• Text marketing lets you engage with your customers where they usually are—on their phones.
  • Customers can use texting to pay for their orders, provide feedback and sign up for your loyalty program, to name a few possibilities.

Related: 5 ways to sell more pizza through text message marketing

By Jessica Ayre, Text Request

The pizza industry is highly competitive, and your pizzeria needs to stand out. Communication plays a key role in that, and reaching more customers through texting is going to help.

Mobile communications for restaurants have surged in popularity in recent times, and it only makes sense for your pizzeria to follow your customers where they want to engage—which is on their phones. So text them. But whether you’re a small or large restaurant, you’ll need a business texting service instead of texting from your personal phone. Here’s why texting from a personal phone just doesn’t work:

  • No insight into the conversations that staff and customers are having
  • No ability to organize messages by group or category
  • Mass texting and SMS promotions with keywords aren’t possible

Digital convenience is key to getting customers to engage, and that’s what texting has to offer. Here are five ways text marketing amps up your customer service and sparks conversations.

1. You can use SMS marketing to encourage loyalty program sign-ups. Loyalty programs are a great way to personalize your customers’ experience with your pizzeria. Most customers prefer to interact with a loyalty program via text since it’s easier to keep up with and doesn’t require a separate app.

Advertise your loyalty program on in-store signage, on your social media platforms, and even on your receipts. From there, all customers will need to do is text a keyword such as PIZZA to your business number to sign up.

Let them know how they can earn points and what kind of rewards they’ll get, such as a discount code, a free pizza or free delivery. Once they’re signed up, text things like:

  • Point balance
  • Expiring points
  • Current rewards
  • VIP perks

Reward programs are proven to encourage repeat business, and customers who come back are known to spend up to 10 times the value of their initial purchase.

2. You can offer text-to-pay for to-go and dine-in orders. If people are given the option to pay with their phone, they will. Text-to-pay is a seamless transaction for both your business and your customers. It should be an option that your pizzeria offers, especially with the high volume of takeout and delivery orders.

Text-to-pay works well for dine-in customers, too. They won’t have to flag down a member of your staff, and they can pay at their own convenience while sitting at their table.

How does text-to-pay work? After the customer has placed their order, simply text their receipt to them and include a link to pay. From there, they’ll be directed to a site where they can enter their payment details and pay securely.

Giving customers the option to pay over text is a small but important way to improve their overall experience. That means more foot traffic and profits for your pizzeria.

3. You can resolve customer questions and complaints via text. It can be difficult to keep track of questions through phone calls or across different review platforms. Instead, invite customers to text you regarding an order, problems with service or anything else. One way to encourage this is to prompt customers to text you with questions or comments at your number, on your website, and in-store.

It’s never easy for customers to reach out about a problem, but with texting, you give them a straightforward, accessible channel to communicate with you. Problems are resolved quicker, especially when messages are organized. A texting software will give you and your team valuable insight into what messages have been responded to and which ones still need to be addressed.

The more responsive you are, the more likely customers are to leave a good review versus a bad one. Texting enables the interaction to happen in real time, at any time and anywhere.

4. You can text customer polls and surveys. Gathering feedback for your pizzeria is easier with text polls and surveys. You’ll get a better understanding of what customers are thinking almost immediately, since polls and surveys take little time to respond to.

To prompt further engagement, tell customers they will get 15% off of their next order, or another perk, if they take the time to respond. In turn, you’ll generate more repeat business and keep customers happy in the long run.

Here are some texts you can send to gather feedback:

“Which specialty pizza is your favorite? Reply A, B or C to let us know and get 15% off your next order!
A. The New Yorker
B. Veggie Supreme
C. The Meat Lovers

“On a scale of 1-10, how was your experience with us today?”

“Mind filling out this survey about your recent visit? Here’s the link: [link]. Thanks!”

You’ll gain more honest and constructive feedback to help you learn what customers want and don’t want, giving you the valuable data you need to make more informed decisions.

5. Encourage customers to submit photos of their dining experience. Through texting, you can collect photos of customers enjoying your pizza and post them on social media. This helps put a face to your restaurant and gives people an idea of what it’s like to dine with you. Try posting shots from “behind the scenes” and your employees’ favorite pizzas too—it’ll round out your online personality even more.

Photos are social proof of a positive experience and help draw in potential guests who are thinking of trying your pizza. Customers love seeing real people writing reviews and posting pictures because it gives them something from which to build their expectations.

Text customers to ask for any photos they’ve taken of your food or their time at your pizzeria and let them know you want to share the pics on social media. They’ll be happy to send them over, especially if they have a chance of being featured on your Instagram or Facebook pages.

Texting leverages communications for your pizzeria, since you’re engaging customers on the channel they use the most. Customers are more likely to sign up for your loyalty program and come back to order their favorite pizzas, knowing there’s an easy way to contact you.

Ready to ignite conversations through text? Find a business texting solution that’s right for your pizzeria.

Jessica Ayre is a content marketing specialist at Text Request, a business texting solution. If your business wants to start texting customers, Text Request can give you all the tools and resources you need to create a successful text messaging strategy.