Skyrocket Engagement with Conversational Business Text Messaging

By Deborah Kurfiss, Umbrella Content Marketing Director on Jul 1, 2022

Today, customer experience has become the key differentiator among companies. 86% of people value it so much that they are willing to pay more. Yet Many companies and marketers give this lip service, but don’t follow through on the details to make it happen. Let’s talk about how conversational business text messaging can help.

Communication is Key – and That Includes Conversational Business Text Messaging

Key to a great customer experience is great communication. The benefits of great communication are loyal customers who return, spend more and become evangelists for the brand. Companies who make real connections with their customers are the ones that will survive during market downturns and other world uncertainties.

That means meeting customers where they are and listening to them… not just shoving messages down their throats. People today want companies to respect them and interact. Companies that are not engaging their customers today are not going to be successful for long.

One of the best things you can do for your clients to help them improve communication and the customer experience is to provide them with white label conversational business text messaging.

Two-way conversational business texting can be an effective tool for vastly increasing engagement and ultimately, sales.  Here are some of the ways it can improve the customer experience:

  • Easy, natural customer service support conversations
  • Streamlining appointment setting
  • Immediate answer to questions sent from any device
  • Communicating time-sensitive information such as a one-day flash sale to an entire database – and having the capacity to receive and answer text messages about the sale
  • It also enables businesses to invite customers to flash sales – and answer questions customers text them about the sale.
  • Ability for customers to text questions or even place orders from advertisements and business listings

It only makes sense to use every tool at your disposal as a marketer to help your clients establish and maintain these kinds of connections. A very important tool is conversational business texting.

What Is Conversational Business Text Messaging?

Conversational business text messaging enables casual, natural back and forth conversation between your client’s business and its customers. The primary feature is that the conversation goes both ways.

For example, a customer could request store hours or product information. This could be answered by a customer service rep, or it could be answered by an AI chatbot.

On the other hand, if you have obtained the customer’s consent, you could text them information that adds value in a conversational format. In return, they could ask questions.

Messages from business to customer should be personalized and different from traditional SMS advertising. So instead of sending a message, “Ace Store is having a 20% off sale this Saturday,” the message might read something like, “Hi, Sally! As a VIP customer, you are entitled to 20% off anything in the store this Saturday. Hope to see you there!”  Sally might text back, “What time do you open Saturday?” This could be answered by an automated reply or AI chatbot… or even an actual human.

Your Client’s Can Use Their Current Numbers for Conversational Business Text Messaging

A great feature of conversational business texting is that your clients don’t need to advertise an additional texting number. You can have your client’s landline text-enabled, the same one they have been including in all their marketing. A landline, including existing toll-free numbers and VOIP numbers can be text-enabled.

Rules to Follow

You must strategize a bit when setting up your clients with conversational business text messaging. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Get Consent Before Messaging

If your client is not responding to a direct query, they should have prospects or customers opt in before messaging them. No doubt they are already getting opt-in consent from people in order to email them. Text can be a great form of communication with new leads and your client’s current customers.

Don’t Hold People Captive

Legally, businesses must offer their customers a way to opt out of text communications. Don’t put hurdles in front of those who want to leave. Make it clear how they can opt out and let them do it in one step.

Send at Strategic Times

Be cognizant of the fact that people are used to checking and responding to their phones immediately when they get a message. With that in mind, you don’t want to disturb them when they are out to dinner or possibly sleeping. With that in mind, keep text messaging to business hours.

Now on the other hand, the more hours of the day your client is available for text messaging, the better. Once again, they can respond through automated responses and AI chatbots some or part of the time. But whatever the case, you should clearly communicate to your client’s audience the time of day the business is available for texting.

Keep It Brief and Conversational

Conversational business texting should be just that – conversational. Communications should be in a casual but respectful tone. And they should be brief. Personalize conversations as much as possible.

What you don’t want to do is just send generic messages. You don’t want to talk AT people. You want to talk WITH them. Encourage two-way conversations, responses and questions. In other words, use conversational business texting to boost engagement and better enable your clients to connect with their customers.

Don’t Overdo It

We’ve already seen the phenomenal open rate of texting.  So, expect people to see your message. With that in mind, you don’t need to send a lot of messages, and it’s counterproductive to do so. You don’t want to annoy your customers by messaging them too much.  Spamming your customers is going to have the opposite effect you desire. How often you text depends on your industry and your audience. You may want to take a survey to get your audience’s input. When in doubt, ask!

Umbrella’s White Label Conversational Business Text Messaging Service

Umbrella can set up your client’s landline for two-way conversational texting that will improve customer service and increase sales. That means they can continue to use their current phone number, even toll-free numbers. We can also set up conversational business texting for VOIP numbers.

Even if a client has an AI chatbot option on their website, it’s not a substitute for conversational business text messaging. (Don’t get us wrong. A website chat option is a very good thing to offer.) But to use website chat, people have to go to the website. But with conversational texting, your client’s customers can contact them directly from their phone and other devices. They don’t need to go online much less to a website. (Though we do offer an option where customers can also text your client from their website.)  And there’s no app involved… from a customer’s perspective, it’s just normal texting.

Contact Umbrella for a free consultation about how we can help you help your clients with conversational business text messaging.

 

 

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