SMS surveys: what they are, why you should use them, and how to create yours. Read more in our guide.
You might already leverage automated phone systems for businesses, but have you thought about harnessing the power of smartphones and cell phones, too?
With over 8 billion active mobile device subscriptions in the world – and counting – taking advantage of smartphone-based marketing seems like a no-brainer.
Not only is this type of marketing extremely affordable even for the most bootstrapped business, but it’s also potentially the one with the widest scope and reach.
When it comes to smartphone marketing, SMS surveys are undoubtedly one of the best and most effective choices to boost customer engagement, customer satisfaction, and profits.
If you want to learn more about how to create customer surveys through SMS text messaging for business and boost your feedback and responses, then this guide has got you covered.
Free to use image sourced from Pexels
SMS surveys are exactly what the expression suggests: short and simple surveys and/or quizzes that a company creates using short messaging service (SMS) through mobile phone devices.
The main aim of SMS surveys is to utilize first party data and information collected from customers. The scope of these surveys can be as far-reaching as a company wants it to be.
From gathering data on the company’s customer support services to asking customers for their opinion on a product they recently purchased, down to requesting the input of customers ahead of a new product launch, the options are virtually endless. Mobile surveys allow you to easily collect feedback and make more educated decisions
And while many businesses might believe that SMS is an “obsolete” way to do business – especially if they have gone through an extensive cloud application modernization process – the reality is different, with data showing that SMS is still one of the preferred ways in which people like to communicate.
If you are curious about getting started with SMS surveys, the first thing to do is understand the different types of SMS surveys that you can create, and which one suits your business best.
There are several different types of this DTC direct to consumer tool, but here we will explore the five main ones.
One of the most common types of SMS surveys is customer feedback surveys. Within these, you can pick either product or service feedback, shipping and delivery feedback, and customer service feedback.
In the case of product or service feedback, think creatively about what you want to ask your customers. Simply asking them to “rate” your product might be a decent enough idea, but it won’t provide you with much value.
Instead, consider going a bit more in-depth with a couple of more specific questions on how they are using the product itself, and what results they are experiencing.
If you are an eCommerce brand, you know just how vital it is to offer exceptional shipping and delivery services. Sometimes, though, things may not go to plan, and your customers may be less than satisfied.
To nip this in the bud, consider creating SMS surveys that reach your customers as soon as they have received the item that they had ordered, so you can get fresh, near-real-time insights into how your logistics department is performing.
Customer support is another crucial area that many brands like to explore through SMS surveys. For instance, it's a chance to know whether your omnichannel customer service is as effective as you've planned for it to be. If this is the case for you, think about sending your survey to all customers – regardless of whether they already left a positive or negative review – so you can effectively show them that each one of them truly matters.
Image and data sourced from leadferno.com
When it’s time to launch a new product or service to the market or to expand your business to new regions, SMS surveys can help you to collect information on your would-be target audience.
Generally, these surveys might be a bit longer than other survey types, as you want to go more in-depth and extract more insights from them.
Even so, try to limit yourself to asking five questions at most and, if your budget and business model allow it, consider adding a small reward at the end for those who complete the survey.
Customer lifecycle value is an essential factor for any business, and a well-thought-out SMS survey can prove instrumental in helping you to manage this aspect of the company-customer relationship.
With “keep-in-touch” SMS surveys, in fact, you can communicate with your entire customer base, regardless of how large it may be. This, in turn, makes your customers feel valued, looked after, and listened to, which ultimately leads to better retention rates and lower churn.
Having discussed what SMS surveys are and what different types of SMS surveys your company can build, it’s now time to discover three of the most remarkable benefits that this marketing tool can bring.
First of all, SMS surveys are exceptionally efficient when it comes to collecting data, information, and feedback.
You send them directly to the user’s phone, which means they don’t need to remember any links, enter any passwords, or open any new apps – everything happens quickly and efficiently from their mobile device.
A truly effective SMS survey should be the epitome of simplicity. People have very limited time (and patience) these days, and this applies especially to people on the go (AKA: those that are currently on a train or business trip and have just opened your text message).
Because most people can complete a survey in a bunch of seconds, this activity doesn’t disrupt their day or require any effort, while providing you with a wealth of information that can help guide future business decisions.
As we mentioned in the introduction, there are currently more active mobile phone subscriptions in the world than there are people.
This can only mean one thing: SMS surveys can reach an incredibly vast amount of people – many more than you’d reach via email, social media, or anything else.
Now that we have discussed the basics surrounding SMS surveys, let’s find out how you can create winning ones each time.
Free to use image sourced from Pexels
Finally, it’s time to dig into how you can create amazing SMS surveys that wow your customers and lift your sales.
Simply grab a list of mobile phone numbers (read here to discover how to grow your SMS lists) and think of a very specific topic that you’d like the survey to focus on, and then proceed as illustrated below.
We said it before but we’ll say it again: one of the absolute keys to making your SMS surveys an utter success is their brevity and simplicity.
Once you have decided on the topic that you want to tackle in your survey, as well as the type of survey that you want to launch, write down a list of ten main questions for your customers.
Then, trim the list down so you end up with only five questions. Next, give it another thought and narrow it down once more so you only have three questions maximum.
Put yourself in your customer’s shoes, and use that empathy to craft questions that are easy to read and understand, and quick to answer.
Making your surveys hyper-personalized is another essential key to their success. Imagine receiving an SMS that reads something like:
Please help us understand more about our brand by filling out this short survey.”
In all likelihood, you wouldn’t feel very enticed to read the survey, right? Now, let’s try and add some personalized items and come up with something along these lines:
“Hey [your name]!
We saw you recently bought our awesome hair diffuser. Have you had a chance to try it yet? We hope you (and your hair!) are absolutely LOVING it.
Can you just take a minute to let us know more about your experience by answering a couple of questions? We’ll be hugely grateful, as your input means the world to us!”
Free to use image sourced from Pexels
Automating your SMS surveys is another crucial step to building the perfect survey for your business, while saving a lot of time and effort.
To this effect, you are going to need to leverage a great software tool that can help you create, launch, and distribute your SMS surveys safely, quickly, and efficiently.
It may seem trivial, but if you are using an automated software tool (which you really should be doing) you need to test regularly in order to ensure that all the different parts involved in your survey work as they should.
Email marketing is still one of the most popular and successful marketing channels out there. So, how about combining it with SMS surveys?
After you have received a customer’s response to one of your SMS surveys, you can send them a follow-up email to thank them and touch base with them, which helps you to keep the communication (and the momentum) going. This could be combined with a call to action that links back to your .au or .com (or another suffix - depending on your chosen domain) website.
Free to use image sourced from Unsplash
SMS surveys are excellent ways to gather data on your customers, strengthen your relationship with them, and communicate with huge numbers of people who wouldn’t normally be accessible to you.
Will you be incorporating this tool into your marketing strategy? And which specific SMS survey type will you create? Let us know in the comments below!
Grace Lau is the Director of Growth Content at Dialpad, an AI-powered cloud communication platform for better and easier team collaboration. She has over 10 years of experience in content writing and strategy. Currently, she is responsible for leading branded and editorial content strategies, partnering with SEO and Ops teams to build and nurture content like this call center and BPO guide by Dialpad. Grace has also written for other domains such as Ironhack and Jostle. Here is her LinkedIn.