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It’s a general rule of business that if the customer isn’t happy, they won’t return. Customer satisfaction is vital to your company’s success, but how do you know when a customer isn’t happy? Where are the weaknesses in your company and services? And how can you improve your customer retention rates?

Customer satisfaction surveys are one of the best and most efficient ways to answer these questions. According to Forrester, by simply improving your customer experience by 10%, you can increase your revenue by up to $1 billion. However, unless you format these surveys well, you miss opportunities to grow and improve your business. To enhance your customer experience, here are a few ways you can get the most out of your customer surveys.

Ask the Right Survey Questions

Asking the right set of questions is the most important thing you can do when creating a customer satisfaction survey. You want to ask questions that allow you to see the big picture and identify future issues, not just current trends. For example, if you ask customers to rate their experience on a scale of 1 to 10 and you receive a significant number of negative reviews, you can determine that there is a flaw in the customer experience and it needs improvement. Statistics show that for every person who complains, there are 26 other individuals who agree but remain silent.

As you create questions, think about the type of information you want to know. Do you want to improve your product or service? Are you trying to create a more easy and smooth purchasing experience for customers? Base your questions on these factors.

Be Quick to Ask

When you seek feedback from your customers, you want to ask immediately following the customer’s experiences with your company. This ensures your organization is fresh in their mind and they can provide you with more accurate and detailed feedback. When you wait too long to seek information, customer answers become generic and basic. You will not receive the feedback you need to improve.

Format Your Surveys Well

Survey response rates are typically low — the average response rate is 33%. This means that you want to focus on formatting and delivering your surveys in a way that supports feedback. Ideally, your survey should only consist of one or two questions. If you make the survey too long, your customers will not answer or they will stop halfway through. You want to make this process as fast as possible for your customers.

Surveys by Text Message

You also need to provide a delivery method that is effective. Text messaging your customers a single survey question is one simple and efficient way to reach your audience. They are also more likely to see it and open the message compared to email, as text message open rates are approximately 98% whereas email rates are approximately 20%. For this reason, group text messaging is also a great way to invite people to complete your web-based survey.  Simply include a link to your survey in your text message.

Overall, if you want to get the most out of your customer satisfaction surveys, you need to take the time to create them correctly. With the right questions, perfect timing, proper formatting, and optimal delivery method, you will receive valuable feedback that can help you expand and improve your customer experience.

The post How to Get the Most Out of Your Customer Satisfaction Surveys appeared first on TextMarks SMS Text Messaging.

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Safety in the workplace should be taken seriously. Employee injuries not only decrease productivity, they cost money and often decrease team morale.

Educating employees is one of the first things you can do to keep your team safe, but not all trainings are going to be effective. Here are several things you should keep in mind when educating employees about workplace safety.

Make a Continuous Effort Toward Workplace Safety

Workplace safety should be an ongoing effort. Policies, procedures, and equipment can change and it is important all employees are up-to-date and fully aware of all changes. Aim to hold safety trainings often — a minimum of once a month. And, don’t just focus on new hires. Employees who have been with the company for several years still need continuous training and updates on safety regulations. Group text messaging is a proven way to draw staff attention to safety updates and to remind them of training schedules.

Train Specific Roles

In addition to company-wide safety drills, provide trainings for specific roles such as managers and supervisors. These individuals may have more responsibilities such as filling out certain paperwork, contacting emergency personnel, managing the situation, and more. Include these additional and specific responsibilities in your trainings. And, make sure you review these tasks frequently. When accidents and injuries happen, you want a seamless process to help calm down the injured individuals and to prevent any further damages.

Provide Diverse Training

During your trainings, it can be tempting to focus on the incidents and injuries that happen most frequently. And while it is important that your team is prepared for these injuries, they may not be the only accidents that occur. You need to offer diverse trainings on a wide variety of injuries, equipment, hazards, etc.

Involve Everyone

The safety of everyone on your team is important. Text messaging reminders are a great way to ensure your entire team is involved and attending these safety trainings and meetings. But, the involvement of your entire workforce can make hands-on practices difficult and overwhelming. You may choose to hold small group trainings to allow for more practice and the ability to ask questions, but don’t leave anyone out.

Have Fun with the Trainings

Don’t make your employees dread safety trainings. When the trainings are boring and your employees are unengaged, they will retain very little information, making the time dedicated to learning a waste. Rather, you want to be creative and have fun. Watch videos, create interactive training sessions, generate a game show style-like training, and more. Just make sure that the information being presented is accurate, follows all regulations, and is explained clearly.

