Automated Text Messaging: More Customers and Less Work for Small Businesses
By Denise Prichard
Text message marketing—a new, highly-effective means of communication that is working to continually deepen the connection between small businesses and their customers. It’s a hot topic we’ve been discussing a lot the past couple of weeks because it can be SO vital for the success of local businesses. We’ve already gone over in a prior post, how text message is one of the best ways (if not THE best way) for small businesses to communicate with their customers for the following reasons:
a) Short/Effective Messaging
b) Highest Open Rates
c) Best Way to Spread the Word on Promotions
We’ve even gone ahead to provide you with automated text messaging examples that you can utilize through automated marketing solutions. Today, we’re going to show you how to put that automated text messaging to work. We’re going to showcase exactly how automated text messaging can work to fill your empty seats and make you more money in the situations you face every day as a small business owner.
So, let’s get to it! Here are three scenarios where the automated text messaging feature can be your one-way ticket out of a less than favorable situation.
1: Your customer cancels their appointment last minute
Sometimes things don’t always go as planned. In an ideal world, your customers would give you an ample amount of notice if they can’t make an appointment. However, in the real world, we both know that’s hardly ever the case.
A typical situation for you probably goes more like this… Tomorrow you’re planning on a customer coming for their 11 am - 1 pm appointment. It’s a longer appointment that will bring in a sizable amount of revenue for your business, so it’s important everything goes smoothly. However, the day before your customer calls to let you know they won’t be able to make it. You’re filled with emotions of disappointment and frustration. Now you have a 2-hour gap in your schedule and hardly 24hrs to fill that slot. What do you do?
With automated text messaging: You’re upset that your customer never showed, but with automated text messaging - you’re covered. Our software works to fill that empty slot for you. It also identifies unfilled appointment slots within the next 24-48 hours, then gets them filled with highly targeted marketing campaigns to the clients that are most likely to respond. You get your schedule gap closed and you don’t even have to do a thing.
2. Someone forgets their appointment
The relationships you have with your customers mean everything. Your customers aren’t really your customers — they’re more like your family. That’s why you always put so much time into planning and perfecting each and every appointment to each customer’s individual needs.
Today you’ve got an appointment with a customer at 3 pm. Your staff has planned, prepped and is ready for their arrival. However, when 3 pm rolls around they’ve yet to show. It’s not ideal, but you realize that everyone is late from time to time. Once the clock hits 3:15 pm and still nothing, you start thinking “what the heck happened!?” You’re starting to realize that they’ve probably forgotten and they’re probably not coming for their appointment.
Sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone. No-shows like this are a common problem many small businesses face.
With automated text messaging: It gives you the power to stop this situation before it ever happens. Through automated marketing solutions, you have access to appointment reminder texts. We connect with your existing appointment book or management system to automatically remind clients about their upcoming appointment. You can use these as your preemptive strike to drastically reduce the chances of a customer forgetting their appointment.
3. Slow days/months
Unfortunately, not every season is your business’ “busy season.” Sometimes you hit a cold spell. Ironically, many small businesses report the summertime to be their least profitable months.
The sun is shining, the sky is clear, and exotic, faraway places are just calling your name. However, they’re also calling your customers’ names as close to 60% of Americans plan to take a summer vacation and roughly 42% of vacationers plan on being away for a week’s time or longer. It’s hot, you’re bored, and business is extremely slow. What can you do to beat slow days?
With automated text messaging: You can automate a promotional message and then we will send out these promotions to your customers during slow-days. You don’t even need to tell the software when to send these automated text messages. Our software knows when to do this all on its own. It actually predicts when business is likely to be slow using your transactional history, and offers a special encouraging clients to book those specific days.