First of all, what is a message template? Message templates are pre-written messages that are created for common and reusable messages a business may want to send. This is typically done through text messaging, Facebook messenger or chat features on a website. (Hopefully all of the above.)
When you are implementing message templates for your business, you need to focus on the context and content of what you’re sending. People don’t want to be contacted at inconvenient times and they don’t want to receive messages that are not beneficial to them. For example, if you’re a carpet cleaner, you may want to focus on putting together message templates that encourage people to get their homes ready for the holidays, every 3-6 months or before/after a move. People want to feel like they’re interacting with a real person who understands them, so your messages should reflect that type of communication. Keep it smooth and always provide your customer with a way to contact you or schedule with you.
Why Should Your Business Implement Message Templates?
Appointment scheduling is a perfect use of message templates. When a customer comes to your website or contacts you via Facebook Messenger, they probably want a quick and easy response when it comes to scheduling with you. Your templates should be clean and easy to follow. Customers want their lives to be easier and more convenient and if your business can make that happen for them, you’ll be their top choice.
Appointment reminders are another great use of message templates. After an appointment is made, your business can send out automated messages reminding your customer of the appointment and leaving them with the appropriate contact information if they need to make any changes. This saves time for business owners and customers both, so it’s a win-win!
Customize your message templates so customers don’t feel like they’re receiving a generic, meaningless message just because. Personalizing your customer engagement helps your customers to see that you know them individually and you want to continue helping them. Customer engagement is one way your business can utilize message templates, because you likely don’t have time to write out individual texts to each and every customer of yours. Instead, you can send a message template with an auto-response based on how they reply. This makes it easier for you to contact them moving forward.
If a customer sends a message of frustration, satisfaction or a question to your business, they want a quick response. Of course, you aren’t always available to respond right away so an automated message template is a perfect option. This sets an expectation for your customer and lets them know that they messaged the right place, and you’ll be getting back to them soon. Be sure your customer-service directed message templates have a time frame letting them know when they’ll hear back from your business. Acknowledge that you received the message, and then follow through by getting in touch with them as soon as possible. An example of this type of message response would be:
“Thank you for contacting Bill’s Plumbing! We will be in touch with you in the next 24 hours regarding your message. If you need immediate assistance, please call us at: 888-888-8888.”
Message templates will make your business run more smoothly and make your life, as a business owner, much less stressful. Focus on the right content for your messages and be sure you’re sending them at the right times and focusing on what’s best for your customers.
For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. If any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add, please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!