Not only for marketing but also for all other communications, text messaging is becoming more common in business. Text Request, a business text messaging platform, has released the 2023 State of Business Texting Report. This report examines how consumers interact with businesses and how they are meeting these demands. It also identifies how gaps may exist. These are five key points that business leaders should consider. Disclaimer: Although I am part of the Text Request study, this article is not as promotional.
1. Eighty-eight percent of customers want to be notified by text about their appointments
Many businesses rely on appointments to keep them running. It’s obvious that texting can make it easier to set up and keep more appointments. You may also save time and overhead by texting. Texting can help you save time and overhead. 70% of respondents believe that texting is the best way to get in touch with them.
Instead of calling customers to confirm appointments and cancel them, send a message. To automate notification, you can either send one to each person at a time or send a bulk message to all of them. Texting is far more efficient and effective than calling each person individually about every appointment. You will be able to keep more appointments in the book, as forgetting appointments is the main reason why people miss appointments.
Text customers when they are due to book their next appointment. This will allow you to make more appointments and increase your revenue. For seasonal check-ins, annual renewals, or any other period that makes sense to you, text us. The dealership that sold me my car sent me a text every three months regarding an oil change and tune up. That’s because it takes 3,000 miles to drive.
2. People want more SMS marketing (yes, really)
Respondents to the survey said that they would like to receive text messages about discounts and promotions. However, only 29% of respondents indicated that their businesses send these texts. This is a huge opportunity and it’s important that you think beyond retail when considering promotions. The report includes several examples such as:
Customers are more likely to book appointments for services or appointments
Informing customers about new services and other offers
Fundraising for schools and nonprofits
Sharing important reminders
Offer discounts or incentives
Each of these can be combined to increase revenue and create great customer experiences.
3. B2B companies can also use texting
According to the report, texting can be a powerful channel for business-to consumer (B2C) companies but not for businesses selling to other businesses (B2B). Business buyers can still be consumers wherever they go.
Eighty percent have text with a business before. As these people experience consumer services, they start to expect the same from business services. There are many easy applications for texting B2B businesses:
- – During the sales process, touch base
- – Take a few minutes to talk on the phone
- – Reminders and appointment scheduling
- – Support and customer service
- – Promotions for new products or services
Texting can help you get people’s attention, and they will respond. No matter your role, this can make a huge impact.
4. In 2023, the most anticipated trend is texting to make payments
This gap is the largest between businesses and consumers, according to the report. This is also where you will see the most growth in traffic over the next year. Sixty-nine per cent of people would like to receive text messages for payment reminders. 45% of people also want to pay their bills via text. Yet, only 30% of businesses use text messaging for payments.
This is crucial because revenue collection is an essential function. Your business will fail if you don’t collect revenue, especially the revenue that you owe. Even minor delays in collecting payments or the need to spend more money to collect them can have a negative effect on your business.
This is a simple problem to solve, as PDF invoices can be sent via text messages. Businesses can send reminders by text message to clients with outstanding balances and include invoices if necessary.
5. Businesses are comfortable with consumers texting.
Eighty percent have texted a business before, and 58% send a text at least once a month. 90% of consumers want to be able to text businesses and other organizations. People feel comfortable using texting for business purposes and are starting to expect such experiences. This presents both a challenge as well as an opportunity.
Businesses will need to include texting in their communication mix in order to reach customers wherever they are in 2023. It is important that businesses enable text conversations and not just one-way automated communications. Customers want to be able to text businesses on their terms, so it is vital to allow text conversations. 77% of respondents want to text businesses for support and customer service.
Many businesses will find texting a valuable tool for customer communication. If you don’t use it to meet customer demands, you risk losing out to those who do.
What can you do with all this information?
Businesses have many opportunities to increase their revenue, reduce costs, and improve customer experience through text messaging. You can see the benefits of your efforts sooner if you act quickly. You don’t have to overhaul your entire strategy at once.
You can pick one small task that is easy to do and that you are able to commit to. For example, replacing appointment confirmation calls with text messages. Once you and your team are comfortable with the change and can track any improvements made, then move on to the next opportunity.