Art venues such as the Louvre and Rijksmuseum have digitised their collections. Popular brands such as Converse, Gucci, Lamoda, and others have launched virtual fitting rooms. Disney provides on-demand access to the latest cinema premieres. Yet, despite the accelerated pace at which various spheres of human life are transitioning online, not everything can be digitalised. Without a doubt, we will have to return to reality, albeit a new one. Maintaining and renewing communications with old customers is crucial if you would like them to walk through your doors again, post-lockdown.
Is there life after a lockdown?
During lockdown periods, many businesses have had to stop their work partially or entirely. However, a break in-person interaction does not mean that you will lose your customers forever. Many brands have been able to maintain their following. The share prices of luxury brands such as Hermès, LVMH, and Kering have grown since last fall. As soon as the lockdown restrictions were lifted, people rushed to get additional goods that they could not access online.
At the recent MEF Connects: Business Messaging online conference, TripAdvisor’s director of destination marketing, Justin Reid, said that after the quarantine restrictions were eased last summer, people quickly regained interest in travel — albeit within their own country or even their suburbia.
This gives companies good reason to re-establish close contact with consumers, quickly and easily through the customers’ preferred communication channels.
According to statistics, SMS messages rank first (at 48%) among the channels customers would like to learn brand news from, and 90% of respondents believe that subscribing to SMS messages from the company brings them real benefits (SMS Comparison, 2021).
Why SMS is the ideal communication channel for re-establishing contact
SMS is like Twitter for mobile marketing. Do you want to convey information to customers and get a response quickly and easily? Use SMS. What type of messages should you be sending as you restart your offline business? Let’s find out.
First of all, you must maintain contact regardless of the lockdown. The strategy itself will vary for each type of business. Travel companies, for example, can keep customers informed about the quarantine restrictions in different countries. Sports clubs can send individual training and nutrition plans.
Cinemas can offer their regular customers the option to purchase advance tickets at a special price, like what Ukrainian operator, Planet Kino has done. SMS promotions like these can help you reconnect with your audience after a lockdown and support your company during difficult times.
Helpful information and important notifications
As rules and regulations are constantly evolving during a pandemic, it is essential to keep your clients informed about changes in your schedule and way of working. SMS allows you to deliver such news quickly, with open rates approaching 100%.
And don’t forget to use SMS to remind customers about their appointments or to share new rules for visits. Let the consumers know if any products or services are temporarily unavailable. Be honest with your customers. They value transparency, especially now.
Discounts and individual offers
Are you ready to get back to work? Start with special offers. More than half of customers willingly subscribe to SMS campaigns, but they expect rewards in return. In addition, research has shown that coupons sent via SMS are used ten times more often than any other coupon type. Quarantine has negatively affected the financial situation of many people, and the desire to save money can stay with them for a while. Coupons, discounts, and special offers stimulate customers’ interest in your business and let them know that you are back in business.
79% of smartphone users make a purchase decision based on SMS or other similar mobile services.
Ask and answer questions
Quarantine has changed a lot of things, and your customers’ needs are no exception. Build a strong following by carefully tracking feedback and promptly responding to reviews. Listening to feedback and adjusting your brand’s strategy will increase consumer loyalty once the lockdown restrictions are lifted.
Also, be ready to engage in a dialogue with clients and promptly answer their questions after your re-opening. Сonsumers tend to get disappointed when they are unable to reply to an SMS sent by a brand. Enable two-way communication by using short codes. This will allow you to:
- Conduct surveys to understand new customer needs.
- Enable clients to ask questions and receive answers, because a lot could have changed during the quarantine.
- Provide an option of fast booking via SMS (messaging experts are convinced that pre-booking will become part of the new reality after the pandemic).
Take care of your customers and your reputation
Increased attention to one’s own safety is a trend that will continue after the pandemic. Convince your customers that your company is safe and that you adhere to all the rules by sending a link to the relevant page on your website. People need to know that you care about the health of your customers and employees. Remember: the way a company performs in times of crisis has a huge impact on their consumers’ future confidence.
When the possibility of live interaction with customers is minimal, correct communication comes to the fore. At GMS, we know how to use SMS and messengers as efficiently as possible and combine different channels for the best result. Stay in touch with your customers in any situation and emerge victorious from any crisis.