The post Educating Employees About Workplace Safety appeared first on TextMarks SMS Text Messaging.

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While many individuals love change, others do not. When you bring new technology into the workplace, some employees may be resistant and do not want to change their routines, their processes, and the systems that they are familiar with using. To help these unwilling employees, here are a few tips you may want to implement.

1. Highlight the Benefits First

The first impression can make all the difference. When you are first introducing and showcasing this new technology, explain how it will benefit the employees and make their job easier. You may need to step into a marketing-mode and try to sell the product to your employees. When they become excited about a feature, setting, or idea, it will make them more willing to learn and utilize it.

2. Start with a Master Team

Before you implement new technology throughout the entire company or department, begin with just a small team of individuals. This allows these employees to work through the quirks of the technology, troubleshoot many common problems they may find, and learn how to make it beneficial for everyone. Plus, the good things they say about the technology will make others excited to utilize the items as well. And, if problems or concerns arise when implementing the applications or gadgets throughout the entire company, you have a handful of go-to experts to assist.

3. Offer Incentives

Sometimes your employees will need a little more of a push to use the new technology. Offer a variety of incentives such as cash bonuses, gift cards, entries into drawings and raffles, etc., after they have completed trainings, successfully used the application or gadget for a certain amount of time, etc.

4. Make Training Exciting

One of the drawbacks of implementing new technology throughout your workforce is the increased trainings and meetings that will be required to ensure everyone successfully knows how to use it. Don’t make these meetings long and filled with way too much information. Your employees will not process and retain much of the information that is being presented to them. Instead, make trainings short and fun. Be creative and organize games, film videos, etc. Also, make sure the trainers are fun and lively. You don’t want to put your employees to sleep.

5. Listen to Employees

Why are employees hesitant to utilize new technology? What is holding them back? Be willing to hold one-on-one meetings with employees and gather feedback from them. If you don’t have time to meet with everyone, conduct online or text message surveys. Truly listen to the concerns of your employees. If many individuals are hesitant, consider why and make sure you are making the right decision for your entire company.

Technology is advancing at a rapid pace and if you don’t keep up with many of these changes, your company may quickly fall behind. However, spend time researching and weighing the pros and cons of products and applications you may be considering. If you feel the change is good, use the above tips to help others feel the same way.

Interested in learning more SMS as a communication tool for employees? Call us at 800-696-1393 or contact us here.

Get our newsletter about all things related to SMS for customer and employee communications!

The post How to Encourage More Employees to Adapt to New Technology appeared first on TextMarks SMS Text Messaging.

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When the productivity and safety of your employees are on the line, communication must be a top priority. In the construction industry, more than $177 billion is spent on issues that are created due to poor communication. According to a survey of 600 professionals, almost 35% of an employee’s time is spent fixing previous mistakes, finding missing data, solving problems, etc. So, is improved communication the answer? Let’s take a closer look.

Improved Communication Can Increase Productivity

In the same survey, the respondents claim that they spend up to five hours each week looking for missing data and five hours solving problems and issues among project stakeholders. Strong communication techniques can reduce this lost time by ensuring everyone is on the same page, knowing where all data and materials are available, and providing immediate discussion rather than wait for results.

The Right Tools are Key

It isn’t enough to say that communication needs to improve. Instead, it means that you need to find the right tools to keep the communication streamlined and effective. For example, email is a simple way to provide a vast amount of information quickly and allows the other team members to refer back to it if needed. However, in construction, workers are not behind a computer all day checking emails. Plus, statistics show that 26% of employees think email is a productivity killer. For effective communication, it is important that you use the right tools that are accessible to a deskless workforce, such as text messaging.

Effective Communication Improves Safety

Fast and effective communication is critical in keeping employees safe. When you utilize the right resources, you have the opportunity to reach employees immediately, alerting them of danger. Additionally, when you have a large workforce, it is critical that everyone is aware of the project, any changes, issues, concerns, etc. The right communication tools make that distribution of information simple and immediate.

Ensure Everyone is Aware and Alert

When working on large construction projects, various decisions will affect a project’s timeline and create or prevent mistakes. These decisions are made every single day and when decisions are made that affect the workforce, information needs to be distributed immediately. Communication technology and systems are essential to ensure that this information is delivered in a consistent, effective, and fast way. Regular meetings and trainings may not be enough to help distribute this information and communication tools such as text messaging may be necessary.

To develop effective communication among your construction workforce, it is imperative that you find the right communication tools to best address your specific needs. This will not only improve the productivity of your entire team but it can cut down on costs, save time, and drastically improve the safety of everyone involved. Spend time researching your options and don’t make a decision on a whim. Remember that the safety of your workers and the success of your business are riding on this decision.

