5 Reasons to start texting with customers in 2023

Kelly McGrain
Kelly McGrain

In today’s world, customers reach out on Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, Nextdoor, and many other platforms where they can discover your business. And what do you do if you want to be a successful small business? You make sure you’re there for them, even if it means juggling another app, because those are potential customers, and in the race to beat not only the big box companies, but the odds of failure as a small business, nailing communication is one of the keys to success.

However, the one place where we fall down: text message! And the irony is that texting is by far the biggest, and most popular communication method for today’s consumer, with 9 out of 10 saying they want businesses to communicate with them via text message according to Venture Beat. And do you know how many small businesses text with customers today? A measly 13% according to a small business trend survey. More interestingly, 86% of small business owners who use text with customers say it provides a higher customer engagement and satisfaction.

Here are a few reasons why text message-based communication is so important for small businesses who want to succeed:

High open rates: According to a study by Twilio, text messages have an open rate of about 98%, compared to just 20% for emails. This means that when you send a text message to a customer, there's a much higher likelihood that they will see it and respond.

Fast response times: Text messages are generally delivered and read within a few seconds, making them a quick and convenient way for customers to get in touch with you. Marketing 101 tells us that the sooner they can hear back, the higher the odds of a transaction.

Convenience for customers: Many customers prefer to communicate via text message because it allows them to get in touch with businesses quickly and easily, without having to make a phone call or send an email. And it allows your employees who are or could be servicing customers, to not be interrupted by phone calls.

Easy to track and manage: Text messaging platforms often come with features such as conversation history and automated responses, making it easy for businesses to track and manage customer interactions.

Increased customer satisfaction: A study by KPMG found that 63% of consumers feel more satisfied with a company after using text messaging to communicate with them.

Many small businesses are still using expensive, antiquated phone lines or systems that are not only costly from a monthly bill’s perspective, but in the missed sales from potential customers (58% of consumers said they responded to a company’s missed call with a text message, but didn’t get through to anyone).

Text messaging is a valuable communication tool for businesses of all sizes. For small businesses in particular, it’s a tool to not only help you make more of the marketing dollars you’re spending (as fewer leads will slip through the cracks), but it will set you apart from other small businesses given the lower than average adoption rate.

With 63% of consumers saying they would switch to a company that offered text messaging as a communication tool, it seems like a no-brainer for any small business who wants to succeed in 2023 and beyond.

With all the reasons to start texting with customers, why aren’t more small businesses hopping on to grow their business?

Talking to (and being) a small business, we’ve learned there are many misunderstood facts about what it takes to bring text messaging to your small business, and how much that endeavor could end up costing you, so we outlined the three most common fears:

  1. Have a landline, and don’t want to change my number
  2. Texting services are too expensive
  3. Don’t have enough people to manage it

Have a landline, and don’t want to change my number. Many small businesses, especially those with storefronts, may have one or more cordless phones in the shop, that has been set up for years, and does not receive texts. The number to this phone is painted on signs, business cards, and posted on every site online. The thought of changing all that sounds like way too much time, and money.

However, with many of the text enabled, cheaper cloud based services, you can port your existing number! With CloudLine, that is 100% free of charge, so bringing text messaging to your customers not only means you don’t need to update everything, but you (and your employees) don’t need to be tied to a desk or counter to get back to a customer.

Texting services are too expensive. A common misconception is that the only viable way to provide text messaging as a channel to communicate with customers is by purchasing a cell phone and plan, or by purchasing an expensive marketing platform.

While there are many, very expensive text messaging marketing solutions out there, CloudLine is developed by a small business, specifically for small businesses, so adding text starts as low as $5 a month. And because it is an app, it can be added to any of the existing phones, laptops, or tablets you already have today (as long as it’s wifi or carrier enabled).

Don’t have enough people to manage it. Many businesses believe that they’ll have to hire another person to answer the texts that come in because 1) everyone will have to share one phone and unless there is a single owner, people will be confused about who is responsible for answering or 2) they think it will increase the volume of outreach and will need a whole additional employee to deal with the new channel. On top of that, employees will need training.

Luckily, with CloudLine, multiple team members can download the app onto their personal phones (or company phones) and see a shared view of the incoming text messages to the business’s phone number. That means multiple employees can monitor and use the phone line without having to share a phone. They can see the history of calls, voicemails, and texts, so no two employees are reaching out to the same customer twice when their order is ready. And because it acts like text, not much to train on there.

CloudLine also has text based automation which answer more of the repetitive, inbound questions for the customer without having to occupy employees on the phone. What does that mean for your business? Less time on the phone, more time tending to customers, work, or completing transactions which result in a better customer experience.

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Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash

If you’re like the rest of us, looking towards 2023, you may be thinking: “how we can do more with less”? If you haven’t already, add CloudLine to the top of your idea list and set your small business up for success with a tool that gives you back time and money, and allows your small business to communicate with today’s customer in the way they prefer.

If you’re ready to give CloudLine a try, feel free to contact us, or try the service today, 100% free of charge during your trial. Port your existing number, or get a local number with plans starting as low as $5 a month (less than the price of a big mac meal!).