As a small business, it’s important to use technology & integrations that makes it easy for your customers to respond. Businesses are incorporating texting & SMS marketing because it’s an effective alternative to traditional forms of communication that no longer fit in consumers’ busy schedules.
Email has shifted to become a low priority platform. Studies show that emails have a 23% open rate, and many of which get lost or sent to spam folders. Texting your customer enables you to be front and center on their mobile devices. Text messages not only have a 99% open rate, but 95% are opened within the first 5 minutes of being received!
Why the shift to text messaging?
Consumers want a way to reach businesses that is convenient and fast. In a survey by Ovum, one of the reasons customers preferred to use SMS texting when dealing with businesses included that it's less frustrating than other modes of communication.
Imagine your customer has a busy day ahead of them, but they need to schedule an appointment with you, or ask if you have what they need in stock. Instead of spending time calling, or trying to navigate your website on their phone, they send you a quick text. It only took a few seconds to type up the message, and by the time they have gotten ready to head out the door, you’ve replied real time. They’re now able to grab their keys and make their way to your business knowing they’ve made the right choice as you were able to provide them with a high level of customer service. It’s just that simple!
Not only does SMS text messaging create a more personalized customer experience, but it makes your customers feel like a VIP. Texting is a friendly way to not only have a conversation, but to build strong customer relationships.
Customers want to follow and interact with businesses in the same way they interact with the people in their lives. When you send a SMS/MMS message, you appear in the same inbox as their friends and family. This enables your company to appear more human and builds customer loyalty and trust.
Why not call? While you might be tempted to argue phone calls are just as direct as texts, they’re also more intrusive.
Businesses often get stuck playing phone tag with customers, which is frustrating for both parties. If you opt to leave voicemails for your customers, keep in mind that over 90% are never returned. Texting gives you the flexibility to have that personalized conversation with your customer, directly on their phone, without disrupting their day.
How Business Text Messaging Can Help You
How many times have you gotten off the phone with a business only to realize you forgot some important details? Wouldn’t it be great if it was already written down somewhere convenient, like your phone? Here are some ways to use business text messaging to get more business.
Schedule & Send Appointment Reminders
By texting your customers you can help them book their next visit easily, without playing phone tag. You’ll be able to send a quick text with all the information they need, and can expect a simple confirmation to set up the appointment.
By simplifying this process, you’ll be able to easily fill up your appointment calendar with new and repeat customers. You can then follow up with appointment reminder alerts, letting them know their appointment is coming up, and if they need to reschedule, they can let you know. By keeping the lines of communication open, texting will help reduce no-shows, reschedulings, and cancellations.
Service & On-going Customer Support
Text messaging enables you to easily provide unbeatable service by following up with a quick text to show your customers you care about their experience.
Customers can also text back with any questions or concerns they may have before returning. By efficiently answering any questions they have, you can build a stronger relationship and guarantee repeat business.
If they have any questions that require your expertise before going to your store, or are unsure if you can help them, customers can upload and send pictures to help visualize the problem. Pictures provide you with better context on how to help them. Providing a texting platform helps mitigate confusion that could arise if they try to explain the same issue to you verbally and can increase customer satisfaction.
Instead of calling in or browsing the web, allow your customers to send a quick text message to ask if you have what they need in stock. Get an edge over your competitors by getting the information straight to their phone before they have a chance to call in, or spend time on someone else’s website. Instantly win their business before your competitors even have a chance to!
You'll never really know what your customers think - or feel - about your business until you ask. Many companies are nervous about approaching customers for feedback because it feels like it could be an awkward conversation. Some businesses think asking for feedback and collecting customer data is a long and complicated process that inconveniences the customer too much.
With texting, it's easy-to-send a quick message and make the process as easy as possible for your customers to give you feedback. Since 90% of consumers prefer messaging, text them on their phones with a request for a review and a link that allows them to post their thoughts within 30 seconds.
Keep Customers Updated
Keep your customers up-to-date with important changes at your business. Any service changes, hours of operation, discounts, or other relevant information at your business that could impact your customers should be front and center on their phones.
Make it easy with mass texting and text message marketing to help customers stay on the same page as you by sending a text message to avoid any inconvenience.
How to Choose the Right Business Texting Tool
1. Can you use your existing landline number to text?
Your business texting app should allow you to use your landline number to receive and send texts. Using your current business phone number helps with brand recognition, as some customers may already know your current landline.
It’s also important for consistency, as different websites and review platforms may already have your information displayed for potential customers to use. The added benefit of using the same phone number means you don’t need to update your website, Google My Business or other promotional information.
2. What Automation Tools Do They Offer?
Repetitive tasks in a business’ day to day operations can be a hassle that forces employees to spend time and energy on tedious work. Sending email requests, booking appointments over the phone, or verbally asking for reviews takes time away from your staff. Automated texting tools allow your team members to use that same time to focus on their other tasks, as the system takes care of sending and auto replies for them.
Imagine if you had an automated system that sends out review requests after your customers have left. You’ll never miss the chance to ask a happy customer for a review again. However, it’s just as important to make sure you have control over who receives your text requests.
3. Are they TCPA Compliant?
The TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) is designed to protect consumers from unsolicited marketing messages. Originally enacted in response to telemarketers using robocalls, it has now been extended to new technologies such as texting. Ask your business text messaging software provider about compliance tools before you buy.
The goal is to make sure your texts are personalized and not robotic, to ensure the customer knows it’s not a spam text, and keep your business safe. Some important practices to help your business text messaging with TCPA compliance include:
- Keeping texts short and simple.
- Make sure to text customers who have shown interest in your business, including those who have visited your location.
- Let customers know they can opt-out as soon as they receive the text.
- Keep complete records of consent to subscribe and opt-outs. Make sure to not text those who have opted out.
4. Do they provide a unified platform to review and manage all the texts being sent?
When picking your business text messaging tool make sure there's a unified platform where all the text messages are kept. Managers should also be able to track and watch over all the text messages being sent by staff members.
This helps with quality assurance, and if you’re able to track employee texts, their stats can help with job performance reviews. It’s best to incentivise team members who put in the extra effort to stay in touch with customers.
5. Do they provide training and assistance for your staff?
When bringing on a new technology, having your team on board is crucial for a smooth transition. Ultimately, business text messaging helps your team make more sales, which helps your business grow. While it can be a challenge to bring on new technologies, it helps to have a skilled group of experts to help you along the way.
A particularly useful feature to lookout for is text message templates. You can save time and boost productivity by designing or using ready-made message templates for common scenarios.
Ready to Grow Your Business?
Our mission is to help local businesses grow by making it easier to communicate with customers. With modern text messaging technology, your local business can send mass text message marketing and review invitations to your customers via text, enabling them to post a review with just a few clicks in under 30 seconds.
If you’re looking to boost your Google ranking, the best place to start is with online reviews of your business. Build customer engagement and trust with your future customers through the power of word of mouth — online.
Learn more about DemandHub's reputation and contact management platform and book a 14-day free trial.