Providing personal service is easy to do when you only have a handful of clients. But how do you connect – and stay connected – with your customers at scale? It’s a dilemma that Muse Pilates faced until they started using SMS to talk with their customers rather than at them. The result? More engagement, more sales, and a better customer experience.
When you jump from a few hundred to a couple of thousand members, there’s bound to be some growing pains. For Muse, the biggest challenge has been staying connected with their rapidly expanding community.
Originally, they only had one phone and one customer service rep fielding member inquiries and phone calls across all their studios, making it nearly impossible to respond immediately.
“For a service-based business, even the smallest problem can have a ripple effect if we don’t acknowledge it quickly,” says Group Marketing and Sales Manager, Mackenzie Ford.
According to the stats, Mackenzie isn’t wrong. When reaching out to a brand online, 26% say they expect an immediate response and an additional 64% want a response within 24 hours.
Muse needed one system where everybody could see what was happening with members at any studio. So, they implemented HubSpot. Sweet. But that only solved half the problem.
Every time Muse opened a new studio, they had an overwhelming number of member enquiries. They couldn’t follow up fast enough, which resulted in a low conversion rate.
“That’s where Sinch MessageMedia does most of the heavy lifting. SMS has proven to be a great way for us build a solid client base – before we open a studio,” says Mackenzie.
I really, really wish we’d found Sinch MessageMedia back then. Connecting with someone by sending them a text message, and they respond almost instantly – that’s been a complete game-changer.Mackenzie Ford, Group Marketing and Sales Manager
A little birdy at HubSpot told Mackenzie about Sinch MessageMedia. She says it didn’t take much to convince her that our HubSpot integration was the right SMS tool for the job – for lots of reasons.
Bulk SMS campaigns.
After the COVID-19 lockdowns, Muse ran a welcome-back offer. The only way they could reconnect with members other than email? Sending people letters with a QR code – and it didn’t go well.
Muse now sends bulk SMS messages to market its class packs and members can’t get enough. In fact, Muse is constantly fielding messages asking when the next sale is coming. Over a six-month period, Muse saw the number of monthly inbound messages increase by 114%.
“Since we started using Sinch MessageMedia and SMS, our conversion rate has consistently gone up,” says Mackenzie.
How much? By a whooping average of 16% click through rate.
But it’s not just sales and promotions that Muse has found SMS valuable for. It’s also done wonders for their customer service.
If a studio manager receives a complaint, they can jump in and message individual members or send bulk SMS. This frees up their customer service team to focus on answering new member enquiries.
And while cancelled classes aren’t ideal, they do happen from time to time. With SMS automation, Mackenzie has managed to build workflows that turn a potentially negative experience into a positive one.
“Things happen that you can’t control. But when people are informed, and you’re able to do it quickly, they react better,” explains Mackenzie.
MMS and conversational messaging.
Most importantly, Sinch MessageMedia is also making it easier for the Muse team to connect with existing members in a way that humanizes their brand.
By using a dedicated number that members know and trust, adding custom fields to personalize SMS, and exploring MMS messaging, Muse is having more (lots more) two-way conversations. 56% of their outbound messages in 2023 have been MMS. And the average click-through rate? 23% while also using short trackable links.
“When we made our messages more personalized and fun, people interacted with us and started asking questions. Now that people have our number saved, we’re finding they’re choosing to text us more,” says Mackenzie.
We’ve tried some wild things with our texts and MMS, like using GIFs, and it got a reaction. People started replying and I think it’s because they thought there was someone on the other end.Mackenzie Ford, Group Marketing and Sales Manager
With Sinch MessageMedia’s conversational messaging, Muse is chatting with their customers faster than ever before.
With a 100% delivery rate on the 60,000+ SMS messages they’ve sent this year, Muse are reaching more people than ever before.
But it’s not just reach that’s improved, their engagement rates are soaring too. With click through rates approaching 20% for SMS and pushing way beyond that for MMS campaigns, Muse marketing campaigns are generating a response rate over 5%.
That’s equated to more than 6,500 inbound messages, a figure that’s increased 114% in a six-month period.
For a Senior Marketer like Mackenzie, it’s an ROI dream. “Since the start of the year, we’ve increased contacts and the number of purchases every sale. More and more people ask, ‘When’s the next sale coming?’ and we’re like, ‘Wait for the text message.’ It’s created a sense of urgency.”
Swoosh! That sounds like success.
Now that Muse have seen what SMS and MMS can do, Mackenzie is excited to take things up a notch.
She recently attended a HubSpot conference where Sinch MessageMedia talked about AI, and that’s something Muse would like to explore.
Mackenzie adds that while most people know someone isn’t available 24/7, any answer is better than no answer, and that’s where she believes AI can help Muse elevate its member experience even further.
Until then, Mackenzie says the team is focused on having meaningful conversations with their members, so they stick around for a good time and a long time.