Almost every business has a phone number where customers and others can reach them. But did you know that 65 percent of customers would opt to communicate with businesses using SMS as opposed to a phone call?
Worldwide, there are 23 billion reasons why you should allow customers send you a text message! That’s the number of text messages sent everyday—more than twice the number of times we call!
Sixty two percent of customers that visit your website from a mobile device expect you to have a text-to-chat facility available. Eighty two percent of these customers say that they would actively use this service for their communication needs with businesses.
SMS Has Remained Evergreen!
For years on end, studies have consistently shown that customers prefer texting your business than to place a call. In fact, he average American spends 26 minutes each day texting, compared to just 6 minutes on voice calls!
Text messages are superb way to engage your customers. It follows reason, therefore, that you shouldn’t limit your customers to voice calls. By adding text-to-chat to your current marketing campaigns, you could reach up to 98 percent of your customers in just under 5 seconds.
Text Messaging is the Ultimate Solution in Today’s Impatient Generation
And let’s face it: We live in a culture of instant gratification. Ultimately, people want it all, and they want it now! Technology has made the world a global village, and now the idea of waiting for things to happen is almost inconceivable. This type of mindset is woven into every aspect of our lives. As a result, today’s customers want immediate feedback from businesses. If you’re not up to the game, there is always another company who can match up.
Recent research tells us that 60 percent of millennials would prefer a two-way text messaging with businesses to any other communication. They find it fast, convenient, and easy-to-use.
It is for these and many more reasons that text messaging has cemented its place as the unrivaled communication tool. Text messages allow businesses to handle a much higher volume of customer requests and inquiries with few staff than phone calls. What is more, SMS can reach the 40 percent of basic non-smartphone users.
So how can you integrate text-to-chat to your current marketing campaigns? Consider five ways you can do so:
1. Google Adwords
79% of the global search market is owned by Google. That is why their advertising platform Adwords can easily help you be on top of search engines with only a small pay. The good news is that Adwords also supports text messaging. This feature is called a “message extensions.” It ensures people find you when they’re searching online and allows them to SMS you straight from the ad. Importantly too, these message extensions can be a great way to get more leads from the ads you're already paying for. All you need is to have a way to handle incoming messages.
This means that interested people can text your firm directly from a Google Ad. Utilizing this new technology can put you a step ahead of your competitors and get more leads.
Interested customers will get in touch with you on Google Adwords in a simple three step process:
- The customer clicks the click-to-text extension
- The customers phone pre-fills an SMS that is ready to be sent to a number already provided
- Your business receives the message and replies back beginning a cha conversation
Businesses that have started using Adwords report that it is a superb way of pre-qualification of potential customers, generating phone leads, a good alternative for out-of-hours communication, and expanding your subscribers list.
2. Google My Business (GMB) Messaging
Google My Business (GMB) is an internet-based service that helps business owners manage and update business listings. Launched in 2014 by Google, GMB gives business owners more control of what shows in the search results. Additionally, this free, centralized dashboard allows businesses to manage their business information across several Google-based platforms. Thus, they can reach their target audience on online searches more effectively.
This is how it works: when a potential customer searches and finds your business listing on Google Search, they are able to message you directly from your GMB listing.
Google My Business allows you to structure your contact information that will be seen when consumers search for your business online. Using this feature, you can share such information as your business location, hours of operation, phone number, and even allow them to place a call directly.
You can set up messaging on Google My Business in three easy steps:
- Go to your GMB listing and click on Messaging
- When you’re prompted, verify the phone number you want to receive messages. (You’re number will not be shared publicly)
- Follow the steps and complete the set up. Don’t forget to include a question on your listing such as: “Do you need help?” “Got any questions?”or “Send us a message.”
Before you decide to get onboard ensure your business has a physical location and that you are entering consistent and accurate business information.
3. Your Website
Text-to-chat can also be integrated into your website as prompt or pop-up button that appears to give visitors the option to click on a telephone number and send you an SMS.
Once your customer sends the SMS, it is received by an online portal in your business which allows the appropriate employee to reply directly to the customer. Your well-trained staff member will continue the chat with the customer directly on their mobile device via text message. This portal also allows you to collect and save the customers basic information for future marketing purposes.
Adding voice control to your website can be a great form of accessibility enhancement for your business. Remarkably, this feature can be of great benefit to users with visual impairment.
With a few lines of code you can include speech recognition capabilities to your own website. When customers visit your site they will be able to chat you business by the using their voice. Both Google Chrome and Firefox browsers support the speech recognition API.
Surprisingly, Speech recognition API is quite accurate considering it available with free browsers. Users have reported that it recognizes correctly almost all their speech and knew which words go together to form phrases and sentences that make sense. Users can also dictate special characters such as question marks, full stops, and new paragraphs.
5. Fliers, Posters, and Videos
Finally, you can include your phone number in your current marketing campaigns such as fliers, posters, and videos. Simply have your chat phone number included in all these media. Indicate clearly that customers can be able to chat you on that number.
When choosing a phone number for your business, be wise to select an easy-to-remember number. Businesses that have easy-to-remember phone numbers tend to have higher customer retention rates. This is because when they see it on your marketing material, they are more likely to phone you and not a competitor.
Get Chatting With Your Customers Today
Surprisingly, less than 50% of businesses are currently equipped to handle text-to-chat despite the fact that almost 90 percent of customers want to communicate with businesses via text. Don’t be part of this statistic!
Text-to-chat is a free, user-friendly way for your current and potential customers to contact your business at any time. No missed voicemails, no call-center mishaps—just a simple and easy way for them to reach your when it’s most convenient for them. Fundamentally, text-to-chat is a customer service feature that allows your existing and potential customers to contact a staff member quickly and efficiently using the SMS feature of their mobile device.
Most potential customers would trust a service which they can get a quick response from a real person without wasting time waiting or on hold. Text-to-chat is becoming more trusted as more and more customers desire instant gratification. Using SMS as a marketing tactic can help expand your reach and generate another touch point.