Every opportunity you get, you should be listening to your customers and having real conversations with them. But it’s easy for any conversation, whether it’s happening over text, via phone call, or in person, to quickly take a turn from being customer-focused.

To help you with that, here are our tips for keeping your texting conversations focused on customers and their needs. We promise that as you focus in this way, your overall customer retention strategy will be positively affected as you’ll find even more ways to better meet their needs.

Treat Each Conversation Individually

The people you’re texting are just that: people. Show them as much individual attention as possible and avoid relying on “canned responses” when addressing specific needs.

Similarly, try not to make assumptions about what customers need simply because their situation is like that of another customer. That context and prior experience will certainly be beneficial to you, but focusing on the customer in front of you is most important when talking with them.

There’s a reason why Skipio gives every user unlimited 1-on-1 messaging. (Well, there are a lot of reasons why, but there’s one BIG reason.) We want to empower you to have as many back-and-forth conversations as possible. So every incoming message is free and every individual message you send within a conversation thread is free.

Ask Questions to Better Understand Customer Needs

Never assume you know how a customer feels. And never hesitate to ask for clarification when they text and you don’t understand.

Again, it’s too easy to rely on past experiences with other people when helping customers in the present. You should always ask questions instead of assuming you understand their situation. Texting makes this so quick and easy that there’s no reason not to. Your customers will also appreciate you taking the time to get all the details.

For even more customer-focused conversations, find out not just their needs but also their wants. By learning about their preferences, you begin to understand them even more and can better serve them.

Then use what you learn to change your communication for the better

As you have more conversations and ask more questions, you’ll learn things about your customer base that you can then use to rewrite messages and improve your business.

For example, if most customers answer a question in a similar way and their answers go against what you’re currently doing, it’s time to think about making a change!

Or maybe people are consistently confused about specific wording you use. If people are always asking follow-up questions about your texts, it’s time to change those messages.

By writing clearer messages and questions of your own, your conversations will go even more smoothly. Don’t be afraid to keep trying new things as you engage with customers through texting.

Reference Past Interactions in Future Messages

People are much more likely to act on a promotion if it has been tailored to reflect previous interactions with a business. Show people that you “remember” them and that you were listening and you’ll earn a customer for life.

Take notes on phone calls and in-person meetings and, of course, save your text message history so that conversations can be looked at again. These interaction histories are especially helpful when someone other than you is texting with a customer and is looking for context.

In addition, save detailed purchase or service histories in a CRM or other organizational system. That will help you further craft the perfect text promotions and follow-up messages.

Focus on the Value of Solutions for Specific Problems

What’s the benefit to the customer? Always make sure you have that question in mind. And not just the generic benefit to all customers. What’s the specific benefit to the customer you’re texting right now?

Even with the limited character count of text messages, you should still be able to explain the value specific to their problem. If you don’t think you can, here’s what you should do:

  • Practice writing short and concise answers
  • Send a short video or demo
  • Share a link to a relevant customer story
  • Attach relevant images or graphics

Texting makes it so easy to share multimedia — multimedia that helps you better communicate with customers as you solve their problems. But with some practice you can quickly improve your business texting skills and get the point across in fewer words.

Don’t Derail a Conversation to Solve Another Problem

Of course you want to help your customers! But focus on what they are telling you and then circle back to how you could help solve other issues. Even though you are trying to help them, it’s going to feel frustrating if you shift the topic away from what they need right now.

It can be really easy to receive a text, skim it quickly, and then respond with what you think is most important. So if you do see something in a message that makes you realize you could help a customer solve another problem, make a note of it — mentally, physically on paper, or digitally — respond to what they said, and then transition the conversation when it’s appropriate.

Now Put Customer-Focused Conversations Into Practice

While this post includes examples of how to keep texting conversations focused on customers, hopefully you’ll find many ways to apply these principles. Because when you show your customers you’re listening and that you truly want to help them, they’ll keep choosing you again and again.

Need a way to text your customers and have these important conversations? Sign up for Skipio and build drip messaging campaigns to automatically start more conversations.