Is it possible to have a surefire way to reach your clients? What if you could know the messages you sent actually reached them, and more importantly, engaged them? And what if that engagement deepened their loyalty to your business?
It may sound too good to be true, but it is possible! Many businesses are proving that cell phones can be one of the most effective channels to reach and engage clients in highly personalized ways. When clients feel their unique preferences have been taken into consideration, they tend to feel more valued, which in turn deepens their loyalty.
With that in mind, how can you use technology effectively to engage clients and create unique experiences?
Think beyond text messages
Using real-time messages that matches your clients’ immediate and personal needs is a way for your business to engage your client in a more meaningful way. When sending out a mass text that does not target a specific need, your client will disregard what you have sent them. When you personalize it, they are more likely to respond, appreciate, or have a deepened loyalty to you. A simple follow-up text saying something such as, "Thank you for stopping in today for your customized facial and brow wax. We appreciate your business and would love any feedback you would like to share. As a reminder we have an appointment booked for you on X date. Please text or call us if anything changes.” Having the specific service the client received that day will personalize the message.
When done right, push notifications can make the client feel understood and valued, which is powerful during a time when competition is high, and attention and loyalty are continually declining.
Use cell phone communications to engage your staff
Push notifications can also be used to set the tone for expectations, daily inspirations, and scheduling notifications. Push notifications and texting also help alert your staff about their client’s arrival. The notification can include specific notes about the client’s preferences to empower your staff to deliver a more personalized experience.
Supercharge other marketing tactics
You’re likely marketing your business via other methods, such as social media, email, direct mail, and advertising and PR. This marketing mix is important, especially since, according to the “Marketing Rule of 7,” clients must see a message at least seven times before they are provoked to take action. Push notifications, however, provide a way to send other marketing tactics at the optimal time and prompt clients and potential clients to act immediately.
Email, direct mail, and social media typically reach clients at inopportune times. You have little control over when they get that flyer in the mail or when they choose to open your thoughtfully timed email. This is called proximity engagement, and it accounts for a client’s location and their preferences based on data you already know about them.
For example, let’s say you sent a promotional email or direct mail piece to some of your top clients. Would it be enough to get them to make the journey to your salon or spa? What if, in addition to the email, you also sent a well-timed and personalized push notification to their cell phone when they were within a couple miles of your business during the time of day they typically come in, and it had been a few weeks since their last visit?
This is a prime example of proximity engagement. It also considers the principles of human behavior design, which follows the theory that a person is most likely to perform a behavior when their motivation and ability to do so are most closely aligned. The key here, however, is personalization. For push notifications to be effective, you must incorporate the principles of proximity engagement:
- Avoid generic messages. Focus on providing value.
- Be personal. Consider the client's service or purchase history, preferences, time of day, and other known information.
- Create a win-win scenario. If you have open time slots in your schedule, you can send notifications to your clients who are within a specific radius of your business and who have been in for similar services in the past to let them know you have availability.
- Think beyond the marketing message. Push notifications don’t always have to be promotional. They can include welcome messages or even daily inspirations or self-care tips during stressful seasons.
The bottom line: Respect your client’s information and preferences and focus on delivering consistent value to them. This will go a long way towards creating a loyal client base that, in turn, will create long-term value for your business.