It’s 2019, and believe it or not, texting has already been around for a quarter of a century. It’s no surprise that texting is popular among friends and family, but did you know that over the next few years business-to-consumer (and consumer-to-business) texting will become a big thing?
Really big. It’s already gaining momentum, and it’s poised to grow faster as companies discover the power of reaching customers where they already spend much of their time — texting.
- Currently, 39% of companies use texting to communicate with customers. That number is expected to increase as more business leaders and decision makers adopt texting as an additional channel for customer engagement. (State of Texting report)
- Three out of four consumers said they feel frustrated when they can’t reply back to a company’s text message. Limiting a recipient’s ability to communicate with your business in a way that works for them can lead to frustration. (State of Texting report)
- 76% of consumers said they’ve received some kind of text message from a business. Making the right kind of contact with consumers is key. Offering two-way texting is the best way to satisfy customer needs. (State of Texting report)
Business texting – the (relatively) new frontier
While it may not be the Wild West, texting for business is considered the new frontier for many in the working world. People are already familiar with texting as a quick and easy communication tool, but many business and franchise owners ask themselves if it’s worth the cost of investing in texting technology for their company. The short answer to that question is: yes.
- 87% of consumers say they often ignore phone calls from businesses. If you want to reach your customers, join the texting revolution and invite them to connect with you via text, a more favored method of interacting. (Zipwhip Phone Survey)
As the numbers in this blog highlight, texting is the preferred way many customers wish to interact with businesses. And that trend shows no sign of slowing down. As technology improves and SMS (Short Message Service) and MMS (Multimedia Message Service) give way to new features available with RCS (Rich Communication Service), the demand for texting will continue to grow stronger, especially when compared to reaching customers by email or phone.
- 77% of consumers have some degree of anxiety about talking on the phone. Put customers at ease with business texting software that takes fear or apprehension out of the equation. (Zipwhip Phone Survey)
- A recent Harris Poll found that consumers preferred certain business interactions to be handled by text for the following: Check order status (38%); Schedule or change an appointment (32%); Confirm reservations (31%) (SoCap)
- Over three-quarters of Millennials with texting capabilities prefer to use texting to voice as a customer service channel. (SoCap)
Power to the people (convenience + compliance)
Consumers love the convenience of being able to text a company. And companies love being able to communicate with customers in the fastest and most cost-effective way possible. Both parties get their needs met so it’s win-win all around. And thanks to the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act), compliance regulations protect consumers from receiving unwanted texts from businesses who are vying not only for their attention but their hard-earned dollars.
- Roughly 259 million people in the U.S. (81% of the population) are texters. It’s no surprise that texting is the most used function on a smartphone. (Intelligent Contacts)
- 74% of consumers said they prefer to talk to a real person rather than a chatbot when they need something. (State of Texting report)
Businesses benefit greatly by offering texting to their customers, but the power is still in the hands of the people — literally. Consumers get to make the first move by texting those companies they wish to engage with. Once that relationship has been established, they quickly find that texting becomes their favorite way of connecting with a business.
We all know that texting is much faster than wading through your inbox to read through a rambling email message, and thoroughly more satisfying than being forced to wait on hold while being told repeatedly by a recorded message how important your call is to them. If it were that important, they would have more people answering their phones.
- 74% of consumers from a recent Zipwhip survey on generational texting habits said they would like to receive more text messages from businesses for the ease and convenience it provides. (Generational Texting report)
- While the frequency of texting is much greater for men and women under 40, even those over 55 are sending or receiving an average of 16 texts per day. (Intelligent Contacts)
Your customers are already texting you
Unless you have a dedicated phone line for texting, or you’ve enabled your existing landline phone number for texting, it’s more than likely that your customers are already texting you. You just aren’t getting the messages.
- 58% of consumers said they’ve tried to reply to a missed call via text. For businesses that aren’t text-enabled, those messages are never received and your customers don’t get the response they were hoping for. (State of Texting report)