Texting is Not Impersonal — Here’s Why

man in gym clothes texting on phone

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 we all use texting to communicate with the people we care most about. Even parents and grandparents are texting 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.

personal text convo

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 more comfortable talking about health concerns, past injuries, weight, and fears by typing it out, so gyms are better able to address and resolve these pain points because the prospect is more willing to engage 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 life cycle. Some of those touchpoints include:

  • Purchase moments
  • Payments moments
  • Request for info moments
  • Authentication 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.

If you’d like to see how your gym or studio can start Texting for Business to create more empathetic moments with clients and prospects, we recently published new research with texting templates, how-to guides and best practices for the fitness industry. Check it out in our free e-book: Texting for Fitness 101.

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