The world has radically changed since text messaging was introduced back in 1992.
Though initial growth of texting was slow—in 2000, users sent an average of 35 messages a month—the explosion of the internet and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) messaging has encouraged nearly everyone to become avid texters.
When you look at the statistics, it’s no wonder that businesses have followed closely behind.
According to a Dynmark report, 98% of SMS message are read, and 90% are read within the first three seconds. That’s not all: texts can have a response rate as high as 80%, Heymarket research has found, and 47% of responders go on to make a purchase.
Read on to discover what makes SMS so popular for consumers and employees alike—and how you can start growing your business with text messaging.
Reaching Today’s On-The-Go Consumer In Real-Time
People like texting because it’s immediate and intimate. It has become a normal part of everyday interaction, like talking. Today, 97% of Americans send at least one text message a day, and many use SMS more heavily. Globally, 8 trillion texts are sent every year.
Consumers are nearly always by their phones, 90% of them carrying their prized possession with them all the time.
As personal smartphones follow people from work to home, the boundary between personal and business use is starting to fade. Increasingly, people are using their smartphones not just to say “Hi Mom,” but to transact business with both colleagues and customers.
In fact, a Telefonica study suggests that text messaging reaches consumers in their moment of need, when they are most likely to act. That makes text messaging the perfect channel to reach your customers, no matter where they are.
Many businesses have already jumped on this trend, recognizing the benefits to reaching their customers in real-time.
Almost all business owners interact with their customers on a daily basis, and two-thirds use text messaging for business in some form. According to a recent IDG/Heymarket survey, business owners use text messaging about eight times per day. Fifty percent said they use SMS messaging more than they did last year and expect to increase their text messaging in the future. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they were using messaging more than they did last year, and most expect to keep growing their business with text messaging in the future.
Streamlining The Customer Experience
Companies that provide a simple, natural, and intimate experience for their customers have a real edge, and one of the easiest ways to achieve this is through text messaging.
In an era in which consumer technology reigns, customers expect a seamless online experience, whether they’re communicating with customer service agents or shopping for a dress. Patience is short and the competition is just a click away.
Not surprisingly, business SMS has increased customer engagement and loyalty. Customers don’t care who’s taking care of them—they just want good service. They see one smooth line of text and response, while Heymarket paddles beneath the surface to connect the right people at the right time.
Another advantage to business SMS is that it doesn’t place demands on customers. Users don’t have to download or subscribe to an app, making communication smooth, natural, and personal.
Consumers not only use run-of-the-mill SMS, but also text messaging apps like WhatsApp, Snapchat, and Facebook Messenger. Even so, they are unlikely to go to the trouble of installing another platform to communicate with a brand. And now, thanks to Heymarket’s platform, their existing text messaging environment, no matter whether it’s traditional or from the newest trendy app, can become a powerful enterprise business tool for boosting business.
That’s the power of growing your business with text messaging—SMS is right there on everyone’s phone, and responding is as natural as nodding your head.
Improve Employee Efficiency While Increasing Customer Success
An important but less obvious benefit of business text messaging is that it facilitates teamwork, taking customer service to a new level. Text messaging also increases engagement—not only for customers, but also for staff.
That’s what Nick Caputo, a manager at design store HD Buttercup, learned when he started using Heymarket’s retail text messaging platform. His sales associates were already using smartphones to text message one another and their customers. But regular texting proved awkward at times—they couldn’t add additional staffers to conversations or coordinate furniture deliveries with third parties.
Now, if a staffer is sick or out of town, sales associates can add Caputo to a customer conversation. He’ll follow up to ensure questions are answered and deliveries coordinated, all in the same text message thread.
In addition, staffers can coordinate appointments and share design ideas with one another by texting fast-loading images.
Keller Williams’ top agent Tristan Ahumada uses business SMS to connect with his team of 18 business partners, who collectively generate $60 million in Southern California real estate sales.
Ahumada checks in with his team each day with an 8 a.m. status call. He tried using Slack and UberConference, but getting people to join the calls was difficult. So was receiving updates from those who missed the call.
The team now receives a daily text message from Ahumada with a reminder to join the call. Attendance has increased by 40%. People who can’t attend quickly reply to let him know what they’ll be working on that day.
Business text messaging also lightens busy staffers’ workloads. At Smile Specialist, which provides dental care for dogs and cats, workers were spending up to 10 hours a week phoning customers for appointments. Phone calls often went unanswered.
Using Heymarket’s business text messaging platform, the company created templates for sending appointment reminders by text message. They were addressed to customers by name, and though staffers sent them through lists, each was personalized to come from a regional employee. Messages noted the location and hours of the mobile clinic closest to each customer.
Over 50% of Smile Specialist’s scheduling text messages now lead to appointments. Employees spend just a few minutes a day on the messages and have more time for live customers.
Improving teamwork and customer success doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive—it can be as simple as switching to text messaging.
Because of its popularity, speed, and ease of use, text messaging is a natural communication platform for businesses as well as on-the-go consumers.
Ready to become part of the nearly 50% of businesses using SMS to reach consumers? Sign up for your free trial today and start growing your business with text messaging.