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Mobile users are typically within an arm's length of their devices from morning to night. They rely on their smartphones to make connections every day, often by sending a simple text message. Text messaging is rising to the top of the lists of personal communication channels -- and "personal" is the business' end goal when it comes to customer experience.
The immediacy and proximity of a business text message has the potential to enhance customer engagement, but businesses must use the right type of message to reach the customer effectively.
Here are some business text messaging examples to incorporate into your business strategy that can increase customer engagement and build a more personal relationship with your customer.
Multiple messaging modes
Text messaging isn't necessarily a one-to-one communication. Sales and marketing teams often connect with customers to offer promotions, home in on customer needs and interests, and increase awareness of new product or service options. Some different types of messages include:
Bulk text messages. Businesses schedule and transmit these in bulk to specific segments of customers. Example:
"ATTENTION TO OUR PREMIUM CUSTOMERS! Present this text at the checkout lane through Sept. 30 and receive an additional 10% discount!"
Order text messages. This is a way for customers to order products or services. Example:
"Hey Tom, the price of the wine you ordered last month has dropped to $64/case. Type YES to reorder. [All prices include shipping, but local taxes may apply.]"
Auto-response text messages. These fall somewhere in between bulk messages and order messages. They are reactive rather than proactive, and they are sent in response to a customer's online behaviors. Example:
"Your latest purchase marks your first anniversary as an enterprise customer! To show our appreciation, here's a coupon code for 20% off your next purchase!"
Personalized text messages. Businesses that maintain customer profile data in a CRM system will find these easy to use. Such messages are one-to-one communications, and businesses can precisely craft these messages to address the customer's needs. Example:
"Hello Jane, our pre-holiday toy sale includes a wide selection of ideal gifts for both pre-teens and preschoolers. See the attached coupons!"
Beyond the sale
A purchase is only the beginning of a customer dialog, as subsequent events inspire further contact.
Following up with customers using text messages can be a powerful customer retention mechanism. In an interesting use case, the U.K. company Total Tiles replaced its email and phone systems with texting to address customer issues and reduced its website bounce rate by 70%.
The following business text messaging examples are great for making follow-up connections:
Update text messages. These let a customer know about the status of a transaction. Example:
"John, your order #123456 has been processed and will be shipped within 24 hours."
Reminder text messages. These can be useful for informing the customer of payment due dates and appointments. Example:
"Hello Sue, your payment due date is approaching. You can pay easily at www.ourcompanysite.com or by calling 800-123-4567. If you've already paid, thank you!"
Confirmation text messages. These let the customer know about product shipment, service activation or a payment receipt. Example:
"Sue, your payment of $123.45 for Jan. 12 has been received. Thank you!"
Something more than sales pitch
Some business text messaging examples don't have so much to do with selling items to the customer as they are utilitarian in nature.
Appointment-setting/reminder text messages. Businesses can assist the customer relationship by coordinating connections between a customer and sales representative, a patient and doctor, etc. Example:
"John, you have an appointment scheduled with Mary Salesrep at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at her office to discuss your company's needs for the coming quarter."
Survey text messages. These are a particularly easy and convenient means of collecting customer feedback after a sale or a support event. Example:
"Thank you for your recent call to Enterprise Product Support. Were you pleased with the service you received?"
Organization behind the scenes
Not all business text messages must go to the customer. Keeping the company itself running smoothly can include text messaging as a means of coordination. Helpful messages include:
Notification text messages. These are helpful in internal operations, particularly when the subject of the notification is time-sensitive. Example:
"REMINDER TO ALL STAFF, our annual security audit will take place this coming week. Please review your department's protocols and ensure that your credentials and documentation are current."
Appointment-setting/reminder text messages. Business users may find these helpful as a reminder of a business interaction:
"Jane Manager has scheduled a meeting with you in her office on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 2 p.m. RSVP."