Texting might seem like second nature to most of us, but texting as a business communication method requires its own set of etiquette rules and best practices.
To maintain professionalism and continue building positive customer relationships, keep the following text etiquette guidelines in mind.
The importance of proper texting etiquette
It’s important to train employees on workplace texting etiquette. Just as with email and phone calls, the way employees speak to customers is a reflection of your company.
Take time to train employees about proper business etiquette. Our Ultimate Guide to Texting Your Customers e-book includes lots of helpful tips on training team members.
10 texting etiquette tips for businesses
The video described the top 5 business texting etiquette rules. Read on for the full list. How many of these workplace texting etiquette tips do you already know and follow?
1. Introduce yourself
Make sure the customers 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 the recipient some context.
2. Be mindful of the time of day
The traditional 9 to 5 workday doesn’t apply to everyone but it’s a good practice to send texts during normal business hours. However, if you run a service-based business with extended hours, responding to texts that come in earlier or later is acceptable, especially if a customer asks a question you can answer right away.
Instead of sending texts in real time or at odd hours, you can compose messages and schedule them to be sent when recipients are most likely to respond. Sending texts during business hours is more effective than making phone calls because recipients can answer discretely while in meetings or at their desks without disrupting coworkers.
3. Personalize your message
Texting is the ideal platform for creating a personal connection. It’s conversational by nature, which lends well to more familiar and casual communication. You can use Dynamic Fields to personalize messages by including your recipient’s name and other details to strengthen the relationship and build brand loyalty.
4. Reply quickly
When you text a customer, they’ll likely respond within minutes. It’s your responsibility to keep the momentum going. Respect their time by responding quickly. If you can’t reply right away, Auto Reply and Templates features allow you to draft pre-written messages that can be sent automatically. Also include when they can expect a personal reply.
5. Use emojis sparingly
Emojis and abbreviations might work well for one audience but not make sense for another. Emojis can add lightheartedness to a text but ensure they make sense within the context of your message. Smiley faces, hearts and thumbs-up emojis are easily recognizable while others could leave customers scratching their heads.
6. Keep the message short
There’s a reason texts have a character limit; shorter is better. Keeping your messages concise helps communicate your point more effectively. Getting to the point faster will not only save you time, the recipients will be grateful they didn’t have to scroll through a wall of text to get the information.
7. Know your audience and set the tone
Before you start inserting too much personality into your texts, make sure the message fits your audience. Some people prefer a more formal dialog while others may like a more conversational approach. Know your audience and set the tone that best reflects your business and your customer base.
8. Spell check
Texting is casual by nature but you still need to maintain a level of professionalism. Typos and improper grammar give a negative impression of your brand. We’ve all been guilty of an accidental typo due to an overzealous autocorrect tool, so always proofread your texts just as you would any other type of correspondence.
9. Be clear
Before you send a text, ask yourself why you are sending the message. What is the goal of the text and what do you want from recipient? For example, if you want a client to confirm an upcoming appointment, clearly state how they should do that. It might seem like common sense, but it’s important to be as clear as possible every time.
10. Be patient
Approach texting the same way you would a face-to-face encounter. You don’t want to dominate the conversation. Give customers a chance to respond before sending additional messages. If there’s an unresolved issue and you haven’t received a response from the customer after a day or two, send another text to see if the issue is still a matter of concern from their perspective.
More about texting etiquette for businesses
For more information about texting for business, download our free e-book. The Ultimate Guide to Texting Your Customers includes everything you need to know about using SMS. Learn about the time-saving features, how to train your team, the best ways to share the news with customers, the importance of staying compliant under the TCPA (Telephone Consumer Protection Act) and more. Download it today!