Text messaging isn’t just a fast and simple means of communication—it helps grow businesses. In a recent IDG/Heymarket survey, almost half of businesses that use messaging said they have realized significant benefits.
There are several reasons texting works so well. One is that customers pay more attention to messages--98% of them are read, usually within the first three seconds.
An important but less obvious benefit of messaging is that it facilitates teamwork, taking customer service to a new level.
That’s what Nick Caputo, a manager at design store HD Buttercup, learned when he started using Heymarket. His sales associates were already using smartphones to 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, she can add Caputo to a customer conversation, and he’ll follow up make sure questions are answered and coordinate the delivery, all in the same text thread.
In addition, staffers coordinate appointments and share design ideas with one another by texting fast-loading images.
Not surprisingly, customer engagement and loyalty have increased. Customers don’t care who’s taking care of them, they just want good service. They see one smooth line of message and response, while Heymarket paddles beneath the surface to connect everything with the right people at the right time.
Messaging also increases engagement—not only for customers, but also for staff.
Keller Williams top agent Tristan Ahumada uses it 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 in an 8 a.m. status call. He tried using Slack and Uberconference, but getting people to join the calls was difficult. So was getting 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.
That’s the power of texting—SMS is right there on your phone, and responding is as natural as nodding your head. Other apps have to be opened, and if you’re busy, it’s all too easy to put it off until you forget what you were supposed to do in the first place.
Enterprise texting 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, the company created templates for sending appointment reminders by text. They were addressed to customers by name, and though a staffer sent them through a list, each was personalized to come from an employee assigned to a particular region. They intentionally send messages from employees in a region that each customer knows. Messages noted the location and hours of the mobile clinic closest to each customer.
For staffers, using the system is as simple as pushing a button. For customers, it’s more convenient.
Over 50% of the company’s scheduling 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 service doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. It can be as simple as switching to text.