Years ago, the jingle for a popular ad campaign from Bell Telephone urged people to: “Reach out and touch someone.” Fast-forward a few decades, and this recommendation no longer applies because today’s customers don’t want phone calls. They want text messages!
Research has found that U.S. customers far prefer texting to other communication channels, including phone and email. 63% said they would switch to a company that offered text messages.
Why is text messaging so popular with customers in both the B2C and B2B spaces? Below, we highlight 7 key reasons why businesses of all sizes should make it a top priority to “reach out and TEXT”:
Reason #1: Text Messages Align with Customers’ Lifestyles
A recent survey revealed that in the U.S. the average smartphone user checks their device 96 times per day, which is about once every 10 minutes.
Businesses that send text messages do not risk interrupting — and therefore irritating — their customers. They are aligning with their customers’ preferences and lifestyles and empowering them to connect when and where they want.
Reason #2: Text Messages Drive Customer Engagement
Text messages drive engagement and deepen relationships with customers. Research has found that 90% of people open a text within three minutes of receipt, with a response rate of 45%. An email has an average open rate of 20%, and a response rate of 6%.
And what about phone calls? 96% of people find phone calls disruptive, and 97% ignore calls from businesses unless they are expecting a call.
Reason #3: They are Efficient
Compared to other communication channels and especially phone calls, text messages are extremely efficient. Forbes contributor Brianna Wiest captures the essence of this aversion to phone calls (especially among millennials and Gen Zers):
A 15-minute phone call to convey two lines of information is a waste of time. Not only because there was a much more efficient way to share it, but also because the time you have to spend preparing for it, making small talk, and then getting back into the flow of your workday ends up being a huge buzzkill.
Reason #4: They are Fast
In Real Estate, it’s all about location, location, location. Well, today’s customers want speed, speed, and more speed — and are willing to reward businesses that meet this requirement or punish those that don’t. Text messages are blazingly fast and usually take mere seconds to read.
For sales professionals, the ability to respond rapidly — and in some cases in real-time — to a prospective customer’s question or comment can mean the difference between winning the sale and losing it. And for service/support professionals, providing customers with quick answers or advice can dramatically improve customer experience and Net Promoter Score (NPS).
Reason #5: Text Messages Drive Customers to Other Digital Assets and Properties
Another and perhaps more apt term for text messages is “digital messages.” In many cases, customers get more than static words, they get link(s) to other digital assets and properties that usher them forward on the buying journey if they are prospective customers or reassure their satisfaction if they are existing customers.
For example, a customer whose organization purchased an all-in-one cloud phone system from Carolina Digital Phone sent us a text asking if they could use an audio file as the ringtone for their softphone (web-based phone). Within seconds, we texted the customer a link to the simple how-to steps in our Online Help Portal. The customer was delighted with the responsiveness, and we were thrilled because making customers happy is what we’re all about!
Reason #6: They Can be Used for Future Reference
During an in-person conversation or phone call, there can be a misunderstanding about who said what. This can lead to confusion and conflict – the opposite of what businesses want.
Text messages are ideal for clearly and reliably capturing important data such as customer instructions or requests. And while email does all of this as well, customers are not always in front of their desktop/laptop — but they are almost always “attached” to their smartphone.
Reason #7: Text Messages Enhance Other Communication Channels and Engagements
Finally, text messages do not exist in isolation. Rather, they can and should be used to augment other communication channels.
More and more healthcare organizations are using text messages to remind patients of upcoming appointments — which is dramatically reducing no-shows. And many businesses use text messages to enhance phone, web, email, and in-person engagements (e.g. a sales rep sends a quick text to a customer telling them that a detailed proposal will be emailed to them within the next hour).
The Bottom Line
Texting is here to stay. Ask yourself: “how do we use text messages to improve everything from customer experience to employee productivity to revenues and profits?”
Contact Carolina Digital Phone today, and learn about the optional text messaging features of our all-in-one cloud phone system. We can deliver your guided demo and complimentary no consultation session in-person at your location, or over the web. There is absolutely no obligation.
Call us now at (336) 544-4000, or chat with us by clicking the icon on the lower-left of your screen.