What’s Holding You Back From Texting With Your Customers?
Two-way texting communication in business is catching on like wildfire. Everyware provides a personalized interaction with customers and the ability to process transactions, yet many companies are opting for this alternative approach to improve customer satisfaction. It’s convenient, instant, and sets up a direct line of communication with the customer, allowing companies to seamlessly address any questions, feedback or concerns with their product or service. With advancements in Artificial intelligence and Bot technology, businesses can even ensure 24/7 customer service without actually picking up a phone to text.
And yet, despite the obvious benefits, two-way texting has yet to hit the mainstream in customer communication for most industries. Perhaps it’s the hassle of introducing it, the extra cost needed to be put aside for it, or maybe companies believe that it’s too invasive. When implemented correctly, two-way texting can change communication and raise the bar for customer satisfaction.
Managing multiple locations
Companies managing multiple locations may see the adoption of text communication with customers as challenging. However, for even the multinational organizations working across borders, kickstarting this powerful on-demand engagement platform can be done from multiple locations under one account or individual text lines can be set up for each location. For example, a business may have a location in New York and New Jersey with two unique text lines, but the owner can easily respond to customers from either location using the same messaging tool.
Introducing two-way texting properly is key to ensuring communication does not breach a customers privacy or spam them with even more messages. The ultimate goal is to create real relationships with customers, so allowing them to opt-in and out when they like, should be part of the overall SMS process. A simple welcome message can allow the user or customer to opt- in or out to the messaging service easily. The ability to manage these opt-ins is crucial, by either manually or with an automated message such as STOP to opt-out, or START to opt-in, will guarantee a friendly service and enhance overall client satisfaction. Therefore, companies won’t need to worry about sending text messages without prior opt-in.
Dedicated person to manage the conversations
The effort associated with putting a team in place to manage two-way texting can also deter companies from giving it a go. However, most text campaigns and reminder notifications (for example about appointments or follow-ups) are automated, meaning no extra work on the company end! Quick reply templates can also be set up for faster manual responses as well. In some situations, businesses or customers may prefer to resolve an issue over the phone in, which case, two-way texting can be used to schedule a time to talk on their time. In addition, service centers have discovered that reps can handle multiple conversations at once, making them faster & more efficient while improving customer experience.
With the increase in business and sales boom that accompany this communication approach, companies must invest resources into two-way texting. A personalized communication stream keeps customers engaged and coming back for more. It is also the perfect platform to increase revenue with upsells and offers within a company's current pool of customers. For example, a salon could send out a text to customers offering additional services such as a facial to go alongside their pre-booked massage.
With more calls and emails going unanswered, two-way texting is proving to be an attractive and valuable investment. For those still on the fence, here are our best practices for texting customers to illustrate how best to approach two-way texting to help promote business, simplify marketing, and improve customer relations.
- Use 160 characters or less. Any more just won’t be read.
- Send messages once a week or less. Finding the line between constant communication and an overload of information is essential.
- Personalize as much as possible. Speak in first person, show that their time and questions are important to you, and address them with their first name.
- Respond in a timely manner.
- Avoid sending campaigns last minute. Despite phones living in most people's pockets, messages don’t always get read immediately.
- Segment your lists. In other words, only send a campaign to the customers it applies to.
- Set up opt-in and -out features and disclaimers.