Reaching your customers is all about targeting them at the right moment and with the right communication strategy. In the past, many service businesses relied heavily on mailers, flyers, and paper ads to reach their customers with critical information. Most communication was handled via the phone or in person. As time has progressed, email has gained traction, and digital marketing has become critical for service businesses looking to reach their customers.
And while many companies have been quick to adapt to these new strategies, there is one area where local service businesses have a large opportunity for growth — using SMS marketing to interact with customers.
With an incredible open rate of 98%, text messages are one of the best ways to get in front of your audience. In fact, as younger consumers begin to enter the market, preferred contact methods are shifting. Over 70% of Millennials and Gen Z prefer text as a method of communication.
For service businesses, this means that implementing the right SMS marketing strategy is a must to retain a competitive edge. And text messages also allow your team to create a more streamlined strategy around communication.
1. Welcome Message
One of the first messages you’ll want to curate when putting together an SMS marketing strategy is your welcome message. Once a customer opts in to receive texts from your business, it is important to immediately greet them and let them know what to expect from communication with your business ahead. Make sure to also highlight your opt-out option at this time. Additionally, you might consider providing them with an exclusive offer for joining your text messaging campaign.
👋 Welcome [Customer Name]!
We’re so glad you’ve joined our loyalty program. As a thank you, we want to offer you a 20% discount on your next plumbing service. Tap the link below to claim your offer, and stay tuned for more promotional deals sent straight to your phone.
Remember, you can text STOP to unsubscribe at any time.
2. Limited-Time Deals
Text messages are the perfect place to deliver limited-time deals to your customers. Creating a sense of urgency helps to inspire action. With the convenience of opening a text message from anywhere at any time, customers are more likely to respond via this channel than many others. You can run this in conjunction with paid ads and email marketing, or you can test out a promotion solely via text to see how well it performs.
📣 This just in! 📣 An exclusive offer for you! [Customer Name], have you been thinking about replacing your furnace? Now’s the time. Tap the link below to claim 10% off your purchase with FREE installation.
3. Seasonal Promotions
For service companies, a lot of the business you do is based on seasonality. Text messages are the perfect way to entice customers to schedule their services well in advance of your busiest seasons. Not only that, but timing is everything when it comes to customer communications. When a text message shows up reminding customers of an upcoming need, it can be the perfect way to capture their business before your competition.
☀️ Summer’s just around the corner! Are you ready for the heat? Schedule your AC tune-up today and enjoy 15% off the cost of the visit. Hurry, this deal ends today!
4. Appointment Confirmations
The moment your customer books an appointment with you, sending a confirmation text is an effective and efficient method for establishing clear communication about the visit. Not only does this give your customer peace of mind, but it can ensure that no wires were crossed in the setup of the appointment. Additionally, sending a follow-up text the day before asking your customer to confirm the appointment can cut down on no-shows or last-minute cancellations.
📅 Booking Confirmation for AC Replacement
[Customer Name], thanks for scheduling an upcoming service with our team. We will see you at 11:00 am CST on 07/12/22. We’ll send another reminder the day before our visit, and in the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reply to this message.
5. Service Tech Arrival
If your business involves sending a technician to a customer’s home, a quick text can provide you with an easy way to let your customer know who is about to arrive at their home and how to identify the technician as part of your company. This is a big win for establishing trust and making your customers feel secure when opening up their homes to a stranger.
Hi, [Customer Name], my name is [Service Tech Name]. I’m reaching out to let you know that I’m about 10 minutes away from your property. 🚚 I’ll be pulling up in a white van with [Company Name] displayed on the side of the vehicle. Looking forward to seeing you soon!
6. Special Occasions
Sending a personal text message on birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions shows your customers that you care about them beyond just being a number. These messages are the perfect way to stay top of mind and provide a quick perk for loyal customers.
🎂 Happy Birthday [Customer Name]!!! 🎁
As a way to say thank you and celebrate this special day, tap the link below to claim 25% of any service booked in the month of [birthday month].
7. Customer Service
One of the best ways to resolve an issue with your customer is to communicate with them the problem clearly and promptly. Text messages are a highly effective tool for taking care of a potential complaint and can often save you from negative online reviews. Not only that, but when handled well, a well-timed text can turn an unhappy customer into a loyal client.
Hi [Customer Name]. My name is [Service Rep Name], and I’m reaching out to help resolve your recent issue with the installation of your new faucet. I understand that you are dissatisfied with the installation service, and I’d like to help you schedule a follow-up visit FREE of charge to help remedy the situation. Please hit reply with the best date and time for us to visit.
8. Satisfaction Surveys
Gathering data from customers is made simple with a quick text. Sending out a follow-up message after a service is a great way to gauge how happy your customers are. Not only that, if you receive a negative response, you can immediately follow up to resolve the issue, staving off negative online reviews.
Hello again [Customer Name]! Thank you for your recent visit for your Ford Focus oil change. We want to know, how would you rate the quality of your service?
⭐1 Poor – 5 Excellent⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Text back your response to help us continue to improve our work!
People love free! What better way to engage with customers than by delivering a contest or giveaway directly to their mobile device. Next time you plan to run a giveaway, consider sending a quick text to your loyal customers.
🔥Are you ready to win big this summer? Tap the link below for a chance to win $100 in gift cards to our service center. Hurry, this offer ends 08/30/22!
Bonus Tips for Making Your SMS Marketing a Success
SMS marketing opens up an incredible amount of opportunities for your business. However, just like any marketing campaign, if you don’t take the time to pay careful attention to the execution of your strategy, you could do more harm than good. Use the following bonus tips as you craft your SMS messages.
- Always get permission: Not only is it the law, but it is common courtesy. Make sure that before you hit send, you have received permission from your customers to receive text messages from your business.
- Identify your business: Every single message should begin with your company name. The last thing you want to do is come across as if you are a scam or to confuse your customers. Clearly identify your company before you move forward.
- Offer an unsubscribe option: Businesses’ texting laws dictate that you must provide a method for customers to opt out of SMS marketing by replying directly to the text. Most messages include a simple “To unsubscribe txt STOP”
- Make it personal: Any time you can, add in your customer’s name or a personal note. Personal messages are much more likely to lead to a conversion than a text that reads as a robot sent it.
- Keep it short: Texting is a highly effective marketing tool, but it isn’t the place for wordiness. When people open up a text, they want to quickly digest the information and move on. After you write the copy for your SMS marketing campaign, take the time to go back through and shorten your message.
- Create a sense of urgency: Make sure that every text message has a clear call to action and that you are building a sense of urgency in your message. The goal is to drive a customer to act the moment they read the message. If they don’t, the odds are good that they won’t return to that text later.
- Automate: If you try to handle your SMS marketing manually, you can wind up wasting an incredible amount of time. There are numerous tools available that will automate the system, triggering pre-designed messages at the right moment.
- Respond: Make sure that whatever platform you use to send messages allows you to respond to customers. The worst thing you can do is open up the doors of communication only for your customers to be met with radio silence. Ensure that someone is monitoring this channel at all times and that responses are immediate.
If you are looking to take your SMS marketing game to the next level, our team is here to help. At J&L Marketing, we have years of experience using SMS marketing to increase leads, improve brand loyalty, and drive greater profits. With our key insights and industry-specific strategies, we can help you engage with customers on a whole new level, leaving your competition behind. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help your service business.