Building Customer Loyalty: Is Texting the Answer?

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In today’s fast-paced world, we depend on our phones to help us get things quickly and easily. So, is texting the answer to building customer loyalty? Short answer: yes. Long answer: also yes, but it matters how you use it.

For appointment-based businesses, efficiency and simplicity are key to keeping customers engaged and coming back for more. Integration with online booking, improving gift card sales, and managing scheduling requests are three simple avenues that can have a big impact on building your business’ customer loyalty program. 

Seamless integration with online booking 

A large part of the job is making it easy for customers to want to do business with us. Technology can be helpful in this, but you want to avoid customers falling into the trap of navigating through a maze of screens, drop-down boxes, and other options that end up being more inconvenient than a phone call.

Visitors expect to be able to complete a booking in just a few clicks or taps, meaning the entire booking flow should only take a few steps. Accessibility is key, and integrating text communication into your booking system can help you meet the demand of guests looking for the option to book around the clock. 

This will not only benefit guests but will also empower employees in their day-to-day roles. The goal is to go beyond basic point-of-sale and booking capabilities by supporting the front desk to start highly personalized engagements and meet profitability goals. 

Managing cancellations or reschedule requests

It’s one thing to get an appointment on the books, but life happens, and customers also need to reschedule or cancel bookings with ease. If your front-desk team spends hours calling guests to confirm appointments, text-based appointment confirmations may ease the workload.

Many modern booking systems today can send automated appointment confirmation requests to guests through text messages. The guest can respond via text message, reducing the manual work involved in cancellations, requests to reschedule, as well as follow up with guests who haven’t yet confirmed. This integration gives front-desk teams the tools to stay organized and proactively make efforts to minimize no-shows and late cancellations and fill those short-notice openings. 

Improving gift card sales

An estimated $1 billion in gift cards go unused every year. Marketing strategies and promotions can go a long way in incentivizing the purchase of gift cards, and incorporating text-based follow-up is another way to seamlessly communicate with the customer. Again, we want to aim for efficiency and simplicity when engaging our customers.

Online gift cards are perfect for last-minute purchases and, when coupled with the right promotions, can contribute to a significant amount of revenue and attract new clientele. It maximizes opportunities to reach lapsed guests by sending “we miss you” texts, and personalized product, service, and home-care recommendations. Building a digital strategy with texting as a key component puts marketing on autopilot, bringing in more revenue without constant human effort. 

Overall, texting contributes to a friction-free mindset. To promote this, using existing tools in the market to automate as many repetitive tasks as possible frees up time for professionals to embrace the human element and focus on what they love to do–making people look and feel their best.

Guy Weismantel is SVP at Zenoti.