Five Smart Ways to Use Business Texting: Great Ideas from Zipwhip Customers

Student looking her phone in the library

One of the greatest benefits of texting-for-business software is its flexibility. As a tool that is applicable across industries and organizations of all sizes, it allows businesses to tailor their definition of what it means to improve customer communication. For some, it’s simply getting their customers to be more responsive. For others, it could be having better oversight of customer-employee interactions so they can be more strategic with customer service practices.

Zipwhip customers exemplify the diversity of texting-for-business success. Below, we highlight five smart ways our customers use our software to simplify their workday, improve audience engagement and keep communications protected.

1. Make flash sales more enticing

Who: The University of Evansville (UE) Athletics.

Founded in 1854, UE is a private university in Evansville, Indiana. With about 2,200 students, UE is one of the smallest Division One universities in the country. They are small but mighty, housing 17 varsity sports.

Smart way they use Zipwhip: Adding Keywords to flash sales to stir more engagement

UE Athletics adopted text messaging to increase ticket sales to their games. It’s been working just as they’d hoped, becoming a needed customer service outlet that allows an additional way for people to purchase tickets and engage with UE Athletics.

Keywords have become an enticing addition to their flash sales. By attaching a Keyword like CYBER or FRIDAY, they give fans a sense of exclusivity and urgency to redeem the offer. As an added benefit for UE Athletics, they’re able to gather additional mobile phone numbers to contact for future text marketing efforts.

Takeaway: People love when they feel like they’re in on a secret. Using a Keyword with your flash sales adds a layer of exclusivity to your sales, giving your audience another incentive to act fast before the deal runs out.

If you’re a Zipwhip user, assign a Keyword to a flash sale, create an Auto-Reply with either a code to use at your store’s checkout page or provide a link that they can follow to purchase tickets directly from their phone.

Example: Text the Keyword to redeem offerExample: Text the Keyword to redeem offer

Learn more about how the University of Evansville uses text messaging via Zipwhip.

2. Provide security and oversight to management

Who: Title Boxing Club studio in Milford, Connecticut

With locations across the country, Title Boxing Club workouts use the fundamentals of boxing on heavy bags and are designed for people of all ages and fitness levels

Smart way they use Zipwhip: To give management more oversight of employee-member conversations.

Milford’s studio owner Jen Fallot understood that text messaging was the best way to reach Title Boxing Club members during the workday because her millennial staff was already doing so on their personal phones. While Jen loved that member responsiveness was high, she knew it was a liability for her staff to have member conversations without the safety of a centralized network security system or her own oversight.

Personal devices are vulnerable to hackers and scammers, and given that personally identifiable information is commonly shared over text (email addresses, phone numbers, full names, etc.), if an employee were to leave Title Boxing Club, lose their phone or have it stolen, access to any sensitive information is now out of the company’s control.

Fallot turned to texting-for-business software because it allowed her young staff and gym members to continue communicating the way they preferred with the addition of having conversations sent and stored securely.

Takeaway: If your staff is already texting on their personal phones, texting software will allow them to continue with a layer of security that minimizes risk and give managers the platform they need to monitor conversations. See how our suite of apps allow businesses to communicate with customers on the go and from their desks.

3. Improve customer responsiveness

Who: Barre3, a fitness studio with locations all over the country

Smart way they use Zipwhip: To encourage members to reply faster

Maybe you’ve already noticed this with your own customers, but people just aren’t answering the phone as much as they used to. Barre3 had been feeling the effects of customer unresponsiveness over the phone. Employees were wasting a lot of time calling members to update member information, reach out to leads, solve billing issues and fill last-minute class openings, where a fast response is paramount to filling those spots by class time.

Texting is a preferred communication medium among the fitness industry with members and employees alike because the open rate is high, and the response rate is fast. Zipwhip helped Barre3 employees stay off the phone by enabling two-way texting on their landline phone number. They’ve replaced many phone calls with texts, and with Zipwhip’s MINDBODY integration, staff can now automate filling waitlist spots. In the first nine months since adopting texting, almost all of their classes have been full with a 30% waitlist.

Takeaway: If your customers aren’t answering their phones, texting is a great tool to get a hold of them. Rather than play phone tag, it’s much more efficient to text a quick yes or no, update member information, sort out billing issues and other quick requests.

4. Keep commuters safer with a discreet reporting option

Who: Sound Transit, the public transit agency serving the Seattle metropolitan area

Smart way they use Ziphwip: To let commuters discreetly report a crisis, disturbance or unsafe situation via text

With up to 70,000 riders every day, texting has become a unique and vital function of Sound Transit’s communication strategy. Before enabling two-way texting, riders were reporting more concerns over email instead of placing phone calls. This made sense given that calls can draw attention during an unsafe situation. Sound Transit hoped that a text-enabled security line would be an easier alternative to let riders report suspicious or dangerous activity discreetly.

Today, riders text the security line up to 500 times a month for a myriad of concerns, from a medical emergency to reporting loud music on a train. Craig Davison, executive director of communications at Sound Transit, learned firsthand the effectiveness of texting as a reporting tool and the swift work of the team behind the text line after reporting a rider who was blaring bluegrass music on a train.

“I texted the hotline and I said, we’re northbound, here’s the train number, here’s the issue. And there was an immediate auto response followed by a response from a human within 30 seconds. And then a minute later, “We will be sending someone to intercept the train at the next station. Thank you so much for your text.” And sure enough, someone came on and very politely asked the gentleman to turn the music down and he accommodated.”

Takeaway: Two-way texting is a smart way to offer customers the ability to share information with your business discreetly. Whether it’s for a security line or a helpline, customers appreciate the ability to communicate on a medium that’s quick to compose and low-profile during sensitive situations.

Learn more about how Sound Transit uses texting to improve rider communication.

5. Alleviate security and compliance concerns

Who: Multnomah University, a private non-denominational Christian university in Portland, Oregon.

Smart way they use Zipwhip: To ensure texting took place over a secure network and to move faculty and staff away from using their personal cell phones to text students

Prior to Zipwhip, Multnomah University had already begun reaching students via text on their personal phones after noticing the low response rates of email and phone calls. Students were receptive to texts, and while the University wanted to keep the communication channel open, the IT department had concerns over security and compliance.

Zipwhip software offers data encryption in transit and at rest and can be integrated into industry-leading enterprise archive systems. Zipwhip’s mobile carrier-integrated spam and phishing monitoring also help prevent consumers from receiving unwanted messages. Combined with Zipwhip’s Salesforce integration, every text conversation syncs back to Multnomah’s system of record and allows teams to better manage conversations at scale.

Zipwhip is well integrated across campus, from admissions to the library, and athletics to security.

Read about how Multnomah University uses Zipwhip’s API to operate their campus security desktop application.

Takeaway: Texting customers through your personal phone isn’t a safe option and could be a liability to your business. TCPA best practices should not be overlooked and apply to all businesses that text their audience. To ensure safety and compliance, consider texting software that aligns with TCPA compliance.

 

Download our free e-book The Ultimate Guide to Texting Your Customers to learn more about texting for business and why it’s the preferred way to communicate among customers and businesses alike.

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