There’s no denying that text messaging is integral to how we communicate with each other. As customers continue to find new and different ways to engage with businesses, companies can expand their communication platforms by text enabling their existing Toll-Free Numbers. One of the key advantages of texting to Toll-Free is that it enables the customer to tailor their customer support experience. This allows for an integrated and personalized customer service journey that is seamless, cohesive and that drives positive customer satisfaction.
Providing a successful omni-channel experience is a proven way to increase customer engagement and satisfaction. Whether you’ve already begun texting your consumers or you’re thinking about diving in, here are some key benefits and things to consider when incorporating text to Toll-Free into your omni-channel experience strategy:
1. Texting is just one part of your omni-channel experience strategy.
Sending and receiving text messages is important in today’s marketplace, but it doesn’t replace other forms of business communication. To be truly successful with your omni-channel experience, you need to devise a thoughtful strategy that merges voice, texting and social media for your customer base. One advantage that Toll-Free Numbers offer when developing a strategy is that they are established and enable the convergence of these different platforms. Customers already know that they can make voice calls to Toll-Free. When you text enable Toll-Free Numbers, you provide a one-stop shop for customers to reach out to a company.
2. You’re communicating with customers where and how they want.
It’s the way of the world today. We text instead of talk. Consider these stats:
- People across all demographics spend five times longer sending and receiving texts every day than voice calls.
- Up to 80 percent of smartphone users say they won’t leave their houses without their devices.
- Almost 60 percent of millennials say they’re “addicted to their phones.”
Texting to Toll Free offers consumers options on when and how to communicate with a company. Let’s say a consumer has a simple question, such as “What is my checking account balance?” With texting to Toll-Free, they can simply type out a quick message and receive an immediate answer, all without having to make a call and navigate through numerous prompts. Have a more in-depth, detailed question? The consumer can instead use the same Toll-Free Number to make a voice call and speak with a real person. When you provide a customer with options, you empower them to customize their interactions and have the type of conversations that they want to have.
3. Expect a high response rate.
Texting has a high value proposition over emailing. Research shows that 98 percent of texts are read within two minutes of being sent. Compare that to emails, which average a 20 percent read rate.
4. Provide actual value.
So you’ve got customers reading your texts. Now you need to make it worth their while.
Text messages can be used to communicate a variety of information, such as important announcements, quick follow-ups, cost estimates and appointment confirmations. They can also be used to offer discounts or exclusive savings. Take an eye doctor’s office. With text messaging, the office can send you notices every six months reminding you to order new contacts. It can also let you know about deals that may be running when you place your order.
Remember to keep messages relevant and engaging to prevent your customer from tuning out and unsubscribing.
5. Your customers are people. Treat them as such.
No one wants to be treated like a consumer, and no one wants to be badgered by an overbearing business. Follow these guidelines to make sure you’re not overstepping your bounds:
Be courteous. Only send two to four texts per month; anything more risks annoying your customers. Make sure to only send messages during business hours. No one wants to be interrupted at dinner or in bed.
Keep it readable. Keep your messages brief, succinct and to the point. Make sure your text messages have clear directions and that any calls to action are easy to understand.
Be clear with your intentions. Tell people what they can expect from your program when they sign up for it, and give them a clear opt-out if they want to stop receiving messages.
6. There are rules.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) restricts the use of automatic telephone dialing systems and artificial or prerecorded voice messages, SMS text messages, and fax machines in telemarketing efforts to reduce the number of unwanted phone calls and text messages. Specifically, texts that are initiated by the business (versus the end user) are subject to opt-in and consent. If you haven’t received consent from the individual you are texting, you could face some heavy fines. For example, Papa John’s faced a $250 million lawsuit over sending illegal text messages back in 2012. Make sure to give your customers the chance to opt in/subscribe before you start sending messages.
7. Business texting is proven to help increase customer retention and value.
Consider the following upsides to business texting:
- Improved customer service and support: When consumers don’t have to wait on hold and can get immediate responses, they consistently rate their customer experiences highly.
- Increased sales: Whether you’re using click-to-text technology to make lead generation easier or you’re confirming leads through text, messaging can help you close sales at a higher rate.
- Boosted brand reputation: A full 77 percent of millennials say they’re more likely to have a positive view of a company if it offers texting capabilities. Since millennials are projected to have $1.4 trillion in buying power by 2020, this is an essential demographic to keep engaged.
Getting started is as simple as reaching for your established business number. If you already have a Toll-Free Number, your journey toward an enhanced omni-channel experience is halfway there. Simplify the way you interact with your customers now by text enabling your Toll-Free Number. Not sure where to start? Click here to learn more about how the TSS Registry can help you drive positive customer satisfaction and unforgettable customer experiences.