If you’re a small business owner, founder, or CEO, it’s likely that you and your team are still reeling from all the changes brought about by social distancing in the age of Coronavirus.
Between Zoom Meetings and Google Hangouts, there’s a need to optimize your inter-personnel communication, and amp up communication with your customers and clients as well. It’s important to reassure your team and your community that you’re there for them, on a one-on-one basis. It’s no wonder that in 2020, 68% of businesses use some form of texting to communicate with their audiences (2020 State of Texting Report) – and you should too. Here are some of the most important ways that texting can enhance your business communication.
Text Messaging for Your Customers & Clients
Society is at a pivotal moment in America today. Your customers are also working from home. They’re trapped inside, with little to do except work and “Netflix & Chill”. Some businesses are shutting down communications, so it can be even more isolating than you might imagine. It’s important, in this moment, to continue communications with your community. And their preferred mode of communication: texting.
1. When You’re Providing Critical Updates
Your customers need to hear from you. Maybe your team has moved to remote, but you’re still making moves to keep the business running – whether that means shifting to curb service for your restaurant, answering customer service calls from your living room, or fulfilling eCommerce orders from your garage. Many of your customers may just assume that you’re pausing operations for the time being. Send them a quick text and link to a blog that explains steps you’re taking to adapt to the world under quarantine. While emails from brands have an average open rate of 21.33%, text message read rates rule at 98%, so they’re pretty certain to be seen.
2. To Help Grow and Maintain Existing Relationships
Many businesses have felt the squeeze as an increase in calls, asking whether your company is still open for business, or more of your customers are having issues than usual, for whatever reason (maybe more time on their hands than usual). In order to move forward, you should open up more channels of communication. According to a study by Twilio, text messaging is the #1 preferred channel for customer service in the U.S.
For different types of businesses, you may also consider this a good time to nurture your client relationships. Reach out via text and ask how everyone is doing, and if you can assist in any way. It can mean a lot to your clients to have a personalized message.
3. When You Need a Quick Boost in Sales
Many businesses are making up for the challenges posed by COVID-19 quarantine by putting on promotions. Text messaging is an ideal channel to communicate these limited-time offers. Not only are they read quickly, but most mobile phones also have internet access, so you can create a quick and easy call to action, and provide your audience with a clear path to purchase. According to a Pure360 report on SMS marketing, 32% of recipients respond to SMS offers, and 10x more texted coupons are redeemed than traditional coupons. If you’re able to offer a promotion at this time, texting your audience is a great way to boost sales.
4. To Reconnect with Old Leads and Nurture New Leads
If you’re offering a service, you can reach out to some of your leads to reconnect. Text out links to blogs or white papers to re-engage your cold leads. (Remember, you’ll get better open rates by text than email.) If your business is eCommerce, look no further than your past customers. You can offer a coupon code or just send new arrivals. These two groups could really make a difference if your sales have softened due to anxiety over the Coronavirus.
Text Messaging for Your Team
What’s the quickest and easiest way to reach a colleague? If your team is using a messaging platform like Slack or Skype, that may be the most obvious answer, but what happens when your team is dispersed and potentially distracted by matters at home? Or if all communications come through that channel, it can also be considered a distraction and placed on mute, to aid focus on other more pressing activities. When you need to reach a co-worker, text them.
5. When Team Members are Otherwise Unavailable
Some team members may need to go on mute at certain points throughout the day, but you may still need their attention on a specific, urgent matter. Sure, you can call, but there’s a huge benefit to keeping things in writing. You could shoot off an email, but you can’t know when that will be read. With text messaging, you can feel confident it will be seen – and soon.
Text messages have a 98% open rate, and 95% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of being sent. The average American has their smart phone within reach 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – so if you need a quick response, this is the easiest way. Even if it’s just to say, “Hey, I sent you an email. Can you take a quick look?”
6. When You Need a Quick Answer
Face it, right now, your team is getting more messages in more channels than ever. You can’t just pop over to your co-worker’s office for a quick question – and not every topic is worthy of an email or a phone call. With text messaging, you create a culture that allows for more a little more flexibility, like a pop-in, when you just need a quick answer.
7. If You Need to Send Files from Your Phone
Sometimes, you just need to screenshot something on your phone or take a video or picture, and send it over to a colleague quickly. Of course, you can turn Airdrop on both your phone and your computer, shoot the file to your own computer, save it in your download files, and then paste into your messaging platform – or you can just shoot a quick text. Maybe it’s worth a follow-up call (or maybe you’re already discussing something on a call), but SMS provides a platform for easy file sharing.
8. When You Just Need to Check In
Say you’re an HR professional and you’re assisting your team while they transition to remote work. Text messaging is a great way to let your team know that the business cares how they’re doing with all of the change, and give a vital resource for team members who may otherwise feel disconnected. Even if you’re not in Human Resources – if you’re in a leadership position within your organization or not – it can mean a lot to your team if you take a few minutes out of your day to send a text to just check in.
No matter what your end goal, texting can be a vital communication channel for your company. And virtual phone systems like Tresta make it quick and easy to connect. Tresta offers absolutely unlimited business texting and calling, so you can text directly from your business number, no matter where you are.