The jury’s in – customers prefer to use SMS for business communication. Texting is taking center stage, particularly in the aftermath of Covid-19. SMS is one of the most direct and accessible communication channels available. Everyone with a mobile phone can receive text messages, even if they have a basic cell phone. According to this research, nearly 93% of consumers wish they could text with a business. Most customers check a new message within five minutes of receiving one (at a whopping 98% read rate). Perhaps even more interesting is that 54% of all age groups are frustrated when they’re unable to use text to connect with a business. The big problem is, only 13% of companies offer texting as a communication channel with their customers.
This isn’t because it’s difficult to set up, but because many business owners simply don’t think they have the bandwidth to manage a new communication channel, or that only millennial customers want to text. The truth is that it’s much easier than you think, and regardless of age, most customers would prefer to engage via SMS.
If you are not yet convinced, here are 6 reasons why you should implement SMS into your business now.
But first: What is “business SMS”?
Simply put, business SMS is text messaging from a business to their community, most frequently to their customers.
Today, businesses use SMS to:
- Send order confirmations and updates
- Offer exclusive deals to loyal customers
- Alert customers to urgent changes: for instance, emergency closures due to bad weather
- Get customer feedback
…And so much more!
6 benefits of using SMS for your small business
You can probably tell from the above examples that texting customers can make life a lot simpler for them, and you. So let’s dig into some more specific ways SMS can help your small business:
1. Customers today prefer text messages over phone calls
Customers want to communicate on their preferred channels, whenever they want. Research from Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) reveals 68% of phone users regularly check their phones for new messages. More than ever, they feel empowered by the services on their mobile phones at their fingertips, and their patience is dwindling for hold music and restrictive hours of operation. Especially if they want to resolve queries in a noise-sensitive environment or while multitasking.
💥Pro-tip: Use✨emojis, videos, or pictures✨ in your text messages so your customers feel like they are texting with a friend to increase engagement rate!
2. SMS is second nature for customers and employees (little to no training needed!)
91% of consumers found business specific apps frustrating. With SMS, consumers already have the technology they need to communicate with your business on their phone, and they prefer not to have to install another app to access yet another service. For example, customers can confirm their appointment with a simple SMS reply rather than downloading a new app and confirming there.
Not only is it easy for your customers, it’s easy for you to set up and train employees on. Once you’ve created a standard SMS campaign copy, you can easily engage customers in marketing programs and also track, manage and optimize campaign performance. No algorithms or fancy digital marketing knowledge needed.
💥Did you know: With RingCentral MVP, you can manage all your conversations in one place. Use one business number that supports calling, SMS, and eFax.
3. Automated SMS saves a lot of time
Pre-built and templated SMS responses help employees quickly send canned messages like welcome notes, greetings or answers to frequently asked questions via SMS. Simple questions such as, “When will this be back in stock?” don’t need a phone call, and you want to make it as simple as possible for customers to get answers. Even during off-hours or holidays. SMS is also a great way to link out to information that may be lengthy and cumbersome to type, like a return policy or details about a promotion. Quickly respond to common questions and provide instant information to your customers to speed operations.
💥Pro-tip: Boost productivity by blocking unwanted texts with number-blocking and spam blacklists with RingCentral SMS.
4. Do more with texting integrations
Third party integrations can open up even more SMS use cases, including the ability to send marketing blasts, notifications, automate alerts, appointment scheduling, and even payment reminders. Tools like Beetexting even allow you to create shared SMS inboxes to allow you to better manage customer support, and Zapier makes it easy to integrate SMS with over 1,000 different services – no coding required. For custom or more complex integrations, a full set of SMS APIs empowers you to drive even more efficiency for your business.
💥Pro-tip: Trigger messages from your CRM, ERP, and more with out-of-the-box prebuilt SMS integrations for your mass marketing and client engagement strategies.
5. SMS has an unmatched open rate
Research reveals that 68% of people regularly check their phone for new texts. While sending out marketing emails can be like walking the razor’s edge between the spam and promotions folders, text messages are almost always read because they are short and concise. All it takes is a few seconds to read a text message. On the other hand, waiting for customers to login and check their email can take up to days. In fact, some estimates put SMS read rate at 98%. Email, on the other hand, might get you a measly 20%
6. Faster engagement = better customer experience
Reach customers instantly and improve response rates using SMS. On average, customers see a 98% open rate and 7x engagement compared to email. Maximize customer engagement to drive deals, get important documents signed, collect payments fast by integrating with our partner BeeTexting, and get feedback. For example, at the conclusion of a sale or after a customer has been trying out your product for a while, a business text message is a great way to get feedback from them and keep them engaged. It’s fast, convenient, and less of a hassle than filling out a survey.
💥Pro-tip: Easily search through chats by looking up keywords with RingCentral SMS if you need to find important information in past conversations with customers.
Find the right SMS platform for your small business
Enhanced Business SMS and MMS completes your business communications stack by enabling users to send and receive texts and multimedia files with suppliers, customers, colleagues, and departments from your RingCentral business numbers.* You maintain your professional identity and increase efficiency while also having a trusted partner to help you better reach your customers, grow your ROI, and stay protected. We’ve designed our SMS services to improve deliverability, stay carrier compliant and help offset some of the new fees now associated with business SMS. Delight every department with an SMS product that’s easier than managing your inbox.
To unlock the potential of text messaging for your business, request a demo today.
*RingCentral’s Enhanced Business SMS is only available in the USA and Canada currently.
Originally published Sep 01, 2022, updated Nov 04, 2022