The world is communicating through text, is your business doing so? In the last five years, texting has gradually overtaken calling as the primary mode of communication. With the growing number of instant messaging tools, we can see that texting is here to stay. Since today’s customers prefer text-based communications instead of calls, businesses have no other option than embracing the change. As texting is a much easier form of communication, a growing number of businesses have started using instant messaging systems as their primary communication medium.
As a business owner, you would realize that today’s customers seldom answer phone calls. It is estimated that around 90% of people ignore phone calls from businesses and unknown numbers. Text-based communications, which has over 90% open rate, is your best bet to reach customers. The increased response rates will be highly beneficial for any business. In short, a short text message will be much more impactful than a lengthy email or phone call. This makes text-based communications an absolute necessity for your business.
One of the main benefits of text-based communications is that it is very easy to set-up. Businesses do not need to dedicate enormous amount of time, money or workforce for instant messaging systems. This is one of the main reasons that many businesses are using text-based communications for both internal and external communications. Many small businesses have found success with just a one-person team of customer support. The need for training is also eliminated since a growing number of population is familiar with instant messaging systems. This ease of use makes the medium much more enticing for small businesses.
With all these benefits, you might be itching to add text-based communications to your business. However, we urge you to take a step back and do it right. The following are some steps that will ensure that your instant messaging endeavor will be highly effective:
* Texting Etiquettes Since texting is easy and convenient, it is important to have some basic guidelines to ensure professionalism. Unlike personal texts, business texts need to be consistent and professional. Hence, it is important to set-up a set of guidelines that employees can refer. The more detailed the etiquette list, the lesser the number of texting faux-pas.
* Call-To-Action Texting is highly beneficial only when it is done right. If your customers do not know what to do, then you’ve missed the point. Make your messages more purposeful by using call-to-action (CTA) phrases whenever possible. Also note that there is a fair bit of judgement involved as not all messages can have CTAs. Businesses should understand the impact of using CTAs to make texting more effective.
* Safe & Correct Since messaging is instant, the most common oversight is grammatical and spelling mistakes. Even though it takes less effort to check and correct, employees often ignore them when things get hectic. Hence, it is important to review business messages before sending. Also important is to adhere to legal and ethical standards. It is very important to understand the local laws and restrictions before initiating text messages to clients. For example, it is legally wrong to text customers without their consent in many countries. So, it is important to understand the legal and ethical limitations before contacting customers via text messages.
* One-Way or Two-Way Businesses can either use texting as a one-way communication or a two-way communication platform. The initial step should be deciding which format to implement in your business. One-way texting limits customer responses to specific keys and it is mainly used by e-commerce businesses that focus on guiding customers. Two-way texting allows for free conversations and it is widely used for customer conversions. So, it is important to understand which format will be more beneficial to your business.
* Automation Since automation will streamline the customer support process, it should be the end goal for your business texting endeavor. Simple tools like scheduling and automatic replies can work wonders when you have a huge number of customers. Small businesses often increase their team size when they grow because they think automation is a complex process. Although it might be true during the early stages of texting, there are currently many tools that have been developed to ensure effortless automation.
By implementing the broad structures mentioned in the article, your business texting system will be highly efficient. Still wondering whether your business will be ready for texting? We suggest you take the leap and then decide. We are sure that it will provide immense benefits to your business. As usual, we hope that you will be successful in all your business ventures.