When & How To Text Your Customers: A Guide

If you’re not already texting your customers, you’re missing out. Studies have shown that over 50% of consumers are in favor of receiving SMS marketing promotions via text message, and yet only 11% of businesses have taken advantage of the opportunity.

Whether you’re unsure of how to text customers, when it’s appropriate to send a follow up text message to a client, or if you’re simply curious to learn more about how  texting services can benefit your business, take a look at this guide. We’ll offer strategies and advice on how to text message clients professionally so you can make the most out of this new business practice. 

Best Practices for Texting Customers

As is the case with any marketing tool, texting comes with both exciting opportunities to integrate and important limitations to understand. These best practices will help you make texting an invaluable part of your customer service and marketing strategies: 

  • Enable two-way conversations – One of the most attractive features of texting is the ability for the customer to respond directly. You can encourage this by providing simple prompts in the body of your message. For instance, if you’re texting to confirm an appointment, your text might include: “Reply ‘Yes’ to confirm appointment.” 
  • Provide consistent and timely responses – This is as simple as having a dedicated customer service representative or team available to respond to your customers in real-time. Because of the directness of texting, the need to reply promptly and consistently is essential to the success of your strategy.
  • Keep personal information secure – The best way to keep sensitive information safe over texting is to avoid asking for it altogether. Although mobile providers and wireless networks generally encrypt the content of text messages in the process of transmission, it’s difficult to guarantee the safety of personal information on the user end. Instead, it’s best to continue to collect any sensitive information in-person to assure your customers their privacy is a priority. 
  • Remain professional and conversational – Due to their concise nature, text communications can be direct and simple. But keeping it simple doesn’t mean keeping it casual. While you can ditch some of the formalities of email writing, maintaining a professional, courteous tone is still essential. Your response to a customer’s questions or feedback can be conversational—for instance, “I hear you,” or “Let me see what I can do for you”—without being overly casual.

Texting Etiquette: Dos and Don’ts

If you’re going to optimize the potential of direct customer communication, you need to make sure you develop a clear strategy for doing so while maintaining a sense of etiquette rooted in professionalism.

Now that you understand the best practices to follow when initiating conversation with new customers or when sending text message reminders to clients, take a look at some easy-to-follow mobile messaging dos and don’ts to further enhance your strategy:

Do

  • Ask for permission to text them first
  • Keep your texts short and in line with a wider strategy
  • Personalize your SMS marketing messages
  • Respond to SMS messages in a timely manner

Don’t

  • Ask for confidential information
  • Bombard your customers with mass text messages
  • Keep texting a customer once they’ve asked you to stop
  • Send a text outside of business hours

By maintaining professional etiquette and respecting a customer’s boundaries, your business can take advantage of the many benefits of mobile messaging.

Why Use Text Messages?

Simply put, texting is popular. Nearly every age demographic uses texting as a primary form of communication. One reason for this is the directness and informality of a text message (as opposed to the formality of an email). This translates to a staggering 98% open rate for SMS messages sent from businesses compared to just 22% for email.

With instant communication at your fingertips and a proven success rate, why wouldn’t you give texting a try? If you still need convincing, here are some more benefits:

  • Trust and Accountability – Ninety-six percent of consumers worldwide list customer service as one of the guiding factors for customer loyalty to a brand. In other words, businesses have an opportunity to gain consumer trust via direct communication and accountability. With text messaging, that means creating a space to ask and answer questions, send and receive updates, and remain available for whatever needs might arise.
  • Human Touch – While email remains a key resource for any business, it’s no secret that people are growing tired of its inherent formality and frustrating lack of candor. With business texting, you can remain formal while giving the recipient the opportunity to respond directly to a human being, providing a much-needed sense of connection.
  • Easy to Outsource – While establishing a dedicated customer service desk is a viable option for any small business, it’s often easier to outsource your business text messaging service to meet the unique needs of your customers in a timely and professional manner. 

Make Texting Work for Your Business

If you’ve found yourself frustratedly searching “how to text my customers,” we get it. Juggling the responsibilities of managing your business’ day-to-day operations while trying to optimize your customer service strategy can be daunting, to say the least.

That’s where Nexa can help. Our live virtual receptionist services provide 24/7 support to your customers wherever they are, while following our best practices and professional texting etiquette. No matter your business, take your marketing campaign and customer service strategies to the next level, and boost your business’ trust and accountability, with Nexa.


Sources: 

Microsoft. 2017 State of Global Customer Service Report. http://info.microsoft.com/rs/157-GQE-382/images/EN-CNTNT-Report-DynService-2017-global-state-customer-service-en-au.pdf 

Mobile Marketing Watch. SMS Marketing Wallops Email with 98% Open Rate and Only 1% Spam. https://mobilemarketingwatch.com/sms-marketing-wallops-email-with-98-open-rate-and-only-1-spam-43866 

Small Business Trends. 54% of Consumers Want Marketing Text Messages But Only 11% of Businesses Send Them. https://smallbiztrends.com/2019/12/text-message-marketing-statistics.html

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