Every company should have a structure around text messaging for business, because the benefits are enormous! One key benefit is that texting can empower employees.
And since empowered employees are more valuable employees, it’s worth investigating how texting at work can strengthen your people. That’s what we’ll do in this article.
Why does text messaging for business matter?
People spend over 4 hours a day on their mobile phones and send dozens of text messages. So fighting the use of phones at work is like yanking the wheel when your car starts to skid. It only makes things worse, yet this is what so many businesses do.
Instead, steer into the skid! Create a structure that encourages people to use their mobile behaviors for good.
People text from their cell phones every day, and Text Request is a tool for managing text conversations as a team. Because people text in different ways for different reasons, I’ll share steps you can take on both the individual and team levels to empower employees through texting.
Let’s get started!
1. Foster relationships with customers.
Research shows texting is how most people prefer to communicate. It’s how we choose to create conversations, and these conversations foster our relationships.
We have a more thorough guide to creating conversations with customers, but here’s the gist.
When employees have conversations with customers, they build relationships with customers. As these relationships grow, employees’ sense of value grows, too.
Think of it like this:
If you have 50 good customer relationships, then you feel like you’re bringing value to your company by growing these relationships. And we know there is value in this, because stronger relationships lead to larger and more frequent transactions, plus referrals.
What’s really powerful is that employees who feel they add value look for more opportunities to add value. So you get this virtuous circle of empowerment.
Add value → Feel good → Add more value → Feel better → etc.
You can take advantage of this through a few processes for texting with customers. Here are some options:
- Following up with leads or prospects
- Customer onboarding and success
- Customer service and support
- Promotions or exclusives
- Birthdays and other notable events
If you already have a system in place for these conversations using calls or emails, just replace the calls or emails with texts. You’ll be able to reach more people faster, hold more conversations, and empower your employees, who will then strengthen your business.
2. Motivate your sales team.
It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of emotion we call sales. And, if well managed, you can use these emotions to propel your selling. So how does texting fit in?
Salespeople are – more often than not – motivated by results, and texting brings you better results faster than other processes. We cover this more thoroughly in our guides to successful SMS lead generation and converting more online leads, but here the key takeaways.
On the surface, it’s a simple numbers game. More people read your texts, so you have more opportunities to move prospects through your sales funnel. But if we dig deeper, we see each text is also more effective.
Texts get over 200% more responses than calls, and bring in close to 300% more conversions, too. Dozens of studies show that more people respond to texts than calls or emails, and that texts are more likely to create conversions than calls or emails.
In short, texting gets better results, and these results motivate your sales team. Your sales team then contributes more to your business. Everyone wins!
3. Encourage your employees.
Praise empowers, and kind words show that you care. Whether you’re CEO or an entry level employee, you can build up another person in your company.
If someone’s having a rough day, reach out to them. When someone does a good job, let them know! Obviously, you can share these sentiments face-to-face, but text is a popular choice because it’s more discreet.
You might not want anyone eavesdropping on these conversations, and texting from your personal cell phone solves this problem. Here’s an example.
Let’s say 2 employees get into a heated argument, where 1 steps over the line. Sadly, this isn’t uncommon. As a manager (or friend), you can text the offended party a quick message like:
“Heard about your spat with [John]. He completely crossed the line, and I’m going to follow up with him.”
A message as simple and non-partisan as this tells the person you’re there for them. It shows support, and strengthens your relationship, which inspires and builds a better business.
Let’s say So-and-So gives a great presentation, or brings up a wonderfully creative idea, but doesn’t like public praise or being in the spotlight – which is common for top producers.
You can send that person a quick text saying “Great presentation, I had no idea we were missing these opportunities!” Or whatever praise is relevant.
That text would likely make their day! It would also motivate them to work harder and smarter moving forward.
There are countless examples like these, but the main point is this:
Sometimes discreet comments make all the difference in an employee’s feelings and motivation. Text is the go-to solution for these moments. Why not use it in your office?
4. Prove you trust your employees.
You’ve interviewed, hired, and have been working with these employees. Shouldn’t you be able to trust them with a cell phone?
When employees feel trusted, they perform better. When they don’t feel trusted, their stress levels increase and performance suffers.
Unfortunately, managers become much more controlling whenever they don’t trust employees. And when you try to control a human being with ideas and free will, you place a lot of undue pressure and stress on them.
All of this tension hurts your business (and your turnover), but there are myriad small things you can do to show trust to your employees!
You can ask for their 2 cents on a subject, assign them to lead a project, or simply let them use their phones throughout the day.
When you show employees you trust them, you empower them. And when you empower employees, they work hard for you.
5. Minimize office distractions.
Impromptu conversations are parasites that suck the productivity out of your business. Conversations are great, but conversations without order are chaos. Here’s an all too common example.
Employee A is working on a project when Employee B turns to Employee A and says, “Did you hear about this?” Employee A has not heard about it, and frankly doesn’t care. But Employee B already has their attention, so Employee A humors Employee B by indulging in the conversation.
Interruptions like this might temporarily lighten the mood, but they’re needless distractions.
Employee A asks Employee B “Did you get my message?” The answer is either “yes, and [this needs to happen],” or “no, I was working on [something else].”
Occasionally these memos are urgent, but 9 times out of 10 they aren’t worth the interruption.
Unfortunately, these distractions have a profoundly negative impact on performance. Studies show it takes, on average, about 25 minutes to regain focus on a task after being distracted.
So it only takes a few of these interruptions to lose hours of productivity every day. When productivity suffers, morale suffers. And when moral suffers, your business suffers.
Here’s how texting fixes this problem.
When someone on our team needs to check in with someone else, they send a text saying “When you have a minute, let’s talk about [XYZ].” So whenever the recipient gets to a stopping point, they check their phone, and then converse as needed.
This way, we’re able to finish our tasks and projects before turning our attention elsewhere.
It’s a simple and effective way to increase productivity without adding stress, which empowers us to do more and be better. I’m confident texting like this can do the same for your office.
6. Bring your business up to speed.
Employees use technology every day to accomplish their goals. This technology is an extension of employees’ skills, and can help or hurt depending on how useful it is.
Sadly, inadequate technology is one of the more prominent issues holding employees back at work. This shows us people are capable of doing more if they’re given opportunities, and that technology creates these opportunities.
The thing is, you don’t need a powerhouse budget to implement new tools that help your team accomplish its goals. Many tools – like Text Request – only cost $50 or so a month. That’s a small price to empower employees and grow your business.
Texting plays a crucial role in this technology conversation, because less than half of businesses are currently equipped to handle any form of messaging. Yet every prospect, customer, and employee with a smartphone texts.
Do you see the disconnect?
Employees could do their jobs better and bring more value to your business with a tool to manage text messaging with customers. Help them help you by investing in tech.
7. Share ideas and feedback.
People appreciate being heard. When you feel your contributions are valued, you become fulfilled, which motivates you to contribute more, and so on.
When you make employees feel this way, your business will soar! So how does texting fit into this?
Texting is a great way to share ideas with individuals or groups, get feedback on those ideas, and foster discussions that propel your business forward.
These ideas could be shared anonymously by texting into a line that functions as an “ideas box.” (Maybe your executive team discusses these ideas once a month.) You could also text your ideas to colleagues to spark – or better yet, set up – conversations at any time.
When people can share, be heard, and get constructive feedback, everyone wins. Texting is one way to create and manage all of these conversations.
A Final Note to Empower Employees
People text every day – it’s just what we do! And if you take the right steps to implement texting in your company, you can see incredible value.
Empower employees and boost your business by creating processes around text messaging for business. It’s simple to do, and the results are priceless.