these can set up collaborations and closer communication with existing customers who become affiliates.
That means affiliates don’t just get the chance to make money by sharing their enthusiasm, they also get an insight into your company’s perspective and feel more involved with the future of your brand. At the same time, besides the introduction to new audiences, you also get direct lines of communication to your biggest users, making it easier to understand what customers want and expect from you.
To maximize these less tangible benefits, it is vital to establish strong relationships with your affiliates. Building long-term relationships with affiliates takes more than just a good commission rate. Remember that customer affiliates are not always professional marketers, so make it easy for them.
- Your affiliate program should be mobile-friendly for affiliates as well as new customers so that ordinary customers can sign up and get started using just their phones.
- Provide a live chat or IM channel where affiliates can get help and discuss ideas with you and other affiliates, and a weekly SMS newsletter can give weekly tips on promoting your business and which areas to focus on.
6. Follow up after interactions
Checking in with customers after an interaction or sale is a vital part of improving customer experiences, as it enables you to address any complaints and leave unhappy buyers with a positive end to their experience with your business. Even if they were going to get in touch about an issue anyway, being the first to reach out shows that their satisfaction matters to your business.
Furthermore, it can also provide valuable feedback to improve your business and generate reviews and testimonials. This can reveal minor issues that customers might not get in touch about unless you ask, such as highlighting a confusing payment process. While they might not be enough to prompt a complaint, these kinds of issues can still colour a customer’s impression of your brand enough to affect their loyalty.
Mobile messaging helps ensure these follow-up contacts are seen and read by everyone you need to hear from. For example, while only 17% of emails are ever opened by the recipient, 98% of texts are read within minutes, and those opened texts get more responses than email.
Real-time communication techniques to increase customer engagement and loyalty
Mobile messaging is a vital part of engaging modern consumers, especially as customers raise their expectations for the quality of customer service and marketing you can offer to mobile users. Improving your mobile communication just makes life easier for your customers and makes interacting with your business a more positive experience.