Texting is one of the most popular communication tools available today. With our ability to quickly send messages to friends and family, it’s no surprise that the texting app is the most frequently used feature on our smartphones.
Consumers have long used texts to share information, but more and more companies are realizing the time-saving and cost-effective benefits of using business texting software to reach customers. It also provides a fast and convenient way for customers to reach them.
Zipwhip recently conducted a survey and asked 1,600 businesses across the U.S. how they use texting to communicate. The chart below shows the 10 most common use cases for business texting in 2020.
10 most common use cases for business texting with customers
For our survey, we asked businesses to select all the use cases that apply to their daily operations. As the image above shows, the majority of respondents identified scheduling, customer service/support and alerts/reminders as the most common use cases.
Let’s take a look at each of the top 10 business texting use cases as described below.
Instead of calling or emailing to schedule routine appointments like medical checkups, vehicle oil changes or annual policy reviews for insurance coverage, businesses use texts to get the attention of their customers. Texting software allows businesses to schedule texts in advance so they can be sent at the ideal time, which frees them up to focus on other tasks during the busiest times of their day.
Assisting customers by text is more efficient and cost effective than speaking with them over the phone. It’s also more convenient and discreet. Nobody likes to wait on hold for the next available phone operator, especially when you can send a text describing your situation. Texting also helps improve call center efficiency because agents can often assist more than one customer at a time.
Adding an appointment to our calendars is a helpful reminder about an upcoming appointment but receiving a text alert from a business is a nice backup plan. From a business standpoint, sending a text alert or reminder a day before a scheduled appointment greatly reduces no-shows, which can be costly.
Email is a common form of communication in offices, but some business situations are better handled by text. Outside sales teams and employees with jobs that don’t involve working on a computer rely on their smartphones when communicating with others. Sending and receiving texts is faster and more convenient than checking emails and making phone calls.
Texting is a personal medium, so it’s a best practice for salespeople not to use it as the first point of contact. But once introductions have been made, continuing the conversation over text makes sense. Texting is ideal for quick follow-ups and inquiries to check in with a potential customer to see if they have any questions about the product or service you’ve been discussing.
A well-timed text can create demand for a product or service that a company offers. If a business or brand is one that the consumer frequently shops with, they’ll want to know about a promotion or deal right away. A text does a better job of accomplishing that by striking while the iron’s hot compared to sending an email which the customer may not see for days, depending on how often they check their inbox.
Sending a text to remind customers that a bill is coming due increases the chances that it will be paid on time. If a bill is already past due, they may have simply forgotten to make their regular payment; in which case a text message reminder may be all that’s needed for them to act. Collection agencies also fare better when sending a text message with a request for the person to contact them to set up a payment plan instead of calling them.
Recruiters use a variety of tools when looking for and screening job candidates. Calls are used for initial phone interviews, but texting helps speed up the process in other ways such as fielding inquiries, collecting documents and scheduling in-person interviews with potential employers. It’s also a quick way to follow up with a candidate to gauge how they felt the interview went.
Waiting for a package to arrive can cause some people anxiety, especially if the recipient can’t be home during the expected delivery window. Receiving a text with real-time shipping updates and an alert once the package has been delivered helps relieve some of that stress. Companies can also ask that customers provide feedback about the delivery which can help them improve their procedures.
Online companies deal with a lot of returns. To expedite the return process, a text can be sent to the customer with a return code and instructions on where to drop off their package (e.g. UPS Store, FedEx, etc.). The customer then receives a follow-up text when the package has been received and a notification when a refund has been issued.
10 most valuable texts consumers receive from businesses
In addition to surveying businesses, we asked 1,000 consumers to select the top two types of text messages they received from businesses that they thought were the most valuable.
We found many parallels between the business use cases cited and those that consumers preferred. But the chart below shows that one particular use case was far and away selected as the most valuable text that consumers receive: a reminder about an important appointment. Sixty-eight percent of the respondents selected that as their first choice, with 30% choosing an update on the status of a delivery or item shipment as their second choice.
Learn more about the emerging trends in business texting
If you found our list of the 10 most common use cases for business texting with customers informative, you’ll want to read our complete annual report that shows how this powerful medium is transforming business communication.
As the creators of Texting for Business, Zipwhip publishes the State of Texting report each year to help businesses keep pace with changes in the messaging landscape. Our report provides an in-depth look at the texting trends, habits and preferences of businesses and consumers across the country.
Download your free copy of the 2020 State of Texting today.