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Communicating during a crisis: How Textline customers are adapting to Covid-19

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Frequent and thoughtful communication is critical during times of change. Covid-19 has affected all of our customers, but many have found innovative ways to adapt. They have been using Textline to reassure staff and customers, communicate changes to their business models, and facilitate no-contact services and sales. 

Adam Butcher, the owner of Fred’s Appliance, a Textline customer that specializes in home repair services, says that business texting has been an important tool for his team during the pandemic.

“Textline is an invaluable tool during these wild times. It's less intrusive to communicate with our customers via text messaging than it is to interrupt their day with a phone call from an unknown phone number. Customers can respond to a text when it's convenient for them. We've been able to harness canned response notices to our customers regarding Covid-19 policies. Textline is, most simply put, a necessary tool in our communication arsenal.  You can think of them as a utility; they are a necessity to your operation.”

Textline businesses across a variety of industries have increased their communications over text in the following ways: 

Internal updates to staff

Healthcare organizations such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, and home health aid providers are finding that they need to communicate more frequently with staff, and texting is the perfect way to update their team on new protocols related to Covid-19. Textline also gives them a way to coordinate new schedules and answer questions about organizational changes. 

Updating existing customers

Business supply, logistics, and consumer service companies are using Textline to proactively check in on customers and give them news about business model changes. Businesses can also provide minute-by-minute updates while fulfilling services and product orders.

Delivery, curbside pick-up, and contactless service

Restaurants, grocery stores, and hardware stores are having to rethink their business models during shelter-in-place. Business texting is allowing many of them to take orders and handle logistics over text. Customers are able to text in their orders and receive updates about deliveries without making a phone call. They can also text businesses when they arrive at their storefronts so that employees can properly time curbside pick-ups.

Butcher said that the transition has been easier for Fred’s Appliance than for other businesses, because they’ve been working from home since 2019. But it’s been challenging doing business during the pandemic, especially when it comes to keeping their field service workers safe when they visit customers’ homes and providing them with personal protective equipment (PPE). 

To address these issues, they have rethought their service process. They have also distributed care packages to workers that consist of 50 washable masks, five bags to protect the masks, 750 paper towels, three bottles of soap, Vaseline, mask extenders, hand sanitizer, safety glasses, shoe covers, a tote bag, and trash bags. 

“This comes down to the safety of our team and our customers,” Butcher said. “I believe we're definitely going to be in this through the end of this year, and it's my duty to prepare us for the future. Additionally, I feel customers are going to dictate that we're using PPE—they are already regularly asking about it.”

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