Interested in learning more about SMS for construction communications? Call us at 800-696-1393 or contact us here.

Get our newsletter about all things related to SMS for customer and employee communications!

The post The Importance of Communication in Construction Safety and Costs appeared first on TextMarks SMS Text Messaging.

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If you want your small business to succeed, it is critical that you focus on your local market. However, it can be a challenge to target local customers and convert your leads to sales. Here are five local marketing tips to help your small business increase sales.

1. Stay Active on Social Media

Social media can be one of your most powerful tools when targeting local customers. It is one of the first places you can go to engage customers in your business, promote your products and services, and offer discounts and giveaways. When you use social media correctly, you are building a relationship with your customers and promoting your business. The key is to know your demographic and what social media platform they use. According to recent research by the Pew Research Center, 88% of individuals between the ages of 18 to 29 use Facebook, while only 36% of the same age group use Twitter. Consider your target audience and begin building strong social media channels on the platforms your audience utilizes the most.

2. Use Text Messaging

Text messaging allows you to get information immediately into the hands of your customers. This means that by being creative with your marketing strategy, you can entice customers and bring them into your business. Coupons and discount codes are excellent options to promote via text messaging. You can also promote events or sales that may currently be going on.

3. Participate in a Loyalty Program

A loyalty program is an excellent way to retain customers. You can establish the program to best match the needs of your customers and encourage them to come back. This is also an excellent way to bring individuals into your store. Send text messages, emails, or share on social media additional incentives for loyalty members who make a purchase during a certain time frame. In some circumstances, these little incentives are exactly what customers need to get them out the door and into your store.

4. Make it a Family Affair

Sometimes you need to give your customers more than just a good deal— you need to offer them something of value. Hosting a family-friendly event, a class, or a workshop can be an excellent tool to get individuals to your business. Additionally, it can be a great way to subtly market your products and your services. Furthermore, when you promote these events on social media, you can offer giveaways and host contests for individuals who share the post and help promote your company’s event.

5. Improve Your Online Reputation

Your online reputation can hinder your local marketing. Up to 50% of customers who look for a local business online will visit that establishment the same day. However, if you have negative reviews and little information online, they are less likely to visit. Spend time responding to reviews, offer incentives to current customers who write reviews, and build up your website. You must make it easy for individuals to find your business and make them want to come through your door.

By implementing the above tips, you can more easily reach your target audience and build relationships with customers. It is important that you find ways to engage, entice, and retain customers if you want to find success and increase your sales locally.

Interested in learning more about SMS marketing for your small business? Call us at 800-696-1393 or contact us here

Get our newsletter about all things related to SMS for customer and employee communications!

The post Small Business Marketing: Tips for Increasing Sales appeared first on TextMarks SMS Text Messaging.

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Resolutions have made and customers looking to get fit will begin pouring in. How will you let them know about your gym or fitness center and convince them to join?

Owning and managing a successful gym or fitness center can be a challenge. There are dozens of fitness centers in any city and you need to discover ways to make individuals want to experience what your gym offers and keep them coming back for more. The answer lies in your marketing. Create several marketing strategies that not only target various demographics but make your gym stand out from all the rest. Here are four marketing strategies that can help you beat the competition and maintain a successful gym.

1. Think Mobile

More than 77% of U.S. adults own a smartphone and most individuals constantly have it within reach. Use this information to your advantage and focus on this technology when marketing. For example, you can create a mobile app that lets individuals track workouts, log calories, even pay monthly dues or upgrade memberships. Text members with special monthly discounts or coupons, or send SMS messages to promote new classes and equipment. You can even send surveys via text messaging to gather customer feedback.

2. Regularly Hold Customer Events

If you have new equipment you want to promote or are simply trying to bring new members into the gym, hold events that entice customers. For example, have free food, let anyone who walks in the door spin a wheel for prizes, offer free classes, or give away personal training sessions. Be creative with each event but ensure it offers strong incentives to make new members walk through your doors.

3. Improve Your Online Reputation

In the fitness world, your online reputation is vital to the success of your company. When looking for a new gym, many individuals will conduct thorough research online to find the closest gym with the most satisfied customers. Additionally, word of mouth is one of your best tools for expanding.

To improve in these areas, first, focus on your customer service. Work with members, be friendly, learn members’ names, and keep the gym clean and the equipment working. Second, improve your website. Make certain your website is user-friendly, highlights the features of your gym, and is search engine optimized. Third, maintain your social media accounts and keep them active. Really strive to engage followers by offering discounts, giveaways, merchandise, etc. Finally, respond quickly to customers whether by phone, email, or social media. If a negative review is posted, respond quickly and try to make amends.

4. Hold Contests and Programs for Current Members

If you want to maintain your current client base, hold contests and various programs with excellent prizes. When it comes to fitness, many individuals need motivation. By offering these incentives, they are more likely to come into the gym, talk about contests and programs with other individuals, and maintain their membership. Consider the main demographics at your gym as you create these contests and programs.

While there are many marketing strategies for gyms that you can use, you should remember the various demographic profiles of the people who frequent your gym. What works for one fitness center may not work for yours and you need to be diligent in your marketing efforts if you want to expand and maintain your fitness center.

Interested in learning more about using SMS to promote your gym or fitness center? Call us at 800-696-1393.

Get our newsletter about all things related to SMS for customer and employee communications!

The post 4 Marketing Strategies for Your Gym or Fitness Center appeared first on TextMarks SMS Text Messaging.

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A great way to drive text interaction and promote your TextMarks keywords is with printed promotional posters. These posters can hang in the storefront of your shop, on meeting room walls,  distributed at events, and used like any other promotional poster with your company or organization’s contact information!

Through its sister company Poster Oven, TextMarks users can quickly create custom posters that you can send to a printer, or print yourself! Here’s how to get started.

  1. In your TextMarks dashboard, find the keyword that you want to create posters for and then click on the “Settings” link below it.
  2. Next, click on the “Promotion Tools” tab in your keyword settings, then drop down to select “Print a Poster or Sign”:
  3. You’ll be taken to a page where you can see an example of a poster created with our poster creation tool, Poster Oven. Once you’re ready to start creating your own poster, click the orange “Customize Poster” button.
  4. You’ll be taken to a new page for Poster Oven, where your keyword will be automatically filled in on any poster template/design that you choose.
  5. The first step to create your custom poster is to select a template. To do this, click on the gray “Choose Template” button.
  6. Then select the template you like most or that is most appropriate for your campaign. If you want to promote your keyword along with a specific event, or with your company via Facebook or Twitter, there are templates that have spaces for this as well:
  7. After you select your template, you’ll automatically see a preview of your poster. You’ll also be taken automatically a menu that allows you to change the text on your poster. Make any changes you wish to the poster’s text, and click the “Next: Social>” button:
  8. The Social menu will let you add Facebook and Twitter links to your poster, which will also appear as QR codes that users can scan for more information. Additionally, this section lets you alter your keyword info. Make any changes you like, then click the “Next: Download>” button.

You’ll have the option to download your poster as a PDF or a PNG file. If you intend to sent the file to a printer, PDF will give you a higher resolution image. If you wish to post the poster online or share via an email to your customers, PNG is a lower resolution file format that will require less memory:

Once you have your poster file downloaded, you can print off hardcopies, distribute the poster online, or do whatever else you like with it! If you ever wish to create posters for your other keywords, just repeat the steps above with those keywords.

The post TextMarks Tutorial: Use PosterOven To Help Promote Your Text Message Program appeared first on TextMarks SMS Text Messaging.

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Happy Holidays from all of us at TextMarks! Our office will be closed on Christmas Day, but will re-open on the 26th. We are grateful for your business and wish you peace and happiness with your family and friends.

…From the TextMarks Team

The post Happy Holidays! appeared first on TextMarks SMS Text Messaging.

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When managing a franchise restaurant, your employees are critical to your success. Poor customer service, management, and performance are going to affect whether customers choose to come back. It also differentiates your eating establishment from the one down the street.

Recruiting incredible talent should not be an impulsive decision. In fact, most restaurants lose an average of $150,000 a year on employee turnover alone, with turnover of a single front-line employee costing restaurants approximately $5,864. So, how do you choose the right employee from the very beginning and how do you attract them to your restaurant? Here are several restaurant recruitment tips you should consider.

1. Choose Those Familiar With the Industry

Food service is a fast-paced and customer-focused industry and it is not for everyone. Experience in this industry, particularly long-term experience, shows managers that these individuals are familiar with it and they like it. If possible, look at applicants who have worked at other franchise restaurants. These individuals will already be aware of many of the processes, policies, and services your restaurant likely has as well.

2. Give Individuals a Reason to Apply and Stay

You want to offer employees many benefits and incentives for working at your restaurant and for long periods of time. For example, Chick-Fil-A offers their employees who are enrolling in undergraduate or graduate schooling in the upcoming school year a $2,500 scholarship. Other franchise restaurants offer life insurance, a 401(k), and bonuses. If your franchise restaurants do not offer these incentives, find something that you can provide at your own establishment. When employees feel like the company truly cares about their success, they are much more apt to apply and do a good job once hired.

