It’s time to put the phrase “texting is impersonal” to rest, because it’s just not true anymore. Texting is the most preferred form of communication and all of us use texting to communicate with the people we care most about. Even parents and grandparents are using text messaging to send pictures of their nieces, nephews and grandchildren. There is a comfort and safety that comes with putting something in the written form versus saying it out loud.
For example – take the fitness industry. A gym’s main objective is to help people change their lives and take back their health. This is one of the most uncomfortable topics for folks. Admitting to yourself that you are overweight is not a casual acknowledgement. It is overwhelming and can sometimes be highly emotional, but accepting that you want something to change is the first step to making progress.
Often folks are more comfortable engaging in “deep” conversations over text – think introverts and millennials. They are comfortable engaging in conversations over text about health concerns, past injuries, weight, and fears. Gyms are able to address and resolve these pain points because the prospect is more comfortable engaging over text.
Empathetic interactions is a phrase coined by mobile engagement platform OpenMarket, meaning to provide customers with “a real moment of empathy” at every touchpoint in the purchase process and customer lifecycle. Some of those touchpoints include:
Request for info moments
What is an empathetic moment, though? It’s a chance to make an interaction personal. To make your brand more human. In this age of the customer, empowered buyers demand a whole new level of customer obsession.
“Customer engagement is huge in this competitive world. People want to feel like you have their backs otherwise they don’t feel comfortable spending money with you.”
OpenMarket recommends texting, above other mediums, for businesses looking to create empathetic moments.
“You can’t email your customers; they already get too much email,” speaker and technologist Oisin Lunny (aka Mr. Empathy) said. “And you can’t call them; too intrusive.”
He suggests businesses automate their text messages to go out.
“Because they are automated, you can scale from one empathetic interaction with one customer, to millions of thoughtful, helpful, timely interactions with every one of your customers,” Lunny said.
Text can be a personal one-on-one conversation, an automated reminder, and anything in between.
“People shed their lives to others in text. One woman I was trying to schedule started unveiling her medical situation to me. It really does help break down the initial barriers.”
Let’s end the myth that texting is impersonal. Typically, the most personal subjects are also the hardest things for us to talk about. If people feel more comfortable typing something rather than saying it, does that make it less personal? Not necessarily. Maybe it’s time that we accept that people are different, and that limiting your communication strategy is also limiting your customers.
Stop limiting your customers and start communicating with them.
“Textpert” Jace Treat is the Health, Wellness and Fitness Industry Manager at Zipwhip, a company that allows businesses to send and receive text messages from an existing landline number. His team works to help businesses with their prospect engagement, member services and retention.