As Gen X and Millennials make up more and more of pregnancy centers’ client base, offering text message communication becomes vital. With younger demographics come new technologies and different communication preferences. Texting can be an incredibly effective communication channel for pregnancy centers to reach their younger clients. From appointment reminders to one-on-one conversations with clients, here’s some of the reasons why pregnancy centers should consider adopting texting and how they can implement it in their day-to-day operations.
Why texting works for pregnancy centers
According to the Pew Research Center, 91 percent of teens with cell phones actively text. Very few use their phones for calls and even fewer check their voicemail because they prefer texting over any other channel. They text their friends and family, so why shouldn’t they also be able to text important resources such as pregnancy centers?
Texting, because of its high priority nature, can help centers reach patients at a faster rate. According to Forbes, 95 percent of texts will be read within the first three minutes of being sent and texts have a 99 percent open rate. Texting far outshines more traditional communication channels like calls, voicemails and email.
The emergence of business texting has brought forth the opportunity for personalized touch for companies of all types, but it has particular advantages for pregnancy centers. By incorporating texting into daily communications, many have seen an increase in engagement levels between the centers and the clients they serve. Texting can help increase the number of initial contacts to the centers, reduces the time it takes to reach clients and virtually eliminates phone tag. It saves centers time and resources, all while further improving relationships and engagement with clients.
How pregnancy centers use texting
There’s a trend toward young girls preferring to be contacted through texts. Teens are reaching out to pregnancy centers at their most vulnerable moments. Many times, it’s because they don’t have resources or support from the people around them. Reaching out via text is a discreet way to get help and make a plan with a professional. Through texting, centers can build enough rapport and trust with clients even before they ever visit a clinic in-person. Often times, it’s these additional touch points that help encourage clients to finally feel comfortable enough to make an appointment.
Many pregnancy centers also conduct follow-up conversations and send appointment reminders through text. This helps reduce call volume, as well as no-shows and cancellations. Some women rarely check their voicemails and many don’t have enough time to speak over the phone. Overall, texting is a more convenient way to reach them.
“Clients really love receiving the text versus having to answer a reminder call. It’s also really helpful for those who don’t have voicemail or have full voicemails inboxes. Most of [the] clients that get a reminder text respond almost right away, texting back usually quicker than they would call us back if [they] called,” said Ashley Blake, Client Services Director at South Fraser Pregnancy Options.
With Zipwhip, centers can send and receive texts from their main business line using their computer or any internet-connected device. They can add multiple users to the software, so that employees no longer need to use their personal cell phones for sensitive client communication.
Overall, texting offers a unique, safe, discrete and convenient way for young people to get in touch with professional services and support. It also allows pregnancy center employees to save time and resources and devote them instead to building relationships.