If you’ve been using your personal phone number with customers and clients, you know the setup is less than ideal. Personal and work contacts can’t be separated and receiving texts outside of business hours is the norm. Plus, texting from a personal phone number may be a liability risk for the business: customer information isn’t adequately protected and TCPA best practices are harder to follow.
The best alternative to texting from a personal phone is by text-enabling a business’s landline, VoIP or toll-free phone number using secure, dedicated software. You can conveniently and safely manage text messages from your computer with the option to send texts from a mobile phone using mobile, desktop and web applications for download.
Once you do have a new text-enabled phone number, the next step is to let your customers or clients know about the change. Use the following tips to help them start using your new number (and stop contacting you on your personal number).
Keep in mind that applying the tips below will vary depending on whether you’re announcing a change to the business’s phone number or an individual phone number. For example, you may not want to alert your social media followers of one employee’s phone number change, but you’ll want to update your followers if your central phone number is being updated (franchise location, retail store, etc.).
1. Plan an awareness campaign
Let customers or clients know of the phone number change by advertising it anywhere they engage with you. If you had separate numbers for calling and texting, you’ll need to let customers know that they can now reach you on your new number for both texting and calling.
- Social media. Publish a few posts letting your followers know of the recent update.
- Email signature. Add a straightforward message to your email signature as an ongoing reminder: “My/Our phone number has changed. Text or call 555-123-4567.”
- Website. Create a modal pop-up or a banner. Also update your contact page with clear language that you have a new number that should be used.
Your messaging can be simple. Something like, “We/I have a new phone number! Please text or call me/us at 555-123-4567.”
2. Send a text message to your contacts
Alert individual prospects and clients by using Zipwhip’s Group Messaging feature to send out a text, and pair it with our Dynamic Fields feature to easily personalize each message with the contact’s first name and any other identifiable details.
Your recipient could dismiss your message as spam since you’re texting them from a phone number they don’t recognize. Prevent this from happening by using the same texting rules as you would any other text message: identify yourself, use friendly language and don’t text someone who hasn’t given you permission to do so.
You can use the above example by copying and pasting the text below to your Zipwhip account. The content enclosed in brackets is compatible with our Dynamic Fields feature. Just be sure to adjust the capitalized words before sending out your message.
Hi [First Name]! It’s [My First Name] from BUSINESSNAME. I wanted to let you know that I have a new phone number. It can be used for both calling and texting. Please use this number (YOURNUMBER) going forward and save it to your contacts. I’ve also sent an email about this as a reminder. Talk soon!
3. Send an email
Send out a dedicated email to your subscribers along with your text message to cover your bases. The combination of a text and an email will also help confirm to your recipient that the phone number change is legitimate.
The email can be short and sweet. You may choose to explain why your phone number has changed as an FYI to your customers.
I/We have a new phone number
Hi there. I’m writing about a quick update. I/BUSINESS NAME now has/have a new phone number! Please update your records with the following:
You can now text and call me/us on this number during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8AM to 5PM.
Thanks and talk soon!
4. Use auto-reply messages
Your customers may have been texting you at all hours of the day on your personal phone, but you can set boundaries with a handy auto-reply message. Using Zipwhip’s Auto-reply feature, you can set up a text message to send any time someone texts you outside of office hours. This is a great way to set expectations with customers or clients, letting them know when they should expect a response from you.
You can copy and paste this template to your Zipwhip account. For more templates, read through Auto-Reply Text Templates for Responding to Your Customers.
Hello! Thank you for contacting BUSINESSNAME. You’ve received this message because our office is currently closed. We’re open DAYS, TIME to TIME. We’ll be sure to reply to your message during our normal business hours. Take care.
5. What to do if you get a text on your personal phone
Your customers or clients may forget that you have a new number. If you get a text on your personal number, let the sender know that you have a new number and that you will start a new text conversation from that number.
Start a free trial of Zipwhip today. Or learn more about how to use Zipwhip to communicate more effectively with your customers or clients with the following resources: