The Complete Guide to Conversational Texting
One thing that became abundantly clear to marketers during the pandemic is that connecting to your customers, wherever they are, has never been more important. The companies who prioritize connection and engagement with their customers have the capacity to weather changes and uncertainty.
Mobile messaging has become an essential element of doing business, but texting has never been a one-way street. And if your business is primarily using text as a means to share, with limited opportunities for customer engagement, you may be missing out on one of marketing’s hottest trends — conversational texting.
What Is Conversational Texting?
Conversational texting is a marketing technique that merges the intimacy and engagement of text messaging with the power of two-way messaging to create a convenient, low-friction channel for boosting engagement, upleveling your customer service, and, ultimately, driving growth for your business.
The focus of a conversational texting strategy is customer relationships. It offers a documented way for your business to engage in two-way messaging conversations with customers and clients, whether it be a reply to a mass message you’ve sent or a simple text request for store hours.
By using two-way texting, automated responses, asynchronous messaging, and personalization features you can easily create a robust conversational texting experience for your business and brand. You can get even deeper into conversational messaging by adopting chatbot technology into your conversational texting strategy using EZ Texting’s HubSpot integration, making your job easier and replies to incoming messages even faster.
Texting’s organic feature set and overwhelming engagement with consumers makes it the one necessity for nailing a conversational strategy. The concise nature of text messaging makes it the perfect channel for delivering the kind of one-to-one interactions with valued customers that a conversational texting strategy is all about.
As an example, below left you’ll see a straightforward SMS marketing message. And below right you’ll see the same marketing message composed in a more conversational style.
Two-way messaging — a critical component of conversational texting — allows for direct, 1-to-1 text communication and creates an easy, trackable way for customers to text you directly, at their convenience, with questions or concerns.
Which they want to do! Studies have shown that roughly 70% of all consumers WANT to text businesses rather than call or email, and more than half (54%) are frustrated when they can’t.
The Time Is Now
According to predictions from research and advisory firm Gartner, “by 2022, 70% of customer interactions will involve emerging technologies such as machine learning (ML) applications, chatbots and mobile messaging, up from 15% in 2018.” We have already compared the explosive growth of text-based messaging to where e-mail marketing was twenty years ago. But as COVID-19 accelerated text-based business strategies, simply having texting capabilities isn’t necessarily enough for all businesses.
Companies that want to maintain the closest connection to their customers need curated chat solutions that are specific to their goals, customized for engagement, and created to make the lives of their intended audiences easier.
Deliver Superior Customer Service
The heart and soul of any business is its people — and texting gives your people a modern, convenient, and effective way to engage with customers. Enabling 1-to-1 texting is a seamless way to encourage interaction, get to know customers, and provide an unparalleled customer experience. Conversational messaging also provides a record of conversations, and, unlike a phone call, can ensure that information is being shared accurately. Training employees on proper text-based conversation can be more seamless than phone training, and it’s easy for managers or other senior-level employees to take over the conversation if it becomes too complicated.
Share Essential Information with Automated Texting
People have become savvy to chatbots in text, but appreciate them when they seamlessly provide essential information. Think of chatbots and automated messaging as the modern-day equivalent of a touchtone directory, designed to provide essential information as quickly as possible. This information can be whatever you wish — FAQs such as opening hours and directions or troubleshooting and document recall.
By setting up automated text replies this information can be delivered on an as-needed basis, so only people who opt in are being given the information.
This information can also operate asynchronously, meaning that the information requested is delivered when the texter requests it — which means the information is available whenever they need it.
of customer interactions will involve emerging technologies by 2022
Streamline Appointment Scheduling
Scheduling appointments, interviews, and in-person meetings can be a nightmare — especially in the age of social distancing, where even casual drop-ins to your business may need to be monitored and scheduled. Instead of playing endless games of phone tag or requiring a customer to call during business hours, texting gives customers the comfort and flexibility to connect with you on their time. Handle them as they come in, or have administrative staff can schedule through 1-to-1 texting capability during office hours.
What Is The Difference between Conversational Texting & Mass Texting?
A conversational texting strategy is first and foremost about customer connection — one-to-one chats, personalization, and developing a more authentic connection to your customers is the primary goal.
Mass texting — being a primary tool in just about any text marketing strategy — can be used as a major part of a conversational texting strategy by using personalization and automation tools to send mass (or bulk) messages.
So, while mass texting should be a part of your conversational texting toolbox, you don’t need to adopt a conversational messaging approach in order to use mass texting to your advantage.