Your Step-By-Step Guide To Making The Most Of Business Text Messaging

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So, you’ve adopted a business text messaging platform. Your team is already answering customer questions faster, customers are reaching out to your business more, and you’re staying well within your departmental budget. But you’re probably wondering whether you can get even more out of your business text messaging platform. 

The answer is yes. Once you master the basics of business text messaging, there are many more ways to capitalize on this powerful technology. Plus, the cutting-edge companies making business SMS technology are continually adding new features and integrations. 

For businesses that want to make the most of business text messaging, following a simple step-by-step process is the best way to ensure you’re opening up the channel in a way that ensures your teams are comfortable with each new feature they use. 

Let’s dive in. 

Master The Shared Inbox

First and foremost, your teams will want to master the shared inbox. Once your team gets used to seeing all of the messages arriving in a centralized location, there are three key features of the shared inbox to master:

Assignments   

When an individual team member clicks on an incoming customer chat, the platform can automatically assign it to him or her. Team members—or managers, depending on the permissions you choose to use—can also assign chats to others. If certain team members have specific areas of expertise, this can make it easier for teams to answer questions quickly. Sophisticated administrators can even analyze keywords and route messages to specific agents. However, the assignment feature is optional; some businesses might want each team member to receive notifications about every single incoming message. 

Private Comments   

Even when chats are assigned to those with expertise in a certain subject matter, everyone occasionally needs help answering customer questions. With private comments, team members can loop in a coworker into a customer conversation and ask for help behind the scenes. Customers receive accurate and appropriate answers without noticing the extra effort.

Multiple Shared Inboxes   

Multiple inboxes are useful when you want to have one shared inbox per location in which your business operates, such as Chicago and Los Angeles. They are also helpful for separating text messaging by department; a business might have one inbox for Sales, one for Customer Service, and one for Marketing. This is one way to control which people in your company have access to specific customer messages.

Adopt Basic Productivity Tools 

Once your team has mastered the shared inbox, it’s time to take on some of business text messaging’s most useful tools, including:

Templates   

Your teams will send a few messages often, like opt-in confirmations, introductory texts, and return instructions. Templates are saved messages that your teams can use over and over again. Using templates empowers teams to get answers to customers faster and with fewer mistakes. As you’ll see when you advance to automations, templates can be used alongside lists and custom fields in auto-replies and drip campaigns. 

Lists   

By arranging customers into specific lists, your teams can schedule and send mass texts to large amounts of people, saving time while not sacrificing quality. Teams can organize customers into lists based on their appointment dates, recent orders, or interests, then send them templated messages that look as though they were sent individually. 

Custom Fields   

With the help of custom fields, mass texts can be personalized, too. Team members can leave space for custom information in templates, and when the templates are sent to lists, the business text messaging platform can use merge tokens to draw on information from the custom fields. A fully customizable template looks like this:

Hello, {{first name}}, your order of {{order contents}} has shipped and will be arriving by {{delivery date}}. Please find more details about your delivery here: {{tracking link}}.

Introduce Automations

Once your team has a grasp on those basic features, they can move to key time-saving tools like automations. Automations can streamline workflows and help get answers to customers faster. Some of the most useful automations include: 

Chat Routing

Teams can also have business text messaging platforms automatically route messages to specific team members based on keywords. For example, messages containing the words “new product” can go to a product expert, while messages containing the word “problem” can go to a customer service agent or inbox. 

Auto Replies 

Your team probably already has an after-hours reply. But do you have a during-hours reply? During-hours replies let customers know how long they can expect to wait for a reply from your team. Any auto reply can be triggered by keywords too, meaning that messages coming in with the word “return” can receive a different reply than a text containing the word “broken.”

Drip Campaigns 

Finally, teams should take advantage of key innovations like drip campaigns. Like email drip campaigns, SMS drip campaigns empower teams to send texts to lists of customers at the interval they choose. Customers who respond will be directed to team members, or opted out if that is their request.  

Adopt Integrations

Last, but certainly not least, your teams should examine the SMS integrations that your business text messaging platform offers. While there are many to try, teams should consider the following first:

Communication Channels

Business SMS inboxes can receive and send messages from a wide variety of channels. Customers send messages from enabled channels and the messages arrive in the shared inbox like any other chat. Popular channel integrations include Apple Business Chat, Facebook Messenger, Line, and WhatsApp. 

CRMs 

A CRM integration, like an SMS Salesforce integration, can change your business text messaging game. With a CRM integration, team members can start texts by clicking on a customer’s phone number in their profile. By enabling team members to stay inside the CRM platform while texting, a CRM integration empowers teams to review and use extensive customer information to tailor conversations and make a bigger impact

Internal Communications  

Finally, your teams should consider an integration with a favorite internal communication channel. For example, a Slack integration allows teams to send and receive texts from within a Slack channel. Team members can easily toggle between internal conversations and customer chats, reducing the amount of time wasted by switching between platforms. 

 

Want more tips about capitalizing on business SMS? Our team is happy to help

 

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