Texting etiquette for business messaging
While we know that texting has been reaping enormous benefits for businesses with it’s high open rate (98%) and engagement rates, we might sometimes find ourselves at crossroads when it comes to knowing the texting etiquette for businesses.
Engaging with customers over text is somewhat relatively new and thus to navigate such conversations a little help may be required. Do you use acronyms, do you add smileys? Is it appropriate? These questions may pop up when trying to decipher how to converse with customers via text.
We’ve broken down for you some of the texting etiquette you must follow as a business.
Top things to keep in mind when texting with a customer:
- Timing of the message :
It’s important that you remember that texting a customer is not the same as texting a friend or an acquaintance. While a friend may not care that you are texting them at a certain time, it’s definitely not the same with a customer. You should pay attention to this texting etiquette at all times.
Can you imagine texting a customer at 10PM and expecting an answer from them? Certainly not. You might decide to send a message, keeping in mind the nature of the message. What does that mean? Well, studies show that promotional messages, marketing messages or reminder text perform better at certain times of the day.
For sending a promotional message or a marketing message the best time to send is during business hours that is between 8 AM to 6 PM.
For messages that are transactional in nature, that is messages containing time-sensitive information required for customers to use your product or service, any time would do. Examples of transactional text messages include order and payment confirmations, shipping alerts, appointment reminders, and verification codes.
Send transactional messages as soon as possible to alert customers of things like account updates and payment confirmations. Waiting too long to send these texts may worry or confuse customers.
Appointment reminders should be sent at least 24 hours prior to the date of the appointment to allow the customers time for cancellation or rescheduling.
In the replies you send to the customers, you should be mindful of the timing and the tone of the message. This would mean that ideally you are able to reply to the customer message or query as soon as possible.
This will help you in 2 ways:
a) Establish to the customer that they are important and thus enhance the customer experience.
b) Not lose out on a potential lead by engaging with them as quickly as possible.
Note : If for any reason you are not able to reply to the customer, make sure that they get a message about the same and are assured that they will be contacted soon. (Automating replies will help you here)
- Ask Permission
This is perhaps the most important of all the texting etiquettes. No one likes receiving texts they haven’t signed up for. These will most likely get considered as ‘spam’ by the customer and fail to serve its purpose.
Most countries also mandate that due permission be taken by the business to send messages to the customer. It’s legally necessary for customer’s ‘Opt-in’ to receive text messages from a business.
In the United States of America, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is the regulator for SMS marketing. Under the TCPA, businesses may not send messages to consumers without their consent.
- Do not use informal abbreviations
Since texting presents itself with limited characters to form a message, people have been using abbreviations to send across their message. Abbreviations such as ‘u’ for you, ‘ty’ for thank you , brb for be right back etc. are all commonplace abbreviations.
It’s sort of an obvious texting etiquette that when it comes to communicating with customers via text, these abbreviations should be avoided. Business communications should be kept formal and thus usage of the above discussed abbreviations may not go well with the tone and intent of the message.
As a rule, when forming a text make sure that you are writing complete sentences and delivering your messages clearly. Usage of words such as ‘Thank you’ and ‘Please’ should be incorporated.
- Introduce yourself
When crafting a message, one should remember to introduce themselves. As you have already received due consent from the customers to receive messages(The penultimate texting etiquette!) from your business, that coupled with the business being identified will lead to a higher chance of the customer opening and engaging with the message.
Do not let your message get lost in the swarm of promotional messages and remember to introduce!
Personalize the message
Studies have shown that people respond better to those messages which mention their name in the subject or the body of the message.
It also instills in them a feeling of importance. Personalization can also help deliver the intent of the message more clearly and concisely. For example, you are sending an appointment reminder text to a customer, in such a case you need to put in personalised information such as the name of the customer and the date and time of the appointment.
With a software like Emitrr you will be able to put in these personalized tags in the message and craft the message accordingly. It will help you to implement this texting etiquette more easily.
- Do not double text
Goes without saying that nobody likes being blasted with multiple texts.A common texting etiquette is making sure that you are sending out information that is relevant. Limit the frequency of your texts and keep the messages to a minimum.
When you send out only limited text it instills in the customer that they are receiving important information that they shouldn’t miss out on.
- Keep the messages short
When crafting a message it’s important that you do not send a very long one. Salutations followed by the information you want to convey and a simple Call to action (CTA) would be sufficient to include in a customer text message.
- Do not send sensitive information
One of the important texting etiquette is that you remember to maintain the privacy of the customers. Any personal information about the customer should be left out of the message.
If texting is done on behalf of a healthcare practice you need to maintain extra caution as any information about the patient conveyed through message can be a serious HIPAA violation.
Mastering texting etiquette for businesses isn’t very complex. In fact, just remember text like you would talk to your customers if they were in front of you and you would be good to go!