Businesses want to be on the same page as their customers, yet there’s a big disconnect in communications. While marketers and sales people use phone and email, their customers prefer texting. Here are five great reasons you should meet them on their own turf.
You’ll Reach More Customers
Today, 64% of Americans own a smartphone and 15% of them rely on it exclusively or most of the time for Internet connection, according to a Pew Research Center study. Texting is the most widely used smartphone feature, used by 100% of people age 18 to 29, 98% of those 30 to 49, and 92% of those 50 and above. It is also used more frequently than any other feature.
People really are glued to their smartphones. In the Pew study, 46% of those surveyed claimed they “couldn’t live without” their phone. In another survey by mobile customer care solutions provider B2X, more than half (56%) of Americans wouldn’t give up their smartphones for a month for a 10% salary increase, and 50% wouldn’t give it up for an extra week of vacation.
Ninety-nine percent of people use their smartphone at home, 82% in cars or public transit, and 69% at work, according to Pew. They check texts while waiting in line, walking, and even exercising.
If you want to be in front of your customers, you need to be front and center on their smartphones, on SMS.
You’ll Get Noticed
According to a Gallup poll, texting is the dominant way of communicating for Americans under 50.
Because people are constantly texting, your messages have a high probability of being seen. According to a Dynmark report, 90% of SMS messages are read within the first three seconds, and SMS has a final read rate of 98%.
Better yet, texts have an 80% response rate, Heymarket research found. Yet few businesses are using them—making you stand out among your competitors.
Customers Want to Text You
Nine out of 10 customers want to use messaging to communicate with brands, though few brands currently do it. Eighty-five percent want to have a dialog with the company, not just get push messages.
People like texting because it’s immediate, unlike waiting for an email response or a customer service representative on the phone. In an eMarketer survey, 44% of respondents said they prefer texting for customer service because it’s less time-consuming, and 42% said texting is more convenient than voice calls. A survey by Franchise Help found that over 90% of its customers preferred a text to a phone call.
Texting Makes You Sound Human
Because texting is commonly used to communicate with friends and family, it feels natural to customers, whereas emails and voicemail are seen as intrusive.
Ninety-five percent of purchasing decisions are made on an unconscious level, Harvard Business Review research shows. Texting creates rapport, setting the stage for a smooth transaction. Because it’s brief and encourages give-and-take, texting moves customers closer to a sale naturally.
Texting Boosts Sales
Texting simplifies the sales process, lets you track communications easily, and eliminates the problem of ecommerce cart abandonment. It’s a very effective way of closing deals.
Research by sales automation software provider Velocify found that prospects who are sent text messages convert at a rate 40% higher than others. When it’s used after initial phone contact, texting can improve conversion by more than 100%, the study found. Sending three or more purposeful text messages after contact has been made with a prospect can increase conversion rates by 328%.
In an article titled “Is Texting the New Way to do Business?” Inc. magazine profiled beverage seller Dirty Lemon. The company sells only by text, and increased revenue by 1,400% in less than two years, with 25% of customers returning for more business.
Don’t waste time and money communicating with customers exclusively by phone and email. They’ve made it clear they prefer texting. If you want their business, listen to them.