6 Departments Where Texting Improves Your Business (& How)
On average, adults under 50 y.o. check their phones 150 times a day, spend about 5 hours doing so, and go through 100+ texts in the process. It's no secret that the majority of today's workforce is mobile dependent (which isn't a bad thing), and that texting is massive.
After 23+ years, it makes sense that texting has become an integral part of business communication and operations. But how, specifically, can the simple text be integrated into daily operations? What would it look like in a formal role? Given below are six departments in every business where texting can be a seamless addition, and prove its value ten times over.
Marketing (No, not your typical text/mobile marketing)
Crucial to marketing is generating leads, and nurturing those leads until they become customers. Then you need to nurture your customers to keep them happy and handy with referrals. When you check in with your friends, what do you do? You shoot them a text. We've applied this same concept to our leads and customers - really everyone - to fantastic effects. But first you need leads.
We know three things. One, 60% of web traffic comes from mobile devices. Consumers are searching for things on their smartphones. Two, people "click-to-call" a business about three million times a day. A simple call-to-action button is incredibly powerful. Three, "sending and receiving text messages is the most prevalent form of communication for American adults under 50" (Gallup, 2014). Customers would rather text you than have to call someone else.
Together, this means that enabling consumers to text your business directly (from their phone, on which they're already viewing your website) with the simple click of a button will equal better numbers. In fact, that's exactly what our customers have found. Texting can be a phenomenal, passive lead generation tool on your website. Once you have leads, you can guide them through your sales cycle.
Sales is all about ratios. One-on-one texting in a sales environment can lead to an increase of anywhere from 250% to 500% in your conversions throughout your funnel. Here's how.
Let's say you start with 100 leads, and you try to reach them via phone call. 20 (20%) of them will answer your call. 10 of those (50%) will be interested in furthering the conversation. And 2 (20%) will convert. However:
95% of texts are read and responded to within 3 minutes. You text your 100 leads. 95 (95%) answer your text. 47 (50%) are interested in furthering the conversation. And 10 (20%) will convert. You've just boosted your ratios by 500%! Not to mention what this does for your cost per acquisition and sales timeline. If you don't believe us, just ask FranchiseHelp.
You don't have to go far to find that consumers are generally unhappy with customer service. In fact, 89% of the population wants another customer service option. 79% say that they're frustrated with customer service as is. We know people prefer to text. We know consumers are unhappy with customer service. So why not add a text option to your customer service, and make people happier?
If there’s an easier way to do something, people will find it. The company who offers the best experience is the one who will keep the most customers. Don’t let them find a better experience with your competition! Texting keeps customers from waiting on hold (which happens in 86% of calls to businesses). It provides fast results, and it appeals to consumers' preferences.
Even if customer service is not one of your top priorities - even if it’s not where you typically spend money - adding another tool to this department will drastically improve your bottom line. It costs about 7X more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep one existing customer happy. Make your customers happy by letting them text with you for service and support.
The most common reason we've found for why people neglect to pay up is simply that they forgot about their bill. That's all! Here's a common situation. Emily signs up for an insurance plan. Emily gets an email two weeks before her bill is due, but she doesn't read it because the average person gets over 100 emails everyday. It's not that Emily doesn't care about her coverage, she's just busy.
The company calls Emily to tell her she's late on payments, but Emily doesn't pick up because she doesn't recognize the number. She doesn't listen to the voicemail because nobody listens to voicemail anymore. Emily lapses on her payments, and her plan is terminated. Your business lost a paying customer, and Emily is now at greater risk of the unexpected. It's a lose-lose situation. But with a simple text, this whole predicament could be avoided.
Here's a situation that works well. Let's say it's two weeks before someone lapses - two weeks before you have to drop them as a client for not paying. You shoot this customer a quick text. "Hey! This is so-and-so with Business-You-Use. You're about to lapse on your [product, account]. Please get us [$specified amount$] by MM/DD. Thanks so much! Have a great day. :)" If they have a question, they can just reply to your text. You can even add a direct link to streamline the process. It's a magnificent tool, because it works.
Take it from one of our users, Sarah. She's the VP of a national healthcare brand. They added texting to their collections department (and to their sales team). Three months later, Sarah reported "an increase in collections by thousands a week, and a 66% increase in customer retention." I don't care who you are, that's incredible! Oh, and they also increased sales by 17%.
Your business is made up entirely of people, at least most of whom need to communicate with each other regularly. Here's the gist of why texting works well, and in what situations texting is a good choice for internal communication.
Do you ever have employees or teams out in the field? Maybe at a job or site away from your main office? Even when they're away, you still communicate with them. Actually, you probably communicate with them more when they're out of the office. You check in with them for updates or details. They do the same with you. If there's a question or a need for some extra tool or file, you reach out to each other. For all of this, texting works great.
It actually works better than calls or emails because it's so much quicker. Texting doesn't interrupt. If you're in the middle of a conversation with someone else, or engrossed in a project, you won't take a call or answer an email, but you'll read a text real quick. That's typical human behavior.
If you're in the office and simply need to ask a quick question to someone across the hall or in a different corridor, you're not going to walk down and talk face-to-face. They might be in the middle of something important. Plus it's entirely inconvenient. If you're a really traditional person, you might email them and wait hours for a response. Or, if you're like most people, you'll just shoot a text and hear back whenever so-and-so isn't tied up.
People and businesses communicate through text everyday. It's a staple of life! The only potential problem is that most texting for business purposes is done from personal cell phones.
I'm sure you trust your employees. I hope you're able to! But all of these employee-to-employee and employee-to-client conversations include confidential information. Your business is directly responsible for making sure that information is safe and securely held by only your business.