With 97% of Americans owning a cellphone, text messaging is more popular than ever. As more and more businesses find texting to be an inexpensive way to communicate efficiently and effectively with their customers, they’re finding that more and more consumers want to communicate with them via text messaging, as well.
Here’s where two-way texting comes in.
What is two-way texting?
Two-way (or 2-way) texting allows for inbound and outbound messages to be delivered conversationally. Much like a P2P (person to person) texting works on your personal phone. Two-way communications using A2P (application to person) offers the same personalized experience and it’s becoming more prominent as part of the customer experience.
What are the benefits of two-way texting?
1. Personalize your customer service
People don’t want to feel like a number even though they are using one to talk to you. Making your customers feel like humans even through a digital device is easy, and desired. Being able to text one-to-one will make your customers feel valued and heard. And will give your employees a connection to the person and the product or service you’re offering that they wouldn’t get through email, giving them a greater sense of responsibility to both the company and their customers.
A Harris Poll in 2018 found that 64% of consumers with texting capabilities would prefer to use texting over voice as a customer service channel. As the consumer world continued evolving during the pandemic, that number couldn’t go anywhere but up. The people want it, use it.
2. Real-time responses can cut decision-making time
When questions are answered almost immediately, decisions can be made faster. Staying engaged with customers will keep them from shopping around. Having to wait for an email or a salesperson in a store can allow for wandering eyes, comparing prices and buying elsewhere. Getting customers what they need with a sense of urgency will keep them interested and ready to buy from YOU.
3. Stay on top of what people are asking for
With texting providing immediate results, it also allows you to stay on top of the current concerns and questions, trends and u-turns. Hearing it straight from the customer in real time will give you a leg-up on what’s next, so you can prepare not react.
4. Being ‘on hold’ waiting for answers to quick questions
Nothing worse than listening to a crackling digitized version of Don’t Worry Be Happy for 20 mins while on hold for a customer service rep to jump on and ask you to hold again while they find the proper person to help you. So don’t do it to your customers, they’ll thank you and often reward you when they show their brand loyalty next time they need to buy what you offer.
5. Not playing phone tag will save you time and money
Returning phone calls and leaving voicemails…let alone listening to voicemails are a thing of the past. With SMS messages are read within three minutes of receipt and can be responded to when convenient. Saving time, money and frustration on both sides.
How is two-way texting different then one-way?
Simple, two-way SMS allows for conversations, one-way texting only allows for delivery of information. One-way SMS is perfect for two-factor authentication codes, but you’ll be hard pressed to find another that couldn’t benefit from two-way messaging..
What else should I keep in mind with two-way business texting?
Engaging with customers in real time is a big responsibility; if you promote having two-way texting for customer service or support, make sure you hold up your end of the deal. Publish hours and stick to them, or have an auto-responder set to let customers know if they’ve reached you during off-hours. And insist on follow-up the next day.
Keep those in charge of responding up to date on current sales or promotions, new inventory or answers to other commonly asked questions. Preparation will ensure prompt responses. And the customer may not always be right, but the customer service employee should always be polite. A little training and following your company’s brand voice when answering questions can have customers coming back time and time again.
Red Oxygen offers two-way SMS with all of our solutions, even when messages are sent in bulk. There’s no upcharge or set up, it’s always part of the package. To learn more about our offerings check out our capabilities and solutions pages or start a free trial now.