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When you run a business, reviews and feedback from customers are a vital part of learning about how the company is doing. The importance of online reviews can't be denied. You can use Podium to get more online customer reviews.
Surveys have been a popular way of soliciting feedback. Email blasts with requests for feedback are another popular choice. But one method of gathering feedback and online business reviews that’s quickly gained traction over the past several years is through the use of business text messages.
Business text messages offer a quick, to-the-point way of connecting with your previous customers. Ask them direct questions, and then use that feedback to adjust how your business functions.
In this tutorial, we’ll dive into the role business text messages play in the world of customer reviews and feedback. We'll also offer a quick start guide for setting up and using text messages for getting feedback from your customers with minimal hassle. In short, you'll learn how to get more online reviews with Podium.
What Is a Business Text Message, Exactly?
A business text message is one that, as you might’ve guessed, you send from your company to previous customers and/or prospects. There are several different reasons to send these sorts of texts.
First of all, you might have something to promote. An announcement text for a new product or sale is an effective way to bring attention to what you've got to offer.
Or you might wish to provide customer support via text. Tools like Podium make it possible to send support texts to customers. Carry on the customer service conversation even after they leave your website. Use texts to complete transactions as well.
There’s a fourth and final area that company texts can be used for. This will be our primary focus here today. Customer feedback texts provide an easy opportunity to ask customers questions about your products, services, or your customer support. In short, they're a great way to get more online business reviews.
Since most people use their phones regularly, receiving texts from businesses is becoming more and more commonplace and accepted. Which means it’s high time to jump on board with this trend.
What Can You Do With Text Message Feedback?
Business text message feedback is invaluable to your company. And once you start receiving it, you’ll probably wonder how you got along without it for so long.
If you’re stumped about why this is a valuable tool to have in your back pocket, let’s take a moment to discuss a few of the ways you can use text message feedback to your advantage. With text messages, you can:
- Ask for answers to specific questions. Ask about how customers enjoyed your product or service. Ask about what they’d like to see from you in the future. Or ask for feedback on any other aspect of your business. You can then use these answers to improve your products or services.
- Request that customers leave feedback on an external site. Build up a healthy stable of customer reviews on sites like Yelp and Google. This can greatly increase your brand’s trustworthiness and customer base over time.
- Ask that they complete a survey. If you’re looking to get specific feedback on some aspect of your company, you can put together a survey and request that customers take it via text.
- Provide input on future product releases. If you’re about to begin a new phase of product planning, ask your previous customers directly to see what they might want to see from you in the future.
- Feature requests. Like the above, you can ask customers if there’s any aspect of a current product or service they’d like to see changed or added to.
If any of these possibilities seem interesting to you, keep reading. We’ll walk you through how to send out your very own customer feedback text messages using Podium.
The Feedback texting tool within Podium is ideal for gathering feedback from previous customers. Customers can respond to messages easily and on-the-fly. Business owners can quickly and easily make sense of the responses received and put them to good use.
How to Send a Customer Feedback Text Message (And What to Do With the Response)
Getting set up with feedback text messaging within Podium is easy. This platform provides an all-in-one resource for communicating with prospects and customers. A few distinct advantages include:
- the ability to monitor and manage conversations across multiple channels from one dashboard
- better integrated web chat (that can convert to SMS)
- payments via text
- and more.
Now let’s explore how to use this tool for sending requests for and receiving customer feedback texts:
1. Get Started With a Text Message Feedback Platform
Decide who you’ll be sending your initial set of messages to. Previous customers, no doubt. Import this list of phone numbers into Podium but ensure that you’re only including those who have opted-in for text messages.
You may also find that you need to build a list before you get started. Allow customers to “opt-in” to text messages at checkout or during other communications with you via a contact form, web chat, or email newsletter.
Once you've got your list in place, you can get started soliciting feedback.
2. Research Customer Feedback Text Message Samples
With your list in place, it’s time to send out some messages. But what on earth should you say? That's going to be a highly personal question. And no one can truly answer it but you because you know your business best.
Even so, we can offer a few ideas about the types of questions you may want to ask to get the sort of feedback you’re looking for:
- Be highly specific in the type of feedback you’re asking for. Don't ask "What did you think of X product," rather ask, "Did the X product fit well?"
- Ask for online customer reviews (and make it easy to give one).
