How to keep your customer data clean

It’s important to maintain your customer database. Here’s how to use SMS to collect and update your customer information.

Businesses are legally required to keep customer data up-to-date. A well-maintained database means you can reach out to customers with personalized messages, from content that resonates to tailored recommendations. This will help you deliver an experience that exceeds their expectations, ultimately driving conversion and satisfaction.

This can be challenging if you’re restricted by time and budget constraints.

For example, the traditional methods of reaching customers – like letters, phone calls and emails – are often time-consuming and ineffective. Take letters, for instance. They can be expensive to send and difficult to track responses. Phone calls and emails are easily ignored (or in the case of email, they can become lost in spam folders).

The alternative is an SMS survey. With an average open rate of up to 98% and 32% of global consumers willing to complete surveys if asked to do so via SMS, it’s an opportunity you can’t afford to pass up. 

The trick is keep your questions clear and concise, and send your survey at the right time. That’s how you can maximize response rate and quality.

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The potential of SMS surveys

SMS surveys are a great way to:

SMS surveys with Esendex

How can our SMS surveys product help your organization?

Building an SMS survey that converts

SMS is a great channel via which you can send surveys that allow customers to provide any updates/changes to their details. Here are some tips on how you can lay out your survey.

1. Intro message

Before sending customers the survey, send them a message first to inform them that they’re about to receive a survey. We conducted a data cleansing exercise, during which we tested the value that introduction messages had. Half of the surveys were sent without an intro message and half with. 

We saw a 15.92% response rate from the customers who were sent the intro message compared to 8.62% who weren’t. This suggests that intro messages do make a difference.

We also tested how surveys sent via SMS performed compared to their email counterparts. Email saw a 2.91% response rate, suggesting that SMS might just be the superior channel when it comes to sending customer surveys and feedback forms.

2. Questions

There are various types of questions you can ask when it comes to collecting and updating customer data:

Predefined answers

Let’s say you’re a recruitment agency. You could ask a question like “When we last spoke, you were looking for roles in marketing. Is this still the case? Text YES or NO to update your preferences.”

You could also give customers the opportunity to opt out of future communications. For example, “Text STOP to unsubscribe from our mailing list.”

Your predefined answers in this scenario are YES, NO, and STOP. Based on your survey recipient’s response, you can trigger the next question. This is a great way to personalize surveys to individual recipients, ensuring they receive questions that are relevant. 

What if the recipient responds with an answer that doesn’t match one of your predefined options? You can set up an auto-reply that asks people to respond with one of the following options (YES, NO, or STOP). 

Non-predefined answers

Also known as free type answers, this option lets recipients reply with whatever they’d like. This is perfect if you need more detailed responses from your survey recipients. Think along the lines of changes in address or contact information, or if you want people to elaborate on their previous response. 

Using the recruitment example we mentioned earlier, let’s say you asked this: “When we last spoke, you were looking for roles in marketing. Is this still the case? Text YES or NO to update your preferences.”

The recipient responds with YES. You could then ask: “You were looking for roles relating to marketing manager. Is this still the case? Reply with YES or the roles you’re now looking for.”

And the recipient can respond with either YES or the name of a role. 

3. Signing off

Once you’ve gathered all of the information you need, it’s time to thank your recipient for their time. You can even include your contact details as part of your sign off – this gives your recipient the chance to clarify or amend any responses.

4. Data analysis

Download your survey responses as a spreadsheet and use this to either manually update your customer database, or – and we recommend this option – import the data.

Give Esendex a try

Activate your 7-day free trial today and start exploring the Esendex SMS platform and feature-rich capabilities.

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How does an SMS survey compare to a regular survey?

One key advantage that an SMS survey has over a regular survey? You can create your survey with 3-4 questions, upload your customer data to the Esendex survey dashboard and let the platform do the work for you. 

There’s no need to reply to the messages either. The survey can automatically send the next question once it’s detected that it’s received a valid response to the first question. If the response is invalid (e.g. one of the answers doesn’t match the list of predefined responses), you can set up an auto-reply that reminds the recipient to reply with one of the following predefined responses.

The information that you gather (i.e. the responses) will be available to view in the survey dashboard. You can export this as a spreadsheet and update your customer database.

We’ve got better visibility of what people using our services think of us now, and we’re also able to provide better services as a result.”


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