5 Ways to Use Chat to Engage and Delight Audiences
What if there was a way to bring in new business, improve customer service, increase productivity, and gain a competitive advantage all within one single solution?
We already know that the majority of people prefer to get promotions, notifications, and alerts via text message. If you don't believe us, here are some great text message marketing statistics to help prove our case:
- More than 90% of text messages are read within the first three minutes of receipt
- More than 80% of people currently use texting for business
- More than 75% of millennials prefer texting for deliveries and promotions
- Most consumers are more likely to open texts before any other mobile message
From retail and hospitality to fitness and real estate, mass text message marketing works for almost any industry. But two-way direct texting (sometimes called "1:1 messaging") is emerging as the most efficient way to communicate with customers directly. And if you're a business with a landline phone number you can now sign up for EZ Texting's Text-to-Landline service, which will enable you to send and receive text messages from your landline number. Business texting cuts down on your employees playing phone tag and your customers sitting on hold. Anyone with a question can simply text your business phone. Our recent report found that 69% of customers want to contact businesses via text, and 54% are frustrated when they are unable to do so.
The writing on the wall is clear – your customers want to text your business or organization, and texting has a tangible effect on your bottom line.
EZ Texting's Chat supports one-to-one customer communication through a mobile number or existing text-enabled landline. Chat is a simple, secure, and convenient tool designed to facilitate personalized communications.
It's a relatively new tool that many businesses don't take advantage of. Our customers love it, and we know you will too!
5 Ways Businesses Use Two-Way Messaging to Generate Increased Engagement
After you've created your account and sent your first one-to-one text message, take the time to really familiarize yourself with the EZ Texting dashboard. Once you're comfortable, there are a handful of text marketing best practices that you can follow to maximize the effectiveness of your text communications.
Over the years, we've seen our customers do some amazing things with Chat, and we're here to share some of the ways these businesses use two-way messaging to generate increased engagement from prospects and customers.
1. Field Customer Service Requests
How many customer service requests does your business handle daily?
As you know, customer service inquiries require a major investment in human and monetary capital. According to recent reports, U.S. companies lose more than $62 billion annually due to poor customer service experiences. The worst part is that consumers are more likely to talk about a poor service experience versus a good one.
So what can your business do to deliver high-value customer experiences every time?
Our two-way messaging feature is a powerful customer service tool leveraged by top-tier customer support centers. In a matter of seconds, customers can submit simple service inquiries and get the answers they need quickly and efficiently.
With chat, gone are the days of "please stay on the line, and your call will be answered in thirty-seven minutes." Additionally, Chat makes it possible for your team to go mobile; members aren't tied to desks or phones to field calls. In this way, instead of settling for "good" solutions, your team members can feel more accomplished when they have the time and flexibility to find "great" solutions.
2. Deploy Sales Offers and Promotions
For most major retailers, sales offers and promotions are a major part of the sales and marketing mix, and for good reason — these types of campaigns can drive a ton of sales and help to move seasonal or overstock inventory.
Of course, running an effective sales campaign isn't quite as simple as slashing prices and putting a sales sign in the window. What type of promotion will you offer, and, more importantly, how will you execute this campaign?
Our customers know that Chat is one of the most effective methods for getting the word out about current or upcoming sales promotions. Oftentimes, these one-to-one conversations feel just as natural as texting with a friend. In this way, consumers are more likely to take advantage of your special offers.
This form of direct marketing can also improve customer loyalty and turn one-time shoppers into repeat customers who recommend your business to friends and family.
3. Easily Confirm Appointments
According to recent data, the total cost of missed healthcare appointments in the United States annually is $150 billion. On average, an unused time slot costs physicians 60 minutes and $200. Additionally, no-show rates are more than 30% nationwide. If you scheduled appointments with prospects and customers, there's a good chance that you're leaving a ton of money on the table.
So what can your business do to ensure that appointments are kept?
The first step is to schedule appointment reminders days, weeks, or months in advance via EZ Texting's Reminder Campaigns. Yet Chat comes in handy when you want to reach out directly to a client to confirm an appointment, or when contacts need to reschedule appointments or have questions about logistics.
4. Maximize the Effectiveness of Text-to-Landline
Is now the right time to upgrade and text-enable your existing landline?
Many of the most successful businesses and organizations have already made the leap, and with no changes to your existing voice service, text-enabling your landline is simple, easy, and cost-effective to do. The businesses that bought into text marketing via a business landline are reaping all the benefits, and you are being left in the dust!
Our text-to-landline customers can access all the same great features and services — chat included — just the same as our standard customers.
There's a strong likelihood that your customers are texting your business right now! In fact, more than 150 million messages are sent daily to non-mobile users. If you haven't already invested in a text-to-landline solution for your business or organization, you might be missing these important messages.
Additionally, the benefits of a text-to-landline service extend across a variety of use cases, including customer service requests, sales inquiries, and more. It's one of the simplest ways to really maximize the effectiveness of your existing landline.
5. Centralize Customer Communications
How many different tools does your business use to manage and conduct customer communications? As business owners and marketers, we sometimes make the incorrect assumption that investing in more tools will deliver more impact – wrong!
The fact is, too many tools can lead to serious disorganization, and when disorganization runs rampant, messages from your customers are missed.
Chat centralizes all customer communications into one easy-to-use tool. At any time, your team members can send messages and respond to customer inquiries. This is the simplest and easiest way to ensure that all customer messages are read and responded to quickly and efficiently.
How to Get Started With EZ Texting's Chat:
2. Set up your own 10-digit textable number or enable your landline to send and receive text messages. EZ Texting offers the only self-service online text-enabling sign-up process. You don't have to talk to a salesperson or fill out any annoying paperwork.
3. Click on New Message and then enter the contact name or number you wish to text. If you have contacts saved to your account, you can start typing in their name or the first few digits of their number and select from the list of results.
4. Start typing your message in the text field. You can use a message template from your library, add a picture, or insert personalized contact fields into your message.
5. Manage your conversations from one easy-to-use dashboard. Replies are received in real-time and displayed within each conversation. A blue dot on a conversation indicates a new message. Don't forget to update your business listing wherever it is displayed to let your customers know that they can now send texts to your business!
If you have any questions, our textperts are always available. Simply text or call (800) 753-5732. Additionally, you can submit a customer support request.
For more than 15 years, we've helped more than 160,000 industry-leading businesses to deploy more than 4 billion text messages... and counting! This experience has given us the opportunity to work with some of the most inventive organizations. From a home loans business to a globally recognized home improvement retailer, our customers continue to generate positive results with text.
Recently, the small businesses of Searcy, Arkansas, used EZ Texting to launch a text marketing campaign to win a contest to be featured on Small Business Revolution, a show that airs on Hulu. Altogether, the town received more than 1.6 million votes, and the lion-share of these votes were captured after text message reminders.
To get started, we recommend checking out our text-to-landline service. It's the simplest and easiest way to start texting your contacts today. The best part is that our text-to-landline service requires no additional changes to existing voice plans or equipment – it's that easy!
Photo: Getty Images/Ridofranz