What is Business Text Messaging?
At its core, business text messaging is communicating with your customers via SMS.
Today, 89% of consumers want to text the brands they love. As texting grows increasingly popular, it’s an essential tool for businesses that want to connect with their customers. More and more companies are adopting business texting to start and scale customer conversations in a way that’s inherently different from emailing and calling.
But what exactly is business texting? And how do businesses text customers? We’ll answer these questions and more:
- What is business text messaging?
- What are the benefits of business texting?
- How does texting compare to other channels?
- How can businesses get started with texting?
Business Text Messaging Defined
Business text messaging or business SMS is texting specifically between businesses and their customers, leads, or any stakeholder that a business has a relationship with at scale.
Like its name suggests, business text messaging is centered on SMS because the strategy originated with SMS. In the past few years, the term has evolved to include messaging through other popular services, like Facebook Messenger, Instagram Messaging, WhatsApp, Google’s Business Messages, and Apple Business Chat.
What’s the difference between a personal text and business text?
A personal text is a message sent from one individual to another, like from a friend to a friend. A business text is sent from a company representative to a lead, customer, or other stakeholder. Business texts are most often sent through a business SMS platform or business text messaging app. These tools help the company send, receive, and organize messages.
Who should use business text messaging?
Business texting is useful to companies of all sizes and across industries. It empowers them to have fast, direct, person-to-person conversations with customers. You should use it if you want to:
- Manage a multi-person team that interacts with customers
- Answer questions about your products and services quickly
- Deepen relationships with customers, turning them into advocates for your brand
- Communicate with customers at scale on a one-to-many basis
- Prioritize customer convenience
- Continually improve customer communication efficiency by tracking message response time as a KPI
What Are the Benefits of Text Messaging for Business?
Text messaging is the most convenient channel for customers. Businesses who text with their customers are reaching them on the channel they prefer. Having real-time chats with customers also helps resolve their queries faster. Finally, business texting services offer efficiency tools that help companies streamline workflows, speed up response times, and create the kind of seamless experience that customers crave. These are just a few of the benefits of text messaging for business.
Why is business text messaging important for businesses?
Texting has become a crucial part of everyday life for most people. On average, most people use 3 different messaging apps each week to chat with friends and family. Nine in 10 consumers also want to text with businesses, but less than half of companies are currently equipped to meet their needs.
Still, businesses are recognizing the demand for texting and quickly adopting the channel. Global mobile business messaging traffic hit 2.7 trillion in 2020, up 10% from 2019, and is expected to only keep growing.
How Does Business Texting Compare to Other Channels?
Most businesses already communicate with customers over the phone and in email conversations. Text messaging as it relates to businesses is an inherently different type of channel, with its own role to play in customer relationships.
Business texting vs. calls
Calls are great for fostering personal connections. But, they’re also time-consuming; it takes time to connect with a customer, and you can only speak to one person at a time. Here’s what the stats say:
- 41% of sales people say calling is most effective tool for connecting with leads
- Still, it takes an average of 18 calls to connect with a buyer
- 70% of customers are annoyed when their calls are transferred between departments, despite those customers expecting support teams to collaborate on their queries
- 10% of leads choose calls over texts
Business texting vs. email
Email has been around since 1971, long before text messaging became widely prevalent. It’s embedded into the culture of business, so companies have a strong command of using it in a professional setting. It’s also asynchronous, allowing customers to have conversations at their own paces.
Your email inbox and SMS inbox likely look quite different. Email is a more saturated channel. Customers receive an immense amount of emails every day and, consequently, sometimes miss important messages:
- The average office worker receives 121 emails a day, but only responds to seven of them. That’s a 6% response rate.
- Nearly 50% of email is spam. Of those 121 emails, 60 of them are irrelevant to the office worker receiving them. Responses take around 90 minutes. When recipients do respond to emails, it takes them a considerable amount of time. Resolving queries, even for simple questions, can take days.
- SMS, on the other hand, has a 45% response rate and an average response time of 90 seconds, allowing conversations to happen at a faster pace.
Business texting vs. traditional texting
Texting combines the personal touch and immediacy of phone calls with the ease and asynchronous communication style of email. So what’s wrong with using traditional texting in a business context? Your personal phone doesn’t let you organize texts or analyze texting patterns. It offers no internal security features. You can’t text multiple customers without using a group text. Business messaging platforms fill all of these gaps and more.
How does business texting complement these channels?
Really, you should be using all three channels together. Use texting for quick chats and notifications, keeping communications moving along. Use email for more in-depth conversations, adding details and a sense of formality. Finally, use phone calls for important or confidential conversations, solidifying those personal connections you started making with SMS.
The Bottom Line: Entering the World of Business Text Messaging
Business texting offers you the opportunity to connect with your customers through a new channel that they love.
It’s fast, convenient, and personalized, helping boost customer engagement. Business text messaging apps allow you to send, receive, and organize messages with ease. Plus, texting works well alongside traditional channels like phone calling and emailing. You can use texts for day-to-day communications, emails to provide depth, and calls to solidify personal connections.
Ultimately, if you choose to adopt business texting for your team, you’ll enhance the customer experience by reaching them in a way you couldn’t before.
Ready to learn more about using business texting, and how to get started? See Part 2 of this series: How to Use Business Text Messaging.
More Business Texting Resources & Guides
Looking for more information about business text messaging in your industry? Check out our resources below.
Industry Resources for Business SMS
Business Text Messaging FAQs
You’ve got questions, we’ve got fast answers.
What is a business text?
When should you use text messages?
Can businesses text customers?
What is SMS vs. MMS?
Can you text customers without permission?
Is it better to email or text?
How do companies send text messages?