How to Use SMS Polls to Increase Product Sales
“Tell us how we’re doing!” is much more than a trite courtesy than you might have heard at the end of many business transactions.
Sure, it’s easy to ignore these requests, such as when the clerk at the grocery store asks you to take a “short” survey after your long shopping trip. Similar offers may also pop up on web sites when your browsing session is interrupted by an invitation to “let us know about your online experience.”
Who has time for that? Can’t I take a SMS poll instead? And why should I give my opinion for free, you may ask? (although some grocery stores offer points which can be handy for gas or other purchases.)
The truth is that businesses should treasure every opportunity available to learn the opinions of their customers, as varied as they sometimes may be.
They may hear just fine from some of the especially unhappy customers in the form of angry calls, emails, social media posts or online reviews, which, thinking positively, could represent opportunities to turn things around or address some deficiencies. In some cases, other underwhelmed customers may simply go elsewhere without announcing a reason for their departure.
Businesses also may rarely hear from the customers who have generally had a satisfactory time but not great enough of an experience to actually tell someone about it, or perhaps they’re not sure who to give input to if their needs were adequately met.
Texting can be one easy way for anyone to share their thoughts, whether it’s to share overall feedback, relay a positive, neutral or negative experience, or even offer suggestions on different directions for future promotions.
Trumpia, which offers automated texting services for businesses, makes it easy for consumers to give input, also via texting. This instant feedback can be quite useful to a business – rather than trying to solicit opinions from a mass audience who may or may not be familiar with a company’s products or services, your texting audience usually consists of past customers or at least supporters who know enough about your company to want to sign up for its texts.
A business can use this information to see how a new concept resonates with a small sample of the public – sort of a beta test but for any product, not just a new program. If a targeted audience is provided the opportunity to give input – even constructive criticism – they may enjoy taking it.
The business can gather any feedback and decide what, if any, changes to incorporate, and then start the process again, possibly with some members of the same testing group, or even a larger pool.
Though this type of market research isn’t necessarily novel, the sms poll aspect can provide a more focused, immediate response for the business. For the customer, it offers a quick way to give input, using a tool they already use well, and without having to take a long survey or spend the day in a formal research group.
They also may enjoy the attention of being part of a “special preview” group, especially if it allows them personal contact with a brand they know and hopefully enjoy.
Here’s a breakdown of how two businesses can use Trumpia’s campaign manager services to create a sms poll and other tools to provide useful customer data.
Business A, which creates widgets, is planning a product launch of its newest creation and hopes its existing customers and new customers like it. The only challenge is in its color palette – its existing resources only allow for a certain number of colors, at least for the first version.
But what Business A does have is a solid database of customer phone numbers and other demographic information it has gathered over its history. Everyone on this list has all opted in to receive business and promotional texts, a legal requirement. Trumpia also can help manage these distribution lists and can allow businesses to create different groups for different promotions or needs.
Accessing this list, Business A can send a SMS poll out letting everyone know about the new product that’s in the works, and asking which color they prefer, perhaps from a list of 10 possibilities.
Customers can text back their top choice or other feedback, even if it’s just a number, and Trumpia can help separate the various responses to provide an accurate count of what colors are most preferred or most disliked. From these choices, Business A will have useful data to assess the results. Trumpia’s system also is designed to prevent ‘stuffing,’ or one mobile user trying to vote more than once, to make sure the sample is accurate and fair.
This could mean going back to the drawing board or maybe even sending out another text saying “thanks, here are our finalists—now help us pick a winner.” Or, the company can make this call on their own, but at least feeling secure that useful customer feedback helped guide the decision.
Business B, an established business, has already created a variety of products, but wants to make more money and also find out from customers which products, concepts and designs are more popular. Though raw sales data can be one guide, this info doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story of what makes one product more or less appealing.
Since Business B also has a helpful list of customers who have opted-in to receive texts and other communication, it decides to contact them for assistance. Customers in this group receive a SMS poll asking their thoughts about different types of designs, different types of products, and other personal preferences.
Then they can share their thoughts back via text, and Trumpia can provide a summary to Business B. This will give useful guidance as to what direction the company can take, what product efforts to put more attention toward, and ultimately, what will lead to higher sales.
This kind of preview can affirm an internal view that “we have a great product,” or offer an alternative view that “just because we like something doesn’t mean the customers like it.”
One easy way to make a costly mistake is to fully produce a product that the company may embrace, but only gets a so-so response from the marketplace.
This type of polling via sms is only the beginning of the specialty business service tools available through Trumpia, which include various campaign management tools designed to help you create the right type of poll for your business or promotion, and invite your customers to provide quick feedback.