It is probably because people make a lot of (negative) assumptions about texting in business. They may believe that it is hard to stay compliant and they are worried about their younger team members. They may think that only younger generations like to text. Or they may feel as if their customers won’t read texts, the same way they don’t read email, so it can’t be worth the ROI.
However, those assumptions could get in the way of you positively growing your business with an investment in texting technology.
Here are the facts!
More people are texting than ever before, which means your customers are likely already comfortable with the medium. Over 91% of Americans own a mobile phone, with smartphone ownership growing from 35% to 81% in just eight years. Yet customers are harder to reach. They are often ignoring phone calls (assuming it’s probably spam) or missing emails (they’ll get to it…later.)
But consumers keep texting. While at first texting was reserved for close friends and family, now it’s expanded to businesses. Two-way texting is convenient and even a preferred method of communication for modern customers.
It’s also new territory for a lot of businesses. Only 39% of companies have capitalized on texting to reach their customers, but 64% of those companies who don’t text still see the value of texting for business.
Many people see Millennials and Gen Z kids on their phones, tapping away with their thumbs. But research from The Pew Center reports that 79% of Americans aged 50-64 also own smart phones. Meanwhile, 53% of Americans over 65 years old also have smart phones.
Just like Will Ferrell said in his movie Old School, “Everybody’s doing it...”
You want to incorporate texting for business, where do you begin?!
Zipwhip has developed the following strategy
1. Build a texting strategy
Decide which line(s) to activate
Choose a high-quality, secure business texting software partner with the features you need
Design a strategy tailored to your use cases
Apply best practices to build your contact list
Ensure regulatory safeguards and review TCPA compliance
Create a training program around best practices for employees
- Market your texting capabilities to customers
The best texting strategies are tailored to an individual business to best serve their customers and then they are honed and developed over time. Every business is different.
The best way to start any texting strategy is to think through and define your key use cases. Start small, you have to crawl before you walk!
-What areas are you looking to improve with texting?
-How will you and your employees use texting to communicate with customers?
-How will this channel fit into your current workflow?
Once you know your use cases, build out an implementation plan from there.
2. Onboarding and training around best practices
It’s better to learn how to text for business the right way rather than to unlearn bad habits later, so make sure your team understands best practices.
Some key practices include:
-Keeping the message short
-Spell checking before you hit send
-Understanding when to incorporate clear "calls to action" in your text
Think about your texting etiquette
Business texting has its own rules and guidelines to help keep your communication professional, without sounding like a robot. So, be sure that your team learns the basics of business texting etiquette.
Texting etiquette involves:
-Being mindful of the time of day
-Personalizing your message
3. Market your new texting capabilities
You’ve implemented your texting program. Your team is trained. Now, how do you let customers know they can text you?
A cross-channel approach to marketing will get the most reach. You can leverage your existing:
- Website by adding “Call or text” to your activated phone number on your home and contact page. You can even include a Click to Text button for mobile audiences.
- Social Media: Leverage your social CTAs and promote your phone number.
- Email Signatures: Update your email signature for every outbound message to include “Call or text.”
- Physical signage: Don’t knock the old-school approach. If it fits the context, a poster on the front desk or even a label can be a great way of promoting your new ability.
4. Track results to measure success
Your texting software should enable you to track trends in your communication and make data driven decision. Leverage the data and establish metrics that align with your business goals:
-Are you working to decrease the amount of time it takes to resolve a customer issue or trouble ticket?
-Are you looking to measure the effectiveness of an advertising campaign with special offers sent to customers on multiple channels?
-Are you searching for a way to ensure your employees respond to customer communications in an effective manner?
Just like you’d organize and track open rates for your newsletter, be sure to check those reports and nurture your contact list for business texts.
So why go through this right now? Why is it important?
Unlike email, texting is a high-priority medium… Yes, even the texts from businesses—especially when they come from a real and recognizable 10-digit phone number. The modern American is so overwhelmed with robocalls and spam email, they’re unlikely to respond to unknown contacts. It’s much easier to let the call pass and ignore the junk folder.
But texting still has an inbox zero, with 74% of consumers reporting having no unread text messages on their phone. With less clutter, your messages have a much higher chance of reaching your customers.
Because texting is high-priority and more visible, it’s highly responsive with 83% of people responding to texts within an hour. That short response period allows for more efficient scheduling, problem solving and customer service.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can set up Texting for your sports team or business, email Matt Bruhn at Zipwhip firstname.lastname@example.org. Or better yet, you can text him here! (206) 816-3502
Zipwhip was the first company to enable texting on existing business phone numbers, and today is the world’s leading business-texting software and API provider. More than 35,000 companies use Zipwhip to increase customer engagement and drive growth through texting on their existing landline, VoIP or toll-free phone number. Our mission is to text-enable every business in North America with Zipwhip software. Our award-winning team has text enabled over four million landlines in the US and Canada. Companies big and small, from local businesses to the Fortune 500, use our software applications, integrations and API.