Texting for business is increasingly common and new research shows how businesses can best implement texting to impact revenue. Text messaging has become more and more pervasive in business, not just for marketing, but for all types of communications. Here are five key takeaways for business leaders to consider. We summarized a recent report that studied how consumers want to interact with businesses, how businesses are meeting those demands, and how to bridge gaps that may exist. Here are five take aways.
1. Eighty-eight percent of consumers want to receive texts about appointments
Appointments are the lifeblood of many businesses, and it’s clear that texting can help you set and keep more of them. Texting may also help you save time and overhead. Consumers are not answering phone calls, and they’re not listening to voicemails. However, 70% say that texting is the fastest way to reach them.
Instead of calling customers to confirm appointments, send a text. You can send one at a time manually to each person, send a mass message for each day’s or each week’s appointments or connect texting to your existing systems to automate notifications. In any case, texting is more effective and more efficient than individually calling about each appointment. This will also help you keep more appointments on the books since the leading reason people miss appointments is that they forget.
To set more appointments, and make more money by extension, text customers who are due for their next appointment or service. Text around annual renewals, for seasonal check-ins or whichever period makes sense for you. For example, the dealership where I got my last vehicle texts me every three months about an oil change and tune-up since that’s about how long it takes to drive 3,000 miles.
2. People want more SMS promotions (yes, really!)
52% of survey respondents said they want to receive texts for promotions and discounts, yet only 29% said their businesses are currently sending these texts. There’s a big opportunity here, and it’s important to think of promotions outside the realm of retail. The report lists several examples, including:
- Prompting customers to schedule appointments or services
- Telling customers about new services or other offers
- Fundraising for nonprofits and schools
- Sharing important reminders
- Providing discounts or incentives
These can each be used to drive revenue for your business while creating great customer experiences.
3. Texting for business works for B2B, too
Eighty percent of people have texted with a business before, and as people have these experiences with consumer services, they begin to expect them from business services, too. Easy applications of texting for B2B businesses include:
- Touching base during the sales process
- Finding a few minutes to chat on the phone
- Appointment scheduling and reminders
- Customer service and support
- Promotions about new products and services
Texting helps you grab people’s attention and get responses. That can have a big impact, no matter who you serve.
4. The biggest expected trend in 2023 is texting for payments
This is perhaps the biggest gap the report found between consumers and businesses. It’s also the area that’s expected to see the highest increase in traction over the next year. Sixty-nine percent of people want to receive texts for payment reminders, and 45% want to pay their bills directly through text, yet only 30% of businesses are texting for anything related to payments.
This is important because taking in revenue is a critical function. If you can’t collect revenue — especially revenue you’re already owed — your business will struggle. Even small delays in collecting payments or having to spend more money to collect those payments can have a noticeable negative impact.
This is an easy need to solve for, though, because PDF invoices and payment links can be shared through text messages. If nothing else, businesses can begin texting payment reminders to any client with an outstanding balance and include invoices as needed.
5. Consumers are already comfortable texting with businesses
Eighty percent of people have texted with a business before, and 58% text with a business at least monthly. Meanwhile, 90% of consumers say they want to text with businesses and other organizations. People are comfortable texting for business purposes, and they’re beginning to expect these kinds of experiences. That poses both a challenge and an opportunity.
In order to meet customers where they are in 2023, businesses are going to have to add texting into their communications mix. The report notes it will be important to enable text conversations, not just one-way automations because customers want to use texting to reach a business on their terms. In fact, 77% say they want to text a business for customer service and support.
For many businesses, adding texting as a customer communications channel will be a new effort. However, those who do not take advantage of it to meet customer demand risk losing out to competitors who do.
Ivrnet can text enable your existing phone numbers or set up a new number so clients can text you. Whether you are a small business with limited staffing or have a large national contact center, Ivrnet’s web-based texting Concierge and Concierge Pro solutions are designed to help you effectively engage with customers via SMS and MMS. Visit ivrnet.com to learn more and schedule an interactive demo today.