Connecting with customers and prospects is hard enough in this modern age but staying connected is even harder. Some say attention spans are shrinking. But in reality, attention is spreading in different directions. Chief among them? Email. Twitter. YouTube. Blogs. TikTok.
The commonality? Smartphones.
More than 85% of Americans own one. And 63% would switch to a company offering text messaging as a communication channel. This presents a great opportunity to keep your business top of mind.
Today's consumers are used to receiving, and even expect to receive, text messages from brands. If you're not already using text messaging to reach your audience and grow revenue, now's a great time to start.
Human vs. AI Text Services
Chatbots are an AI text service used to communicate with visitors on websites, while AI text messaging programs use smartphone messages. They can be programmed to receive set responses and use basic logic to trigger events, but they are limited in what they can say and what you can program them to do. They're also obviously computer-based, and lack the human touch customers crave, even (or maybe especially) in a digital age. This can be frustrating for customers and prospects with unique queries.
Human-powered text services provide a much better overall experience. They allow you to maintain the direct, person-to-person connection to your clients and customers while still tending to their needs on their terms and in a way that is convenient for them.
How Can Businesses Use Text Messaging?
Direct mail was once the golden ticket to getting in front of your target audience. And then email took over as the platform of choice. While it's still the most preferred channel across demographics, younger groups tend to lean more towards text messaging.
Some experts even speculate Gen Z will potentially "free the world" from email. But whatever happens in the future, it seems today is an excellent time to incorporate text into your sales and customer services strategies.
But how can businesses use text messaging to grow revenue and improve customer service? Here's a look at how five industries are doing it.
Healthcare: Appointment Management & Careful Communication
A patient has an upcoming appointment. Rather than calling, leaving a voicemail or sending an email, you can send a quick text reminder. The odds of them seeing your message in an email inbox depends on how cluttered it is.
But receiving a text message improves the odds they'll see your appointment reminder instantly. And it increases the odds of them making their appointment.
Then if they need to reschedule, they can text you back and a staff member will confirm a new time and date. In addition to appointment setting, hospitals and healthcare practices can use HIPAA-compliant text messaging services to communicate directly with their patients about timely and delicate matters. Text messaging makes healthcare more accessible to the masses.
Retail: Sales And Shipping Updates, Buyer Questions
Missing a shipment is frustrating—make sure your retail customers get ample notice of an upcoming delivery. Text messages are the perfect delivery system for fast notifications.
Use text messaging to send purchase receipts and shipping updates, so they're never in the dark. (Plus, it'll reduce calls to your customer support team.) Having reps on standby enables users to get the help they need immediately via text. You can also communicate directly with shoppers to answer questions about products, thereby increasing the chances of a sale or creating an opportunity to cross-sell or upsell, if you have an agent that’s trained in sales best practices.
E-commerce: Direct Marketing
Maybe you're still trying to get a prospect to become a customer. If so, then creating a text messaging nurturing campaign may do the trick. Send along coupons, promotions and other offers to entice leads to convert into patrons.
Real Estate: Confirmation And Verification Of Documents
Do you work in an industry that requires clients to submit documents and files? Then having a quick way to confirm receipt and verification is critical. This will hasten processes and eliminate confusion and delays.
If you work in real estate, you know it’s practically a 24/7 business. So if you outsource to a people-powered text service, you can create a client services desk that’s always available to answer questions, scheduling viewings, confirm listing appointments and more.
Home Services: Administrative & Communications Support
Unlike traditional direct mail and email campaigns, texting is a two-way platform. This means you can open a line of communication with your prospects and customers.
They can reply to text messages to receive sales, scheduling, or technical support from your home services business. This enhances the customer experience and improves satisfaction rates.
What Are The General Business Benefits Of Text Messaging?
Text messaging is like email on steroids. It amplifies your reach and response rates because it's instantaneous. And this provides the following advantages:
- Immediate customer access: Texting is the quickest way to get the attention of your customers and prospects.
- Simple pre-programmed responses: Make it easy for recipients to reply with pre-set replies like "Reply Y for Yes, N for No," when nuance isn’t necessary.
- Convenience (for everyone): Empower your customers to get immediate responses from a real human 24-7.
Be strategic when using text messaging. Keep your texts simple, short and sweet. And always have a human on the other side to respond to customers right away. These strategies will set your program apart from the competition.
Great Examples Of Text Message Customer Programs
Text messaging enables businesses to directly connect with customers. But how exactly does this look in the real world? Here's a look at two use cases:
Let's say we have a dentist with an upcoming appointment with a patient. So they send a text, "Hi Jonathan, you're due for a cleaning soon! We can book a time that suits you. Reply "Mon" to book for Monday at 4 p.m. "Tues" to book Tuesday at 3 p.m. or "Wed" to book Wednesday at 6 p.m."
If you're using a human-powered text platform for business, then you can switch it to "Here's a range of options, or you can suggest your own", and immediately set up the appointment that works best for the client. You can also reply if the client sends back a question that requires more detail, like "What's the earliest day you have an appointment after 6pm?".
In the second example, a retailer uses text messages to promote sales or notify customers of product re-stocks and availability. It also allows customers to reserve items using a text. This is great for suppliers and shops who can quickly and easily let customers know when popular or back-ordered parts or equipment arrives.
These are just some of the methods you can employ to drive leads and sales with text messaging for your business. All you need is the right solution to make it work for your company.
Amplify Your Business With Human-Powered Texts
Connecting with prospects and customers through text is a powerful way to build relationships. But this is only possible when you have a human-powered texting service.
With Nexa, you can employ human-powered text messaging using our expert agents. We are trained in sales best practices, and learn your business and its audience to deliver high-quality engagements with customers. Since you don't have to hire a staff, you save time and money. And your customers get the convenience and personalization they deserve.