People tend to associate the term “toll-free” with telephone calls, but you can also send texts to a toll-free number if the business has their number enabled for texting. Toll-free texting is a fast and easy way for businesses to communicate with their customers — those they have relationships with now and those they hope to attract in the future.

By offering texting as an additional communication option, consumers enjoy the ease of having only one number in their contacts for your business. That makes it convenient for them to reach you whether they choose to talk or text (or both). And that’s really what most people want: choices that fit their lifestyle.

Texting is also a cost-effective communication channel for businesses. It cuts down on the time it takes to contact customers by phone, which must be done one slow call at a time. And that’s not considering the endless game of phone tag and multiple rounds of voicemail messages, sometimes to the same customer. Texting is faster and easier because your staff can convey the details of what they need to share once. How many times have you heard someone say, “Oh, I saw that you left me a voicemail, but could you just tell me what you said now that I have you on the phone?”

 

Woman texting on a smartphone from her home.

Send group texts to unlimited contacts

With group texts, you can send a single message to multiple recipients in your contacts at one time. That’s an ideal situation for when you want to announce open enrollment for classes, spread the word about promotional offers, send alerts during an emergency or a host of other business situations. Of course, you can also send a single text message to an individual just like you do with friends and family.

It turns out that texting is an ideal way to reach people. Have you noticed that customers don’t respond to phone calls anymore? We did, which is why we conducted a survey of more than 500 participants regarding phone calls and people’s perception of them. We analyzed the results and wrote an interesting e-book on the topic. The answers may surprise you. We also dove into the area of phone anxiety (it’s a real thing) and offer guidance on how you can connect with customers using the medium they most prefer. Learn more by downloading a free copy of “Why Customers Don’t Answer the Phone Anymore.”

“Hardly anyone would answer the phone, or they wouldn’t call us back. Now we’re using texting instead and almost everybody responds. Like, immediately.”
– Jana Bennett, Pharmacy Owner at The Medicine Shoppe

Your customers want to text you

Most likely, customers are already texting your toll-free landline. For numbers that aren’t text-enabled, those messages are never seen; they’re just sitting there unread. According to our 2019 State of Texting report, 58% of consumers said they’ve tried to reply to a missed call via text. So, unless your number is text-enabled, those messages are going unanswered, which may leave customers feeling ignored.

The good news is Zipwhip’s Texting for Business software allows you to start engaging in two-way conversations almost immediately, so you keep your customers happy and coming back for more. And with MMS messaging, you can send images with your message to move the conversation along faster, especially for businesses that need to see a document or other form of verification before any next steps in the process can occur.

 

Screenshot image of a texting conversation about car insurance coverage.

Get more mileage out of your toll-free number with texting

If you’re looking to get more value out of your phone number, text-enabling it is something you’ll want to consider. Texting is becoming an increasingly popular way for consumers to communicate with businesses. Our State of Texting report found that 67% of people would rather text with a business about appointments, reminders and scheduling than receive the information by email or phone.

Consumers are beginning to expect a business’s phone number to be text-enabled. Our report also found that 75% of people said they feel frustrated when they can’t respond back to a business’s text in a conversational manner. Traditionally, there are two types of texting: one-way and two-way (referred to as conversational texting because you can carry on a conversation with the other person).

Most of us are familiar with short-code texts. They’re the five- or six-digit phone numbers that appear on our phones when we receive a password reset confirmation or two-factor authentication. The messages are handy, but sometimes a two-way conversation using a text-enabled toll-free number is preferred depending on the situation. Texting a business when you need to change your appointment time or confirm that the document you sent was received is much easier and less stressful with two-way texting which is what Zipwhip excels at. Toll-free numbers also have a high-throughput rate, so texts are delivered faster compared to short codes.

Common use cases for texting from a toll-free phone number

A text-enabled, toll-free number can support all your business use cases from one phone number — from reminders and notifications and marketing and promotions to account management and customer service inquiries. Here are a few examples of common business use cases:

REMINDERS & NOTIFICATIONS

  • Appointment reminders
  • Order status/notifications

MARKETING AND PROMOTIONS

  • Promote new products and services
  • Offer limited-time coupon codes

ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT

  • Billing alerts
  • Payment reminders

CUSTOMER SERVICE

  • Call or support centers
  • Customer onboarding

Zipwhip pioneered Texting for Business software

In 2014, Zipwhip became the first company to enable landline phone numbers to send and receive texts. Our intuitive dashboard makes it easy for teams to text from their laptop or desktop computer (as well as mobile devices). The user-friendly interface offers quick access to customer contact info and includes Dynamic Templates that can be customized and used for messages that are sent frequently, including Scheduled Messages. There are also keyword-triggered Auto Replies for after-hours communication or to respond to frequently asked questions anytime.

 

Zipwhip desktop app dashboard

These productivity tools free up your staff to focus on more important tasks and concentrate on building new customer relationships. Zipwhip also offers the only business texting software with direct connectivity to mobile carrier networks. We offer high-volume texting across the U.S. and Canada, so you can trust that your messages will be delivered securely and reliably.

When you enable your toll-free business number to send and receive texts, you open new avenues for attracting customers while better satisfying the ones you already have. If you’re interested in learning more, check out The Ultimate Guide to Texting Your Customers. It’s another e-book we wrote, but this one is filled with valuable information to start you on your journey with Texting for Business. Happy reading!

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