COVID19 has changed the world’s business environment forever. It’s created the need for better communications and a new relationship between businesses and customers or prospects.
Business SMS messaging systems meet this need, and making your business text-friendly is fast becoming a must-do.
Some might argue that text messaging is old school. There’s some truth to that. Text messaging, or Short Messaging Service (SMS) technology, has actually been under development and used since the 1980s. In recent years the technology has expanded to include MMS (Multimedia Message Service), group texts, and internet instant message applications like WhatsApp.
But this article isn’t about technology. Technology’s only purpose is to solve problems and people will use it when it’s effective at doing so. This makes technology adoption a social process where people learn to use it to gain an advantage or solve a problem.
Let’s look at how people are adopting and using text messaging today:
- 97% of Americans text at least once a day
- Americans text message 5X more than they call. They like the short, quick nature of texting
- 75% of consumers are OK with receiving SMS messages from brands (after they’ve opted in)
- Consumers prefer texting for customer service
- 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes
- Texts have 2x the engagement as social media
Is there any doubt that text messaging is a preferred communications mode?
Make Your Business Text Friendly
Businesses can immediately provide great service to customers, prospects, clients, and patients by adding the convenience of text interactions to their operation.
In addition, being text-friendly opens up new marketing opportunities when done in compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) guidelines. These are not hard to abide by. You’ll need to ensure that people have opted in to receive your messages, and there are clear ways for them to unsubscribe.
In short – just don’t abuse it or annoy subscribers.
Here are some of the advantages to the business for Text Management Systems (TMS):
- Communications with customers can be done in real-time and its more person to person nature builds relationships
- People always have their phones with them and check them frequently throughout the day
- Even the most technically challenged know how to text – there’s very little learning curve
- SMS messages have a whopping 98% open rate. 90% are read within 3 minutes
- Text messages have a 209% higher response rate than phone, email, or Facebook. Click through rates are 20 times greater than email
- It’s fast, reliable, secure, and affordable
- The business will be in the prospect’s phone contact list – and don’t need to be logged in to a special social media or internet platform to use it
- Texting prospects are more engaged and more likely to respond and convert to paying customers.
- TMS’s can automate responses to routine text queries
- TMS’s can build and segment a list by giving options for customers or prospects to text a keyword to the text-enabled line.
- Messages can be personalized to meet people on their specific customer journey
- When customers or prospects engage with your SMS, you can keep the conversation going with messages of value.
- TMS’s can broadcast important information or promotions to subscribers
- There are TMS’s available with a wide range of features to manage all customer communications from desktop or mobile phone
Here are just a few examples of how companies are successfully using TMS’s for building customer relationships and marketing:
- Ecommerce companies like Amazon are notifying customers of the status of orders and shipments
- Professional services companies are allowing customers to schedule visits via text and are sending post-purchase feedback request and surveys
- Retailers are using text messaging to quickly get out the word about COVID-19 operational changes, special open hours, and inform their subscribers about new services and products, and back-in-stock alerts
- Property managers are using text messaging to allow tenants to text maintenance or billing issues to the right department. Maintenance schedules are setup and confirmed through their text system, and important community texts are shared via text.
- Retailers and eCommerce companies are providing customer service by encouraging clients to ask questions via text messages instead of waiting on hold or going through annoying phone trees
- Restaurants are sending coupons and enticing menu pictures to VIP club members. Text on arrival for curbside pickups is becoming commonplace.
- Auto service companies are sending estimates, service reminders, and “car is ready” text messages to customers
- Dentists, doctors, and home service companies send appointment reminders, confirmations, and follow up messages to patients and customers
- A broad range of businesses are using text messaging to broadcast deals and promotions to their subscribers
How To Make Your Business More Text Friendly:
If you’re looking to make your business more text-friendly, here are four actions to take:
- Implement a text messaging management system. System features allow a business to quickly transition into a text-friendly business and efficiently manage communications from a desktop or mobile phone dashboard.
- Text enable your current business landlines to provide 2-way text capability. Millions of texts are sent to business landlines every day. If the landline is not text-enabled, that customer could be lost forever. This can be done without changing existing phone numbers.
- Make it known to your website visitors, prospects, and customers that you encourage their texting, as well as their email or call.
- Learn how to use SMS system features to build your business. Integrate text messaging into your marketing and customer service plans.
In a way, the pandemic was a catalyst for the business text surge we’re seeing today. But as more companies migrate from email and phone to the faster, more reliable, more responsive, and personalized SMS to reach customers, the application of SMS to solving business problems will continue to grow.
It won’t eliminate the need for phone, email, or social media communications, but it will enhance the customer experience, efficiently communicate and build relationships, and help build the business.
In today’s business environment, who couldn’t use those benefits?
Next Level Local Business is a marketing and advertising firm specializing in improving its client’s online presence. Contact them to learn more about Online reputation or business texting systems.