In 2018, the on-demand home services market was estimated at $400 billion—and that growth isn’t expected to stop any time soon. Consumers are using cleaning, flooring, furniture assembly, plumbing, landscaping, moving, and storage services more than ever before. Home services businesses are thriving, but they’re also experiencing an overwhelming influx of client communications. Enter business text messaging.
Business text messaging promises home service companies everything from smoother client communications to streamlined operations. But companies that haven’t been introduced to the concept of an enterprise-grade texting strategy can be left with a lot of questions. How can they use business SMS in their day-to-day operations? Can they use it internally, too? Are there any legal implications?
Read on to find the answers to all of your questions and more.
Client-Facing Use Cases
Home services companies have to communicate with their clients frequently, but because most of them have a small administrative staff, handling communications can become challenging. Business text messaging platforms can help these administrative teams:
In many cases, clients have to be or want to be home to receive their home service. But in today’s busy world, they can sometimes forget that they arranged an appointment. To help clients remember when to expect your team members, staff can send appointment confirmations via business text messaging platforms. Confirmations can be sent to many clients at once; business SMS platforms can automatically fill in personalized information for each message with merge tokens that draw on custom fields.
Texting is the fastest way to manage scheduling. Because the average response time for a text is 90 seconds, SMS conversations with clients happen in near real-time. This speed can be especially useful when administrative teams are scheduling home visits or relaying schedule changes.
Attend to Client Questions or Requests
Both new and old clients have questions about everything from quotes to rescheduling. With business SMS, teams can answer these questions in a timely manner, which can be especially important with last-minute site visit information. Fast responses can even help close deals with consumers who are considering multiple home services businesses.
Automate Review Requests
Eighty-four percent of people trust online reviews as much as they do recommendations from people they know. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of clients complete surveys sent via email. Business text messaging is a different story. Business SMS has a response rate of up to 80%, according to Heymarket research, and about 1 in 5 people will click a link in a text compared to just 4.2% for email. When home services companies send their feedback requests through business text messaging, they’re far more likely to get the online reviews they need.
Internal Use Cases
Home services companies can use business text messaging with both clients and staff. Business SMS helps internal teams:
Send Real-Time Notifications
By the very nature of the industry, home services employees are always on the move, whether they’re on the way to an appointment or mid-plumbing challenge. While calling home services staff members does get their attention, it takes time to call everyone, and staff probably won’t check their emails while they’re busy. With business text messaging, teams can send quick questions or notes and receive fast replies, since the average response time to texts is 90 seconds. This tactic works well for emergency alerts, holiday reminders, event notifications, or any information that needs to be sent in real-time.
Overcome In-Field Challenges
Everything doesn’t always go right on a home visit. Sometimes the wrong address was listed by the client, the client isn’t home, or there has been an unavoidable delay. With business text messaging, in-field staff can quickly message the internal operations team. The internal operations team can then text the client to see whether they can quickly solve the problem and prevent delays.
Organize Work Schedules
Successful team management relies on smooth communications between managers and employees. To inform home services staff members about their upcoming shifts, which often vary, managers can compile lists of employees and send reminders to all of them at once. Any responses from staff members will arrive into the business SMS platform’s shared inbox, allowing managers to address concerns one by one.
Business Text Messaging Setup
Once you have adopted the business text messaging provider of your choice, they will offer quick instructions for text-enabling your landline, VoIP, or toll-free number. Throughout the short process, your clients can still call that number, but once the process is complete, they’ll have the choice of either texting or calling. Incoming text messages will arrive straight into your business SMS platform’s shared inbox, which your team can access from their web app or phone app. If you want to use a new number entirely for texting, your business text messaging platform will be able to provide that, too.
Growing Business Text Messaging Lists
To encourage your clients to text, publicize your business text messaging services on your website, social media pages, and any client communications. Be sure to mention how quickly your team can respond, and the hours during which you operate. If you find that business text messaging helps you streamline operations or improve client satisfaction, consider some call deflection strategies to encourage clients to text even more.
Your home services business should consider and review regulations with your legal team. One of the most important legal considerations is the opt-in requirement; clients must agree to receive texts before you send them. Provide various avenues for opting in (such as by keyword or web form) and don’t forget to note opt-out instructions, too. Opt-out information must always be included in your initial texts, and the business text messaging platform you choose must recognize standard reply messages like STOP, STOPALL, UNSUBSCRIBE, CANCEL, END, or QUIT, and automatically opt out clients who send messages containing those keywords.
Is your home services company ready to adopt business text messaging? Try our text service for business for free today.