3. Focus on Workplace Culture

The food and beverage industry experiences one of the highest turnover rates compared to any other industry. This is because many individuals are looking at the job as a way to make a living now, rather than make it a long-term career. Because these turnover rates are so high, creating a strong workplace culture is difficult but it should be a priority. You want to create an environment that employees enjoy coming to.

To do this, get to know your employees. Meet with them often to discuss their concerns and receive feedback. Celebrate company anniversaries or milestones as a team, have holiday parties, and other team-supportive events. The more your employees enjoy coming to work each day, the more likely they are to talk to others about working with your company. Plus, when they enjoy their job, they will work harder and ensure their performance is top-notch.

4. Ask for Referrals

If you have employees who go above and beyond, ask them for referrals during your hiring process. You can also offer incentives to these individuals, such as cash bonuses, if their recommendation is the person you choose to hire. This will help ensure your employees only refer the best and that they speak highly to others about your establishment. Plus, word-of-mouth is powerful in the food industry. Not only do strong recommendations bring more customers into the restaurant, but it entices the best employees to work there.

5. Use the Right Recruitment Tools

When it comes to getting the word out, be creative! Create an engaging social media campaign to help drive applications, or add a text message call-to-action to your recruitment campaigns. But don’t just drive them to an application page. Create great content like employee testimonials or videos about your company culture.

By keeping the above tips in mind, you will have a much easier time recruiting the right team members and create a successful, engaging, and customer-focused restaurant.

Interested in learning more about using SMS for recruiting employees for your restaurant? Call 800-696-1393 today or contact us here

Get our newsletter about all things related to SMS for customer and employee communications!

The post Recruitment Tips for Franchise Restaurants appeared first on TextMarks SMS Text Messaging.

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Strong customer service is one of the most important aspects of a business. Without it, many customers will not return and you will have a difficult time with retention. Research shows that 54% of millennials and 50% of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers will end business with a company due to its poor customer service. Let’s discuss a few ways to deliver a positive customer experience and improve your company’s retention rates.

1. Hire the Right People

If you want to deliver a powerful customer experience, it is essential that you hire the right people from the very beginning. It takes a certain individual to handle customer concerns and you need to look for specific traits and characteristics that come naturally. For example, these individuals need:

  • Patience
  • Flexibility
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Communication skills

To do this, it means you need to not only take more time throughout the hiring process, but you need to offer good pay and strong benefits to prevent high turnover and make sure the right employees stay.

2. Proper Training for Customer Service Representatives

If you want your customer service department to excel, they need to be properly trained and have the right resources to do so. Developing vital customer service skills is essential to taking care of the customer’s needs and addressing their problems and concerns. Training in this department should be a continual process and not something that you do once.

3. Gather Feedback from Customers

Developing the right strategies and plans to improve your customer service means knowing where your weaknesses lie and where you could make improvements. Customer surveys are an excellent way to gather this feedback. You can use various resources such as text messaging, email, or social media, to distribute and conduct these surveys. Be smart about how you gather this information if you want to improve response rates and gain valuable customer feedback. Think through questions carefully, keep surveys short, and even offer incentives and perks to those who provide feedback.

4. Focus on Response Time

The amount of time it takes for you to respond to customers directly affects how they feel about your customer service. According to one Twitter poll, customers would be willing to pay up to $19. 83 more for a service if they received a response from a customer service representative within six minutes. While responding immediately to customer complaints or issues can be difficult or seem almost impossible to do so, it must be something you aim to do.

Consider automatic form emails for email inquiries and make sure to regularly monitor social media channels and address any customer inquiries or complaints on these channels as well. However, make sure to keep these responses personal and try not to make your customer feel like they are just another number in a long line.

5. Show Appreciation

Not only should you help your customers through a poor experience, but you should help create a positive one as well.  Tell your customers how much you appreciate their business by providing free merchandise, discounts, promo discounts, coupons, etc. Make sure they feel appreciated and valued.

Customer service is certainly a challenging job but is essential to the success of any business. By implementing the above tips and focusing on improving the department, you’ll have a much easier time retaining customers and improving the quality of your business.

Interested in learning more about TextMarks SMS services? Call 800-696-1393 or contact us here.

Get our newsletter about all things related to SMS for customer and employee communications!

The post Customer Service Tips for Delivering a Positive Customer Experience appeared first on TextMarks SMS Text Messaging.

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