8 Reasons to Use SMS in Your Service Based Business
When you’re running a small business, every marketing advantage you can leverage is like gold dust. But for many business owners, there are certain strategies that seem too big for them. SMS marketing is one such strategy, especially for service based businesses who trade time for money, rather than generating their income through product sales or passive income.
When the glass ceiling on your annual turnover and profits is governed by the number of hours you have to trade, it’s even more important to ensure your marketing strategies are as fruitful and affordable as possible. SMS marketing appears, at first blush, to require a lot in the way of technology, budget and management, but it’s incredibly successful for small businesses in service industries – even the ones with small budgets and limited resources…
More efficient invoicing through SMS marketing
Getting paid, and paid on time, is crucial to any business, but for small service based businesses it is paramount. There is often little or no money coming in from other avenues, meaning customers paying you in full and on time is even more essential to the success of your business. While you may run in-person services that allow customers to pay as and when they receive a service, many service based businesses rely on invoicing systems to get paid. Sending your invoices via text message, and providing a secure link to payment has been shown to increase the rate at which invoices are paid on time by 20%. This is in part because the rate of which customers receive their invoices increases by between 30 and 40%.
Ensuring customer satisfaction
As a small business, you already have an advantage where customer service is concerned. Having relatively fewer customers makes it easier to keep in touch with everyone, and ensure you are continually delivering the best possible service. Small businesses tend to take more care and concern over their customer services than larger corporations, as their survival depends on nurturing every one of their clients. It’s not as easy to replace unhappy customers when you’re working on a small scale, making their happiness extremely important to you. SMS marketing enables excellent customer service. You can send reminders, updates, offers, discounts and so much more directly to your customers’ phones. At the same time, it’s incredibly easy for them to get in touch with you if they have questions, feedback, or need to raise a concern.
Updates concerning delays, cancellations, or information needed
When you provide services, there will always be times when things are held up. Whether you offer in person services with set appointment times or long-distance services with set delivery deadlines, the unexpected can easily throw things off. Whether you need to notify your customers of a delay, a cancellation, or additional information concerning their appointment or service, SMS messaging is the perfect delivery message. It ensures your clients receive updates instantly, minimising their inconvenience.
When issues crop up with your services, it can be tricky and time-consuming to keep your customers in the loop, receive valuable information from them to help you solve the issue, and ensure that they are not unduly inconvenienced or frustrated by the problem. SMS messaging allows for fast problem solving, swiftly informing your customers of a problem and allowing them to instantly tell you of their choices, needs, and any additional information you might need. It’s far more convenient (for them and you) than trying to manage issues via email, your website, or using phone calls.
Personalised suggestions, offers and updates
Much like email marketing can be personalised by including the name of each customer in the message, so too can text message campaigns. More than that, SMS marketing can be easily tweaked according to the purchase history of your clients. This ensures that customers receive offers that are as relevant to them as possible, capitalises on existing sales success, and guarantees each customer’s lifetime value is extended as much as possible. All of this results in more loyal and happy clients.
Preferred by customers
All of these great benefits ensure one thing: excellent service for your clients and an improved customer journey. Given this, it’s hardly surprising that most customers prefer SMS marketing to the alternatives, such as email marketing and direct advertising. This is reflected in the click through rate for SMS campaigns, which stands at an impressive 19%, while marketing text messages are read, on average, within 5 seconds of being sent. Members of SMS loyalty schemes are likewise enjoying the benefits, with studies showing that 90% feel they are receiving more value as a result of SMS marketing.
Monitoring the market
The tides of business turn rapidly and frequently. When you’re running a service based business, it’s essential to stay up-to-date with what the market is doing, and what your customers what. The easiest way to do this is to regularly check in with your existing client base and send them surveys, polls, and other data-gathering messages. SMS marketing is perfect for this, as the extremely high open rate results in far more responses from clients. This makes it swift and easy to stay aware of any dissatisfaction your customers are experiencing, any areas in which your services are missing the mark, and any new areas your clients would like to see you expand to cover.
SMS marketing is affordable
When you’re running a small business, keeping your budget under control is vital. There’s a lot of misunderstanding over SMS marketing as it seems like a flashy technique used by large corporations and big businesses. Nothing could be further from the truth. SMS marketing is extremely affordable, and relatively cheap when compared to other methods of marketing such as advertising agencies, phone call campaigns, and even snail mail marketing. SMS marketing services, on the other hand, usually offer flat rates. This will enable you to quickly and easily send thousands of marketing messages while remaining on a strict budget.
Top tip: grow your list
By now we’re sure you’re convinced SMS marketing is well worth a shot. So you’re probably asking yourself: “How do I ensure it works as well as possible?”
The answer is fairly straightforward: grow your SMS marketing list. Just as people need to opt into an email marketing list before you can send them marketing emails, you also need consent from customers before sending them marketing texts. If you already have a thriving email marketing list, the easiest way to do this is simply to have your existing list opt into the new marketing system, by highlighting to them the great benefits they will receive as a result.
If you’ve yet to grow a list of any kind, don’t worry. SMS marketing is the perfect mechanism for creating enticing offers and loyalty schemes. Between this and the easy updates, time saved, and enhanced customer service, it will be easy to grow your list: all you need to do is make people aware of its existence and ask them to sign up whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Are you looking for professional help setting up SMS marketing for your service based small business? Get in touch, we’re here to help…
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