Industry • Best Practice
Why Communication With Your Clients Is Crucial
Dec.05.2023By Boulevard Staff
How to use text and email communications to engage clients through every step of the appointment journey
No relationship can thrive without communication. Whether it’s roommates negotiating time in the kitchen or coworkers planning a project, good communication all begins with one side reaching out to the other. The same goes for the relationship between clients and self-care businesses. Clients have needs, whether they realize them or not, and your business has to show it can meet those needs.
How do you do that? With technology. Text messages and emails make it easy to reach your clients with key information and tantalizing offers that keep them coming back. Your clients miss your services, whether they know it or not — let’s get you reunited.
How to use SMS text notifications
Advantages of text notifications
There’s no better way to make sure a client sees your message than to send it directly to their phone. There are currently more than 383 million active cellular mobile connections in the United States. That’s more than there are people! Not only are mobile phones ubiquitous, but smartphone users check theirs constantly. In fact, around 82% of people read every single text they’re sent, including those from numbers they don’t know. What does all this mean? That if you want a client to see a message no matter what, send it as a text.
Text messages have other advantages, too. For one, they require very little lift. All you need to do is write a small amount of text and hit send. There are no graphics to worry about, and if you dig into templates and automations, you can make it even easier.
Text notifications are also easy to personalize. Clients increasingly expect personalization from the businesses they interact with, and they can turn sour when they don’t get it. On the flip side, small touches like including a client’s name in the message can lead to even stronger loyalty to your business.
When to use text messaging
Texts are a powerful tool, but it’s important not to overuse them. Otherwise, you can risk clients feeling like they’re being spammed — a fate worse than death in the 21st century. Automating texts can help keep the delivery cadence reasonable enough to prevent your clients from opting out.
One great way to use texts is to confirm the client has successfully booked their appointment. In this case, clients want instant feedback. By shooting them a simple booking confirmation text, you can show that your business is on top of their needs and ready to answer any questions they might have. This text is also a great chance to link them to any important forms they need to fill out, your cancellation policy, and the appointment details themselves. That gives the client easy access to all the info they need before they drop in.
In the time between booking and the appointment itself, a million and one things can change in your client’s life. With all that action, it’s easy for them to lose track of their appointment in the shuffle. No worries; that’s what appointment reminders are for. In the days leading up to the appointment, you can send a quick reminder text to pull it back to the front of their mind. The text can also flag outstanding forms, give parking advice, or provide any other potentially vital info. That helps cut down on no-shows and ensures a smooth experience for both the client and your staff.
How to use email marketing
Benefits of email marketing
When it comes to value, email marketing is the king. Every dollar spent returns $54 in value, and the effects are clear and measurable. More than a quarter of clients will go to your site after opening an email from you. Another 9% will visit your social media presence, and 12% will head straight to a physical location.
Why is email so effective? A few reasons. First, it has incredible potential for personalization. Not only can you slot the client’s name into your message, but you can take it to the next level with personalized product and service recommendations based on the client’s purchase history.
Integrating your email marketing with your booking platform can reveal even more value. Clients can be sorted into different segments based on their booking history. You can then target those segments with finely tuned marketing materials designed specifically for them.
Email also benefits from having a little more space to work. You don’t want text-heavy communications, but you can still achieve a level of personality and voice in email that other channels can’t replicate. There’s even space for graphics, which can help elevate your brand.
When to use email marketing
Email marketing excels at bringing wayward clients back into the fold. If a client hasn’t booked a new appointment in a while, there’s a good chance they still want to but haven’t found the time. Once they’ve gone long enough without a visit, your marketing software can spot them and send a quick “How’s it going?” lapsed client check-in email. That check-in can tell them about new services, upcoming promotions, and other incentives that might convince them to book a new appointment.
But that first email is only the beginning. From there, you can get that client on an automated email campaign. By building out your email marketing automations, you can create a pre-determined set of emails designed to nurture lapsed clients. These emails, carefully timed and full of curated material, will keep your brand at the top of their inbox and never far from their mind.
Finally, emails can help you capitalize on the last-minute bookers in your client base. When a client cancels an appointment at the 11th hour, it can tear a hole in your schedule that’s difficult to patch. By sending out an email blast with last-minute availabilities, you can help fill in those gaps. That blast will be even more effective if you’ve examined your client base, refined the list of recipients, and targeted those clients most likely to book at the last minute. That leads to less downtime and more happy clients.
There’s no master key to client communications, but there is a magic formula. By combining text messages and emails, you can reach your clients exactly when they want to hear from you. And when they do, there’s a good chance you’ll hear back.