What is this text messaging stuff anyway? Yeah, everyone knows what texting is, and and we all use it every day, but have you ever thought about including your customers in your “friends list”?
Many moons ago, I was in a multi-unit pawn shop role and the stores were going through a rough patch. Retail was fine, but the effective loan balance was just not there. They were doing solid loans, sending reminders, and calling the customer before the item defaulted; but the customers were just not responding. Sound familiar?
Every month we had a managers meeting, and that month’s actionable item was to find different ways to communicate with the customer and get them to pay on their loaned items. We threw a lot of stuff “at the wall”, but one thing in particular stood out….TEXTING OUR CLIENTS.
It was my newest and youngest manager that suggested we get a store cell phone and put all our loan customers numbers in there. Now granted, this was several years ago, and the text laws were not close to what they are now, so we rolled with it at her store. The first week produced a 25% increase in service charges paid. The second week was very similar as well, as was the month of July, which is not traditionally a strong month for payments.
I bought phones for the other locations and they started using text reminders immediately. The next few months we showed a 32% increase in pawn service charges over the prior year (with very similar loan balances). Nothing changed year over year except the advent of texting clients every morning. Needless to say, I was sold.
In present day, text reminders and promotional blasts are much easier to execute and are mostly automated so that the broker can focus on other things, while reaping the benefits. The above example is one of many as I’m sure that many of you have similar stories that started your texting journey. It is simply the easiest, least expensive way to reach your customers while giving you the highest return on investment. There are many things that you can do without when running a business, but mobile communication is not one of them.