The following is a guest blog post by Kenneth Burke, Director of Marketing for Text Request.
You want to bring in more customers and increase profits. Could adding another communication channel be the way to do it?
After all, you already have email, phone calls, and maybe live chat on your website. Why even consider offering text messaging to your leads and clients?
Because adding texting to your communications arsenal has been proven to help businesses like yours generate more leads, increase sales, and cut costs while improving client experiences. Just look at the differences in engagement rates:
Here’s what the speed and efficiency of texting can do for your business.
You’re pouring tons of resources into your marketing and advertising to drive people to your website. Wouldn’t you like more of those people to become clients? Texting can help convert more of those people into leads and potential clients.
89% of people want to text your business about becoming a client — especially mobile website viewers. They’re less willing to call you, fill out a form, or wait around for a live chat, but they’re happy to text you from your website. By providing text messaging as an option, these potential clients can use their preferred method of communication to connect with your business and possibly turn into a lead that you may not have gotten from a phone call or an email.
Here are a few ways you can seamlessly let your clients know that your business offers text messaging services:
People want to text you so tell them it’s an option. Post what number they can reach your business at near the top of your website, on your contact page, and anywhere else you’d normally prompt people to contact you.
SMS Chat acts like a website live chat widget, except all inbound messages and responses are texts, meaning you don’t need to be available 24/7 for you to be able to interact with clients.
Did you know that up to 50% of sales go to the business that responds first? Prospects are looking for someone to help them solve their problem and they’ll run down the Google search listings until they find someone with a good answer (and an affordable price).
That’s why speed is critical.
Texting is going to be your fastest tool for connecting with prospects, especially after hours (when many prospects are searching for your services). If you don’t have staff available 24/7, you can outsource text answering to a service like Smith.ai.
If nothing else, use an auto-response to automatically text a reply when someone texts you or fills out a form, such as:
“Thanks for your message! Our office hours are M-F 8-5. Someone on our team will personally respond ASAP. - The Legal Team”
This does two things: it ensures you’re the first to respond, even after hours, and it opens a direct channel to your prospect’s text messages, where your team can personally follow-up later to book an appointment or move the prospect through your sales funnel.
Texting is so effective in getting prospects’ attention and inspiring action that adding text messaging to your sales process can increase your conversions by 328% or more.
Phone calls take up a lot of time and, if you’re handling communications in-house, every inbound phone call is an interruption keeping that employee from completing other tasks. 86% of inbound calls to businesses are placed on hold, causing one third of callers to hang up immediately, costing businesses countless leads.
That same employee can handle ten times the number of text conversations as phone calls, particularly with an online texting software.
By enabling text messaging for your business, you can drastically cut your operational costs and improve productivity. Text messaging also creates a permanent record of all conversations, setting the stage for better client experiences. Your clients won’t have to wait on hold, won’t have to worry about being overheard discussing something sensitive, and can get their questions answered how and when they want
I’ve focused on inbound communications because those tend to provide the quickest returns on investment (ROI’s), but outbound communications are just as important for scheduling, reminders, updates, follow-ups, and more. you need to reach one person at a time or your entire client list, texting is your best bet for increasing client engagement during outbound communications.
Clients who wouldn’t have reached out to your business beforehand will now come to you. Clients who previously called or emailed (because those were the only options) will now text you. You probably already have clients texting you, anyways.
To manage all of these communications, you need a secure platform to text professionally as a team, and if you don’t want to manage communications yourself, you can find a trusted partner (like a virtual assistant) to do it for you.
The next step is to talk to a texting service provider or a virtual receptionist service about your business needs. Texting is crucial to bringing in more clients, improving operations, and making clients happier. The sooner you get started, the sooner your company can reap the benefits.
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