Help Recession-Proof Your Business With Text
Planning, adapting and being connected to your customer can help recession-proof your business. See how texting creates a great connection.
Great businesses are always prepared. When the economy is stressed by inflation and reduced spending because of many local and global factors, the fear of a recession and how to recession-proof your small business rises to top of your mind.
Successful business owners and managers plan and prepare their organizations to survive, and possibly even thrive, through the next recession, whenever it may come. Knowing that recessions are part of a normal business cycle means preparedness, not fear, will be the most effective way to navigate through them.
One key strategy for your business to prepare it for challenging times and also improve business right now includes staying connected to your customers.
Let’s look at how to connected better and improve the customer experience even in the toughest times using text messaging.
What the pandemic taught us about connection with customers
I learned a lot from the pandemic on how a business can stay connected with their customers and how important it is. Being in software that caters to local businesses, I talked with businesses daily that focused on measuring their customer experiences. It’s clear that staying close and connected to your customer became the most important thing to businesses during turbulent times. We needed to stay connected to our customers, and our customers needed to stay connected to their customers.
It wasn’t marketing, and it wasn’t new business. Finding ways to make strong connections, adapting to customers’ needs with retain customers despite market changes.
Businesses that previously had done little to connect with their customers were suddenly all-in on connecting to them through:
- Email marketing became the easiest way to communicate changes and updates in hours, service models, delivery, COVID/health standards, and more.
- Text messaging gave them a way to personally connect with losing in-person interactions. Along with information flow similar to email, it also gave them a utility to connect on orders, pick-up times, contact-less delivery, check-in, and more.
- Social media through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc… became more focused on content that kept customers updated and reminded about their location’s status. It allows businesses to show love, support, and empathy to connect with customers as we’re in this, together.
A big benefit for businesses that were rapidly adapting with more communication, using new channels, was their efforts to connect. I saw first hand how some businesses mastered rallying their customers to support them in any way possible through excellent communication. They unlocked a new level of customer loyalty.
So let’s take a look at how to move these learnings forward with a focus on how text messaging can build this connection with you customers to help recession-proof your business.
Recession-proof your business using texting
Now that you’re thinking about your connection with your customer to help recession-proof your business, let’s look at how business text messaging can impact it. If you are already are leveraging SMS in your business, or looking to get started, these tips will apply.
Make communication easy
Even is it’s harder on your business, you must make it easy for customers to communicate with you. That sentence might be hard to sit with at first, but read it again and take stock.
Adding 2-way texting, which is the number one channel for customer communication, makes it easier to connect with customers, since that’s the channel customer want to use. In surveying consumers on why they want to text a business, 33.2% said the ease of interaction as the leading reason with 29% selecting speed.
If you offer 2-way text messaging, you should be marketing it and making it well known it’s offered. See how you can market that you offer texting on your website and other ways.
In a recession, consumer spending is already challenged. You’ll benefit from making working and communicating with you as easy as possible. Text is that channel.
Personalize and connect one-to-one
With texting naturally being a more personal channel, you can leverage SMS in a number of ways to connect with your customer or prospect. While SMS marketing or text blasts work for some business types and brands, most small businesses can’t deliver enough value to keep customers subscribed. Text blasts might even annoy customers more than help your connection with them.
Sending personalized 1:1 messages to your customers shows you care and want to connect over just selling to them. Some ideas on why you would want to reach out to your base include:
- Plan regular follow-ups by reaching out to customers from 3, 6 or 12 months ago to see how they are doing, how the last product or service is holding up is a great idea. Even just asking them if any questions have come up since you worked with them that you could answer. After they reply, you can softly mention something they might be interested in next or make them aware of options.
- Highlight customer interests if they purchased a specific product or service from you, reach out with an article, update, photo, or new information on that interest. Show them they’re on your mind and that they matter to you past the sale.
- Thanks for referrals to customers has sent you business in the last year or so, even if you already did. A simple “Hi, was just thinking about when you sent Beth Smith to us, and we really appreciate that trust.”. You could even follow up with an ask for any new referral ideas.
- Send reminders of a customer of a date, service, process, or deadline with your product or service? Ensure your customer that they can get what they need from you as a business.
- Request community support if your business part of a local event, charity, or fundraiser or similar so that you can let your customers know it’s a great cause or event, and you’d love to see them to catch up.
These are just some of the ways to take a few minutes to connect 1:1 with your customers without requesting them to buy more products or services. Look at your business and your customers, and plan these opportunities to connect with your customers.
Improve processes and touchpoints
How many times have you ever felt a business over communicated with personal messages when working with them? Probably never.
This is another area where text messaging can increase the quantity and quality of your customer touch points and processes. These additions and improvements can take place anywhere in the customer experience: from first contact to post-sale.
Here are some examples:
- Prospects – Make asking questions and building trust with your business easy. A web-to-text widget to allow web visitors to text you right from your website. We’ve already established the ease of SMS, so start things off in text.
- Next steps/appointments help you move a prospect in to your process to work with them. Setting an appointment, call, house visit, or any next step can be fast and easy to schedule via text.
- Reminders are one of business texting’s first staples. Appointments, payments, service times, deadlines and more are all perfect for reminders. A reminder text is a very easy way to make working with you easier and help your customer. Reminders are easy to manage for the business when you use scheduled messages.
- Updates keep your customer informed during the process of working with you. Being able to manage expectations with great communication is part of a great experience. Especially when things are challenging with supply chains and inventory, proactive updates can make all the difference even when schedules change.
- Support your customers using SMS/MMS offers fast and convenient help. Answering quick questions, offering direction or following up on an existing issue are all made easy with text.
- Feedback and reviews let you find out how your customer feels about their experience. Learning where your business can improve or keep performing at a 5-star level is huge. Making it simple for customers to leave you a Google review gives you marketing and SEO leverage you need.
These are just a few examples. Taking some time to look at your process and current communication options will surface additional opportunities to leverage more touchpoints via texting.
Connect With Text Messaging
Challenging times in business are inevitable, including a possible recession. The last few years has shown us that in new ways. The good news is tha some of the secrets to surviving and even succeeding remain the same. Be prepared, be open to adapting and be focused on being connected to your customer.
Texting is a powerful channel that can both create and maintain a great connection with your customers to help recession-proof your business. Using a business text messaging app like Leadferno makes adding SMS and powering communication efficient and easy for your business.