We’re just going to come out and say it… customer comms aren’t as simple as they used to be. As I type [21st February 2020], the search term ‘how to talk to your customers’ has over 1.38 billion hits on Google.
So, when did we get so bad at talking to our customers? Well, a few years ago something changed. As technology developed, so did the number of communication channels. As customer attitudes towards data sharing changed, so did their expectations. And whether we like it or not, for many of us the reality is that much of our time is spent trying to think of ways to produce more relevant and personalised messages, in an attempt to boost that all important customer engagement.
Let’s go back to basics for a moment – why is it so important to talk to your customers?
Well if you look at the numbers:
- Existing customers spend more than new customers – On average 31% more (Source: Invesp)
- You’re more likely to make a successful sale with an existing customer than a new customer – 60 – 70% vs just 5 – 20%
- Acquisition costs more than retention – For businesses in fashion ecommerce, customer acquisition can cost as much as 20-40% more than customer retention (Source: Harvard Business School)
Additionally, the study from Harvard Business School mentioned above, went on to reveal that due to the fact that new customers cost so much more, the majority of fashion ecommerce brands actually make a loss on a customer’s first purchase. So, not to put too fine a point on it but the only way that a customer’s revenue is making it to your bottom line, is if they go on to make more purchases. And well, talking to them is a pretty good way to encourage this.
So, how should we talk to our customers?
Keep it interesting, keep it relevant
Personalisation has come a long way in just a few years and as such, customers expect a lot more. By utilising purchase history, companies are able to make much better recommendations to their customers and it’s this kind of activity they have come to expect.
“Jenny, would you like some heels to go with that new cocktail dress?“
We’ve said it before, now let’s say it again – using multiple channels across your customer comms just makes sense (yes, we are talking about email and SMS again). Email and SMS compliment each other so well, that introducing SMS in conjunction with email communications can boost email open rates by up to 20%. Combining the two channels, creates more brand awareness and a study by Smart Insights found that sending a follow-up SMS to consumers mentioning a previously sent email, can increase open rates by as much as 30%.
“Michelle, did you receive our last email? Because your personalised discount is about to expire”
Changing consumer attitudes
There is a reason that the humble SMS has so much potential – consumers spend a daily average of 3 hours and 15 minutes on their phones (Source: Guardian). This does often lead to one question with clients – is it right for us to be using such an intrusive channel to speak to our customers? However, consumers are viewing things a little differently. Customers love the convenience of text messages. So much so, that 9 of 10 would like to talk to a business via SMS and 75% would like to receive offers via SMS.
Ready to give SMS a go? Simply open a free account today – you won’t regret it.