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Texting 101

How to use business SMS to reduce call volume but not customer experience

Nina Godlewski
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Using a business texting tool can significantly improve your business operation without sacrificing anything for the customer experience. Texting has high open rates and response rates and can be one of the most affordable communication channels for businesses to use.

The average first contact resolution rate is 74 percent, meaning nearly three-fourths of customers have their problems resolved after their first phone call to a business. The goal is that by adding texting, you could not only keep that rate but do so while lowering your call volume and costs. This also results in your support costing you less because your team can communicate in a one-to-many manner.

What is business SMS?

Business SMS is texting specifically between a business and its customers, or a business and its employees, that is two-way and personalized. This type of communication isn’t robo texting or a bot; it’s a real person using a platform to have meaningful and impactful conversations. Plus the web and mobile apps Textline offers can empower your employees to text like they would from a personal device, with the security and infrastructure of a texting platform.

You can use business SMS to text customers for a number of uses cases including but not limited to:

  • Customer support
  • Appointments
  • Scheduling
  • Pricing/quoting
  • Operations
  • Internal employee communication
  • Sales

It shouldn’t come as a huge surprise then that using this form of communication can lower your call volume. The more conversations you switch over to texting, the fewer phones will be ringing off the hook.

Business SMS is actually good for the customer experience

There are benefits of business texting that go beyond simply making communication easier for a business. It can also help improve the customer experience. Think about hold times on the phone alone. When it comes down to it, almost 60 percent of customers say they would hang up if they were put on hold for one minute or more. So limiting that time can only benefit your customer’s experience.

Plus, your customers want to be able to text with your business. For customer support, 52 percent of customers prefer to text over using another form of communication. Not only do they prefer texting, but 78 percent also say they wish they could text businesses and have a conversation. So those who don’t have the options wish they did.

78 percent of people wish they could text businesses and have a conversation.

How you can use business texting to reduce call volume

There are quite a few ways you can use business SMS to reduce your call volume, thus reducing the number of customers on hold or getting a busy signal when they call your business.

Lowering your call volume is good for your business for multiple reasons:

  • Less stress on call center agents
  • Lower cost
  • More resolutions in one day via text
  • People will only call when they really need to, i.e., the issue can’t be solved another way
  • Make communication with customers more manageable

Advertise your texting number

Making sure you advertise your business texting phone number is one of the best ways to reduce your call volume. Anywhere you advertise contact information for your business you can advertise your texting number as well. If your customers can easily find the number to text your business, they won’t even need to call in the first place.

You can advertise your phone number on your website, in your Google profile, on your Instagram, or in your business emails. There are plenty of places you can put your business SMS number to get it in front of your customers.

The more accessible your phone number is, the more likely your customers will use it in place of making a phone call.

Make your business number open as a new text

If you want to take advertising your texting number a step further, you can make all the places you advertise your number automatically open as a text. This means when a customer searches your business and clicks your phone number in the results, it will automatically open as a text in their phone.

This encourages your customers to go the extra step and actually start the text message. As long as your customers know that they’re texting your business, not simply a bot, you can get customers to text over calling. You can hyperlink your phone number to make it open as a text.

You can make your phone number automatically open as a text message when a customer clicks it.

Proactively text first

Another way you can get your customers to embrace texting is to reach out to them and text them first. If you make the first move and send your customers a message before they can even call you, they’ll naturally migrate to messaging.

Example of proactively texting a customer first
Proactively text your customers first to let them know they can text you.

Texting first shows your customers that messaging is your preferred method of communication. Texting helps prioritize that channel of communication. You can either text your customers all in one large batch or you can text them individually based on who might be reaching out.

If you’re on the phone with a customer you can also text them right then and there so they can have your number and save it This also helps drive home the point that your texts are from a real person on the other end and the quality of support will be the same as it is with a phone call if they text you next time instead of calling.

Include your texting number on order confirmations and receipts

Your customers might look for a way to contact you after they make a purchase. If they have an order question or concern, they might want to reach out to address it. You can include your texting number on receipts and in order confirmation emails.

Including your texting number in these emails and on the receipts can help lower your call volume by encouraging customers to text you before even trying to make a phone call. If you offer your texting contact as the only means of communication, then they’ll have to text you for questions or concerns.

Receipt from Smithen Dog Training
Include your texting number on receipts or order numbers.

Have auto-responses for frequently asked questions

Another great way to reduce your call volume is to offer automated answers to frequently answered questions via SMS. Of consumer adults in the United States, 81 percent of them look for an answer online on a company website before contacting support.

Example of an auto-response while texting
Use Automations to help answer customer questions quickly via text.

You can use Textline’s Automations feature to set up these auto-responses to help customers get answers. You can also use an automated text to send your customers a link to your website’s FAQ page too. Sharing your FAQ page is a great way to use business texting to direct your customers to potential answers before they pick up the phone. Lastly of course if automated responses don’t result in a resolution you can move the conversation to a one-on-one text conversation or move it to the phone.

The bottom line: reducing your call volume with business texting

Adding business SMS to your workflow can help you maintain, or even improve, the customer experience your company offers while reducing the number of calls you receive. Simply by making it easy and known that you offer support via texting can encourage your customers to contact you in a way other than by phone.

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