What is business text messaging?

What is business text messaging?
Did you know that text messaging has a 98% open rate and 9/10 prefer texting a business? With this guide on business text messaging, we’ll help you understand why customers prefer texting a business compared to emails.

Business text messaging (also known as SMS text messaging or SMS texting) is a technology that allows businesses to communicate with customers (current or prospective) through a business phone number.

Business text messaging

Customers prefer text messaging over emails for many reasons:

  • Business text messaging is instant
  • Customers can express emotions with GIFS, Emoji’s
  • Its conversational

Through this article, we will cover many aspects of business text messaging like:

Benefits of business text messaging
While business text messaging has multiple benefits, only a small percentage of businesses in the USA have made the best use of text messaging. If you are a business owner that is not aware of the benefits of business text messaging, or are considering using text messaging, then its important to learn about the benefits:

  • Text messaging is instant and your messages actually get read
    • The fact that text messages are actually read comes with a list of follow on benefits as a result of high readability:
      • Payments get processed faster through texts
      • Appointment reminders are not missed
      • Businesses can generate more reviews
      • Easy follow up on existing appointments
      • Businesses can reduce phone calls by converting them to text messages
  • Its conversational in nature compared to emails
  • Saves your team hours compared to phone calls
  • It is scalable
    • Imagine having 1000 patients or customers booked for an appointment in a single month and having to remind each patient of their appointment ahead of time. Texts are far more scalable for such transactional use cases over manual phone calls
  • More engaging
    • Since texts are instant and one can use GIFs, stickers, Emoji’s etc, they are also more engaging

We all know that to become a business that is loved by customers, it is important to give customers what they want and research says that fifty four percent of customers want to receive text messages from businesses.

Numbers around business text messaging
The truth is that most consumers would rather communicate via text messages compared to phone calls or emails. Apart from the benefits highlighted above, take a look at the number below with respect to text messaging use cases:

  • 75% of customers / patients prefer receiving appointment reminders via text and not email/call
  • 72% of customers are more likely to make a purchase when texting with a real person
  • 69% would prefer a cold text message over a cold call
  • 63% would switch companies if they offered text messaging.

These are some really important numbers to pay attention to as a business that is not using texting to its advantage.
Research says that most customers (even the one above the age of 60) open new text messages within a span of 5 minutes. In the next section, let’s take a look at the different types of use cases a business can achieve with text messaging:
Text Message Use Cases

Webchat to Text
As we are all aware, a webchat is a software that allows website visitors to initiate a conversation with the click of a button. Webchats works very well because when you have audience on your website, all you have to do is inform, educate and answer questions to convert them into customers.

But the customers of today expect instant responses and this is where a webchat to text capability is helpful. A webchat to text is a unique webchat that converts website visitors into a text message instead of expecting them to stay on the website waiting for a response. Some advantages of webchat that converts visitors into a text:

  • Customers dont have to continue waiting on the website for a response
  • Text messaging has higher conversion rates and response rates
  • You can remarket to these visitors using their text numbers

Managing Customer Interactions
The most important use case of text messaging today is the power to interact with customers through business text messaging over phone calls or emails. At Emitrr, we’ve worked with over 1000+ local businesses that leverage text messaging everyday to communicate with customers. Text messaging for Emitrr customers has lead to a reduction in the number of phone calls by an average of 35% across all our customers.

Not just text messaging, more and more customers are converting their incoming calls to business text messages through a unique capability Emitrr offers, that allows customers to convert their calls to text messages.

Text to Pay
Text to pay or text message payments allow customers to pay for a service/product through a simple text message rather than having to log in to enter credit card details every time they have to purchase a service or pay for bills due. 

In short, you can simply send a text message to your customer with a secure link for a payment. The customer can simply click on that link and make a payment by viewing their invoice. 

Text Message Marketing
Text message marketing is a method of communicating business news, updates, promotions or any  other information to your customers or prospects through business text messaging, better know as SMS (short message service) text messages on their mobile devices. Text message marketing helps build brand awareness on a more personal level as your reach your consumers/prospects directly on a device with which they spend the most of their time. 

Businesses can use text message marketing to reach their target audience through a business number with the click of a button. Today, more than ever, businesses use text message marketing to reach their existing and potential customers for:

  • Sharing business updates (e.g. updates related to COVID-19, Open Hours, Any changes in appointments, delays and more)
  • Updating existing patients of their insurance status, reaching out for follow up appointments) 

Think of the last time you visited a local business (a dentist, or a doctor or maybe a restaurant). Now think about why you decided on that particular business? 

Chances are, it’s because someone recommended it to you. Either a friend, colleague, or celebrity. The point here is, reviews or simply put, reputation matter. They make a measurable difference in consumer behavior. Just take a look at the numbers, conversion rates lift by 120.3% if the shopper has interacted with reviews. The benefits extend far beyond sales. Reviews also impact your Google search rankings.

By this point, we already know the benefits of text messaging. Hence, business text messaging can also be used for generating reviews for your business on sites like Google, Facebook, Yelp and more.

Case studies: How Do Text Messages Work for Business?

Aspire Counselling is a top-performing Counselling Group in California, with 7 locations and growing across the state. They are a state-of-the-art, all-digital office for comprehensive counselling services, including behavioural health, addiction services and more. The team prides themselves on their ability to make a difference in the lives of their patients and in the communities they serve.

Aspire Counselling wanted a way to get reviews, communicate with patients and ensure that they were keeping these patients for a lifetime. As a high-touch organization, they needed a platform that could help them with the patient journey end to end, as well as a modern, HIPAA-compliant solution that could reach out to patients via their preferred method –text– and integrate easily with their current tech stack. Prior to working with Emitrr, they had fragmented technology stack that included 3 different solutions for:

  • Reviews & Reputation
  • Patient Interactions
  • Converting missed calls to texts

Aspire Counselling implemented Emitrr Interactions in September 2020. One of the biggest challenges with many counselling offices is integrating new technology into an existing tech stack and employee processes. Aspire wanted to provide another touchpoint for patients to reach out using the methods they prefer, including text and chat. They decided to add on Emitrr’s Interactions product to boost patient communication.

By implementing Emitrr Interactions, the Patient Contact Center can now reach out via chat and text to both potential and existing patients. Because the same team answers the phones, Emitrr’s ability to convert a webchat or missed voicemail into a text conversation was a perfect fit. Aspire now handles all leads exclusively through Emitrr.

The process is simple: the centralized patient contact center receives the webchat and manages the communications for all the individual offices. The team can answer questions, send paperwork or make appointments through webchat. Automated FAQs automatically answer common questions. In the rare instance where a question needs to be forwarded to someone else, the team can do so through Interactions, thereby keeping the patient journey seamless. Mass texting can be used to send out promotions or special messages to patients. Receptionist can answer missed calls and easily turn a voicemail into a text message

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