Views From Above

With the overwhelming majority of today’s smartphone users using their devices for texting, businesses are cluing in to the fact that communicating via text can mean big advances for productivity and profits. If you have yet to incorporate texting into your company, or if you’re looking for some new ideas to stretch its benefits further, here’s a look at some of what you can do.

Share Information or Offers

Texting provides an additional channel to offer data such as product or sale details to consumers–Direct Marketing Association asserts that 44% of consumers prefer texts over other channels to receive this kind of information. Many companies are combining this capability with proximity evaluation, an opt-in technique which enables companies to track cell phone users’ locations and send real time messages to customers when they are near shops or kiosks. Additional statistics prove the positive effect of marketing via text: Digital Marketing Magazine also asserts that 75% of customers would like to receive SMS offers, and according to Velocify, individuals who get text messages convert at a rate 40% higher than those who don’t receive text messages. ExactTarget claims that only about 25% of marketers currently are using text messaging, however, so there’s plenty of room for businesses to step up their game.

Handle Appointments

Customers have been able to access automated appointment systems through company websites now for many years, but these systems also can be connected to texts. Customers can use a text to specify the appointment time they want or cancel existing appointments. If preferred, customers also can connect to a live representative who can discuss appointment details, getting assistance with the appointment process through text instead of a phone call. According to a Harris poll, 32% of consumers surveyed would like to use texts for appointment scheduling.

Let Customers Check Orders

Customers can send order confirmation numbers in texts to request an update on whether the company has filled the order. The company also can use this method to help the customer track exactly where the order is in the delivery process and verify delivery. Results from a Harris poll indicate that 38% of customers surveyed would like to use texts to check orders.

Send Confirmations

Texts are a fast, automatable way for businesses to tell consumers that they’ve processed something. For instance, a company can send a text communicating that they’ve received a customer’s order or appointment request. These confirmations keep consumers and businesses on the same page. If the consumer sees that there’s a mistake in the confirmation, they can contact the company, by text or another channel, so that representatives can correct the error and provide a better experience. 31% of consumers surveyed would like to use texts to confirm reservations, according to a Harris poll.

Complete Customer Service

Customer service representatives can do everything from resetting passwords to cancelling orders. Traditionally, the way for customers to get this kind of help has been to call the company’s customer service number, but many consumers don’t like this option due to automated front end messages and lengthy wait times. Many businesses have made chat options available as a result, but texting offers another option that doesn’t necessarily require customers to visit the company’s website or install a separate application. According to eWeek, over half of customers say they’d probably text with a customer support representative, and 52% assert that texting would be their preferred way of communicating with business agents. Additionally, according to a Harris poll, 44% of consumers would prefer to press a button start a text conversation right away, rather than waiting on hold to speak with an agent.

Keep Team Members Connected

Texting is a fabulous method for keeping employees in touch with each other while they’re on the go. Workers quickly can request that team members send information during meetings with customers, for instance, or they can send a message with an estimated arrival time. The end result of this coordination is improved efficiency, which can lead to greater productivity or closed sales. Overall, employees have embraced texting as a way to work well together. Vitiello Communications Group reveals that 86% of employees believe businesses shouldn’t reserve texting for use just with customers, and that 70% of workers think companies should use text as a way to communicate with employees.

Improve Your Reputation

In most cases, when customers use a technology on a wide scale and a company then adopts that technology, customers tend to have a more positive view of the business. This fact holds true for SMS: Harris poll results indicate that 64% of all surveyed customers are likely to see a business more positively if they offer texting. The percentage increases to 77% when looking only at the 18- to 34-year-old age group, reflecting that younger generations of consumers utilize technologies at higher rates. Part of the cause for this new view likely is that the technology often improves the customers’ experiences with the company. Secondly, customers might perceive the company as being more in touch with consumers’ needs. They also might enjoy having another option available with which to interact with the business.

Save Money

Using texting can save companies money in multiple ways. As an example, a call that that normally would cost a company $6 to $20 reduces costs to just pennies per session, according to both Forrester and ContactBabel. Companies also save money when they are able to resolve customer service issues quickly, as well as when employees use texting to work more efficiently. Using text also can reduce the need for other communication systems that might be more expensive to install or operate.

Conclusion

Modern businesses have a slew of technologies available that can improve their performance and market status. Texting easily holds its own in this regard, having the ability to let consumers, workers and companies connect in extremely efficient ways. Incorporate texting into your business in as many ways as possible to push forward toward whatever vision you have.

References:

Eztexting.com (2016). SMS Communication Is Helping Businesses Reach Employees.
Peccolo, G. (2015). 45 Texting Statistics That Prove Businesses Need to Take SMS Seriously.
Sigalov, G. (n.d.). Why More Small Businesses Are Texting.

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