Texting might seem like second nature to most of us, but texting as a business communication method requires its own set of rules and etiquette. Follow these best practices to maintain professionalism and improve customer relationships.
Be mindful of the time of day
The classic nine-to-five workday doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone. We know you might be up late after hours, getting work done and preparing for the next day. It might be tempting to respond to correspondence right then and there, but your customers will not be too happy to be woken up in the middle of the night. You never want your communication to feel intrusive.
Instead of sending texts in real time at odd hours, schedule them to be sent when your recipients are awake and ready to respond. Sending texts during business hours is more effective than making phone calls because recipients can answer discretely in meetings or at their desks without being disruptive to their coworkers.
Make sure the people you’re texting know who you are. Receiving a text out of the blue from an unknown number is confusing and often requires customers to do their own investigating. Instead, take a few characters to briefly introduce yourself or include an auto-signature at the bottom of your message to give your recipient some context.
Personalize your message
According to a report from Salesforce, 66 percent of consumers said they’d likely switch brands if they were treated like a number instead of an individual. Texting is the ideal platform for creating a personal connection. It’s conversational by nature, which lends well to more familiar and casual communication. Personalizing your messages with your recipient’s name and information will help build that relationship even further and secure their loyalty.
Keep it short
There’s a reason why texts have a character limit: shorter is better. Keeping your messages concise helps communicate your point more effectively and faster. It will save you time, and your recipients will be grateful they aren’t forced to scroll through a novel.
Know your audience and set the tone
Before you start inserting too much personality into your texts, make sure the tone fits your audience and message. Emojis and abbreviations might work well for one audience but not make sense for another. Some people prefer a more formal rhetoric, while others respond better to a more conversational approach.
Although texting is more casual and conversational by nature, you need to still maintain a level of professionalism. Typos or incorrect grammar can give a negative impression of your brand. We’ve all been guilty of an accidental typo due to overzealous autocorrect, so always carefully proofread your texts as you would an email or any other correspondence.
One of the biggest benefits of texting is how fast it is. When you text a customer, they’ll likely respond within minutes. It’s your responsibility to keep this momentum going. Respect your customer’s time and hold their attention by always responding quickly. Zipwhip tools like Auto-Reply and Templates can help you cut down on response time.
Before you send a text, make sure you ask: What is the goal of this text and what do I want from the recipient? For example, if you want a client to confirm an upcoming appointment, make sure you tell them how to confirm. It might seem like common sense, but it’s important to be as clear as possible every time.
Try Zipwhip’s texting service free for 14 days, and start improving your communication.