How an SMS service can help customer retention

The holiday shopping season will officially be in full swing by the end of this week, which means businesses are expecting to see more customers than usual enter their storefronts. Between late November until mid-January, Americans and Canadians will be making purchases, exchanges and returns. Companies can simplify these processes with an SMS service.

Each time a customer leaves their home to go to the mall or shopping center, they know that they will be competing with other shoppers for the same parking spots and store items. It is up to retailers to provide excellent customer service because those who are nice to their client base will more likely see them return.

Customer service may be a priority for 80 percent of businesses, but Shankman Honig, a customer service consultant, told the source that only 8 percent of customers had a "superior" experience, which caused 55 percent of transactions to be canceled.

Businesses that offer a text messaging service open up a path of communication with their targeted audience. This platform can be a two-way street that answers inquiries, confirms reservations or offers consumers an electronic copy of their receipt. By accommodating the consumer's needs, companies are making an average $289 more per customer, research between Greenfield Online and Datamonitor/Ovum analysts found.

"Be nice to the customers you have, and you'll win the customers you want," Honig explained.

In fact, organizations can take this time to gain a customer's loyalty. During this time of year, it may be the first time the shopper has visited the business. If they opt-in into the company's SMS subscription, businesses can increase their chances of coming back within five months by sending them a thank-you message for joining, as well as other promotional offers.

Businesses that create a marketing strategy that tailors to both recent and loyal visitors are able to improve their sales by $150 per customer, the Harvard Business Review reported. Taking the time to show value in both parties can significantly improve the likelihood they will return.

"[S]ometimes customers stop buying even if they still like your products," HBR contributor Scott Neslin writes. "They get out of the habit. They get distracted. They forget. But if you treat them as lost, they'll become lost."

Businesses that want to build a stronger customer base in 2014 need to grab the attention of consumers during the 2013 holiday season. Swift SMS Gateway can help business owners have a text messaging platform that meets these goals.