Text messaging is one of the most popular channels of communication. Period.
There is no denying this fact.
But despite this very obvious observation, only a few businesses have integrated it into their customer communication strategy.
As stated by this AT&T Market Survey, though 98% of smartphone owners use text messaging regularly, only 14% of businesses communicate with their customers using text messages.
This skewed ratio represents the immense opportunity for businesses to engage with customers over text and use the channel to their advantage. Brands that incorporate one-to-one business text messaging in their omnichannel communication strategy are more likely to see an increase in customer engagement and consumer satisfaction than brands that don’t.
Here are 5 reasons why customers want to interact with businesses over text message:
- Text messaging is timely
- Text messaging is non-intrusive
- Text messaging is easy to use for customers of all age groups
- Text messaging is to-the-point and concise
- Text messaging is conversational
Let us explore each of these reasons in more detail:
Text messaging is timely
People HATE being put on hold – it is a major turn-off for your customers when they try to reach out to you with an important request and they have to wait for several hours to talk to a real person. Similarly, it is frustrating when customers try to contact a business over email and all they receive is an automated reply.
Personalized text messaging between a business and a consumer takes away all these nuisances and makes the communication real-time. It is way easier to send a text message and receive a reply than trying to get hold of someone to talk to over phone calls or emails.
That explains why this study shows 70% of the respondents prefer to use mobile messaging for troubleshooting an issue and 44% of customers say they would rather start texting a business than wait for an agent’s response on the line.
Text messaging is non-intrusive
Ironically, today’s smartphone user prefers using their device for everything else except actual phone calls. That is because people are always on the go and do not have enough free time at a stretch to dedicate to a detailed phone call. Everyone is busy - no one wants their entire day to be jam-packed with phone calls that could easily have been text messages.
Texting, on the other hand, can be done on the go even when a person is busy. This flexibility and ease of use make communication via text messages non-intrusive and convenient. It’s no wonder then, that one-third of Americans prefer texting to phone calls.
Text messaging is easy to use for customers of all age groups
One-to-one text messaging is a staple when it comes to everyday communication between people. The fact that texting doesn’t need users to familiarize themselves with a new app or a complicated interface makes it a popular conversation channel across all age groups. According to this survey conducted by Gallup, texting is the dominant way of communication for Americans under the age of 50. Even 66% of Baby Boomers, though slow adopters of technology, today send and receive text messages on a regular basis.
Text Messaging is concise and to-the-point
Texting a short-form method of communication. Conversations over text are to-the-point and let you do away with the small talk that inevitably comes with phone calls and the overload of unnecessary information that inevitably comes with emails. Business text messaging lets customers convey their point without beating around the bush. This concise nature of the interaction not only saves time but also makes the communication process straightforward.
To sum it up, conversing with your customers over text messages will not only make life easier for you but will also reward you with amplified customer engagement and increased customer retention. It is an ideal way to connect with your audience and build a personalized business relationship with them that goes beyond one-time transactions.
Text messaging is conversational
Most of the time people want answers to basic questions from your customer-facing teams. Really simple ones like ‘When will I receive my order confirmation?’ or ‘How do I schedule an appointment?’
During such instances, they are at a loss to understand what’s the best way to communicate their inquiry and receive a quick response. They don’t want to go through an exhaustive communication process to reach out to the customer rep for such a simple question. And they shouldn’t have to. Such communication obstacles lead to impatience, anxiety, and negativity about your brand.
This can be easily solved by having a communication channel like text messaging in place. Customers want their messaging with businesses to be in the form of a dialogue. They prefer two-way interactions over one-sided promotions and texting is the perfect place to have this kind of informal conversation.