More and more companies are using text messages to communicate with their clients. In this modern world of email, social media, and instant messaging, we’ve found that text messages are actually one of the most effective ways you can communicate with your clients and is a great way to grow your business. In this article, we’ll explain why.
First, let’s look at a couple of questions:
- How many unopened emails do you have?
- How many unread SMS text messages do you have?
Most of the people are the same as us – an overflowing inbox scattered with unread messages and the odd spam email, however, typically even the messiest user won’t have a single unopened SMS text message on their phone! Combine this with the fact that we tend to diligently read a text message before we delete it… so yes, it’s a good way to communicate with your clients. But how can we use it?
People are generally busy during the day; working, picking up and dropping off kids, running errands, shopping, etc… But if their pet is recovering after surgery they have only one question: How are they doing? That’s all they need to know. You could call your clients to let them know, but it can be time-consuming for both you and them; they may be busy and cannot pick up the phone. However, by sending a simple text message, they can look at their phone and read a message. For example: “Rambo is awake and doing great, you can pick Rambo up at the clinic at 4pm kind regards, TopVets”, With this one message they know everything they need to know, sigh with relief and continue with their activities.
While designing your messages, it is good to try to motivate people to do something – to drive their behaviour. To do so, try to always make sure you have a clear goal for the message. See below a few examples:
Message: Dear Mr. Smith, Rambo is awake and doing great. You can pick him up at 16.00 and we will provide you with all the necessary information
- Goal 1: Inform the client that the surgery was successful
- Goal 2: Ensure the client collects their pet at 16.00
- Goal 3: Ensure sure the client won’t call the practice for details because you have informed them that you will share all the information later.
- Action needed from the client: None
Message: Dear Mr Smith, Rambo is due for his vaccination. Visit www.example.com/book or give us a call on 0612345678 to book an appointment
- Goal 1: Inform the client that their dog is due for vaccination
- Goal 2: Ensure the client books an appointment
- Action from client: Book an appointment online or via a phone call
Message: Dear Mr Smith We would like to confirm Rambo’s appointment on 07-06-2016 at 16.30. With kind regards, TopVets (012 345 6789)
- Goal 1: Remind the client about their appointment
- Goal 2: Ensure the client will be at your clinic on time
- Goal 3: Ensure it is easy for the client to call in case the appointment needs to be postponed.
- Action from the client: Be on time for the appointment. Call back if necessary.
Message: Dear Mr Smith today a few cats from your vicinity were brought to our practice with signs of poisoning. We would like to advise you to keep your cat indoors for a few days.
- Goal 1: Inform specific pet owners about a potential health hazard.
- Goal 2: Provide advice and recommendations to protect clients’ pets.
- Goal 3: Improve your relationship with your customers by providing them with a highly valuable service.
- Action from the client: Keep their cats indoors
You will notice the examples above always have a goal to share information with the client, and in some messages, there is also a goal to motivate people to act. Book an appointment or call the clinic. If there is an action required from the client, make sure that this is as easy as possible. If they need to call you – give them a phone number. If you have some information to share – give them a link. If they need to book an appointment – make sure they can do it anytime, even outside of the practice’s opening hours.
There is a charge for sending text messages from Animana (currently 7p per message), but think about the value that it brings to your practice; think of how much one missed appointment costs to your practice in missed revenue and wasted time. If text messages can prevent only one missed appointment, then it’s a very profitable investment.
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