- Diversify where you ask for feedback. Texting is fantastic, but that should be the only way you ask for feedback. Although text messaging provides an easier feedback option than email, you should still ask for feedback via email, directly on your website, and on social media.
- If you want customers to answer a survey, state how long it’ll take to complete at the start.
3. Use Personalization to Get More Responses
Personalizing your feedback texts can help you to get more responses as it makes customers feel more valued. If you’re asking for an online business review, it can be tempting to send out a mass invite to leave an online business review to everyone who made a purchase in the last two weeks, let’s say.
Although efficient, this isn’t always the best approach. In fact, it’s been shown time and time again that personalized requests get better responses. So, reel in the temptation to send out a mass review invitation and instead be much more selective.
Likewise, if a customer dealt directly with someone on your team, it’s a nice touch to have the review request come from that person as well. It just helps to maintain a sense of care and attention to detail that can go a long way toward building a more loyal customer base.
4. Determine the Best Time to Request Text Message Feedback
Figuring out when to request feedback via text message is a slightly tricky proposition. Mostly, it depends on what you want to do. But the general rule of thumb is that you should reach out to customers soon after you’ve interacted with them in some other way. If someone asks a question via webchat and they opt-in for text communications, it's a good idea to send a followup through SMS within the week.
Also, if a customer makes a purchase from your site, sending a text request for feedback should occur as close to the transaction as you can. This ensures that their interaction with your site or brand is still fresh in their minds and that their feedback will still be of great value to you. They’re also more likely to actually respond, especially if they've got a highly positive online business review to give or a detailed survey answer to provide.
5. Have a Negative Feedback Response Strategy Ready to Go
When you run a business, even when you run it very well, not everything is going to go smoothly all the time. To prepare for this, it’s vital that you've got a response strategy in place to cope. That way, when you do inevitably get a negative response to one of your text messages, you've got a few canned responses ready to go.
Not that you should send an automated response—especially to negative feedback. But having a boilerplate to use as a template or a starting point is extremely helpful, especially if you’re feeling a bit stressed about the situation.
A template for responding to negative feedback could include phrasing like, “I’m sorry to hear you’ve had a bad experience.” Or “Thank you so much for letting us know about this. I’m forwarding your message to the appropriate team to assist you further.” You may also simply offer your apologies and provide a coupon or discount on a future purchase should that seem appropriate.
No matter what you choose, having a plan makes it easier for you and your team to know how to respond and:
- not panic
- not take the criticism personally
6. Leverage Positive Feedback in Future Marketing
One of the best ways to use business text messages is to ask your customers to leave an review of your products or services. Podium has a built-in feature that allows you to “invite” people to leave an online customer review on a specific site like Facebook or Google.
Once you’ve connected your business page on Facebook and Google to Podium, navigate to your Dashboard. Click on a previous customer conversation and then click the star icon with a plus on top of it at the bottom of the screen. This is the Review Invite button.
Clicking it auto fills the text box with a brief message inviting the customer to leave a review for your company. The customer simply clicks the link and they’re taken to a page where they can select on which site they’d like to leave a review.
From there, they’re taken to the appropriate site and they can submit feedback within a minute or two. Easy.
7. Consider Using Other Texting Features in Conjunction With Feedback
Getting feedback through text messaging is an invaluable tool to have in your marketing and customer service toolkit. And once you start using it, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it. That being said, it’s important to note that you can do even more with text messaging as well. With business texting you can:
- Collect payments. Why make a prospect go through a complicated checkout form or send an email to finalize details when you can seal the deal right from within a text message? Sending over a payment request via text is quick and easy and saves customers time.
- Provide better customer service. With web chat-to-text features, you can easily continue customer support conversations that started in a web browser and finish them over text. This is much more convenient for prospects or customers who are on-the-go.
- Promote a new product or sale. When your company has a new product or a sake to promote, business texting through Podium offers the ease-of-use and convenience you need to send out a text marketing blast with minimal hassle and targeted results.
Hear Back Quickly With Customer Feedback Texts
There’s no reason to be left wondering how your customers might feel about a new product launch, feature, or other aspect of your business. And while you should still use other methods to find out what your customers want (like social listening), asking them directly through business text messages is a smart way to go.
And when you've got a platform like Podium on your side, it’s hard to get it wrong. Now that you know how to get more online reviews, it's time to put that knowledge to use with Podium's text messaging features.
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