Unconventional Uses for Texting: Use Cases You May Not Have Thought About

Woman cutting a client's hair

Texting for business has an abundance of common use cases that businesses across nearly every industry apply today. Like offering a convenient way to schedule appointments without the time-wasting games of phone tag. Or clearing up customer service call centers by answering customer questions over text message.

But what about the not-so-obvious use cases? While not as mainstream, using texting in the following situations can be helpful to both customers and businesses alike.

Below, we highlight several instances where texting can be used that might make you say, “Hm. I didn’t think of that.”

Consultations for tattoo shops

Are you an employee or owner of a tattoo shop? You know that getting a tattoo requires a bit of planning up front. Walk-ins are welcome by most tattoo shops depending on availability and if the tattoo itself is simple and straightforward. For most clients, however, there will be some discussion with the artist about the design, style, color and placement of what’s to be inked.

Tattoo shops may have consultations with clients over email when meeting in person isn’t convenient, but email can have a stilted communication flow. Email isn’t the high-priority medium it once was as evidenced by our crowded inboxes: consumers have an average of 96 unread emails in their inbox while texting inboxes have only 0.5 unread messages. Texting offers a natural, back-and-forth flow when planning a tattoo compared to an email exchange where messages may go unanswered for days.

Clients can text their artist photos of the kind of tattoo they want and, and artists can have an art check with clients to ensure that the client is happy with the artwork before the tattooing begins. Texting offers a faster, more convenient process to creating a tattoo that both the client and tattoo artist will be happy with.

Consultations for hair salons

Many clients don’t chat with their stylists about their desired hair cut or color until the moment they sit down for their appointment. Texting can offer clients a way to talk through their concerns and ideas before walking into the salon to lessen the chance of miscommunication and undesirable results. This can especially be helpful when a client is going in for a drastic cut or major change.

Helping clients prepare for their appointment isn’t the only advantage that texting offers; on a grander scale, texting helps build a relationship with clients so they’ll be more inclined to book with the same salon or stylist for future appointments. The better the customer experience, the more likely they are to be a repeat customer.

An example of a text conversation using MMS with a hair salon

Growing church attendance

Getting people to come to church is a growing problem for congregations all over the United States as only half of Americans are church members today, down from 70% in 1999. Creating a relationship over text message can keep members engaged with your church and encourage first-time visitors to walk through your doors again.

Churches can automate follow-up texts to visitors to thank them for joining worship that day and welcome them to the church. Texting is also a great way to increase giving, keep volunteers informed of events and scheduling, increase event attendance and even better connect with members of Youth Groups. We offer details about the benefits of these uses cases in this blog post.

How churches can text to grow attendance

Engaging with students and parents

Text messaging is an effective way to communicate with students at universities and to keep in touch with parents of elementary school students to high school age students. Faculty and staff tend to use phone calls and emails to reach students or parents, but it’s difficult to connect when both these mediums are regularly ignored.

For instances where fast communication is essential, such as campus closures or weather advisories, texting can get the message across fast. Messages won’t get lost in a stuffed email inbox or get sent to voicemail over mislabeling them as robocalls or scam attempts; they’ll go straight to a near-empty text inbox that gets checked upon message arrival.

Texting also works for non-critical communications, too, such as reminding parents of testing dates and parent-teacher conferences. For university students, texting keeps them connected across campus departments, such as admissions, student success, student life and campus security.

Read about how Multnomah University in Portland uses Zipwhip’s texting software to foster a communication network that encourages fast responses.

Offer a discreet, convenient communication avenue for help hotlines

Whether it’s helping a pregnant teen connect with essential resources during her most vulnerable moments, or even de-escalating a dangerous situation such as a suicide attempt, help hotlines are an invaluable tool to help those who need it the most.

Texting is an alternate way for people to reach out to hotlines when a phone call may not be a safe option or a preferred way to communicate complicated thoughts and feelings. Limiting outreach to only a phone call can discourage at-risk people from contacting a help hotline if they’re uncomfortable talking on the phone. Here’s how one help hotline uses business text messaging software to connect with more people in need.

Help those with language barriers

Sometimes, speaking on the phone with a business can be a barrier for those who don’t claim English as their first language. Reduce the chances of turning away these potential customers by giving them the option to text your business instead of calling.

By allowing non-native English speakers to text your business, you give them more time to compose their thoughts and use the handy predictive text feature that is enabled on most native messaging apps. This can ease their frustrations about communicating in another language and they’ll appreciate that your business offers an accommodating communication channel to help them out.

The texting-for-business industry is always changing

Get the scoop on how businesses and consumers are texting one another in 2020 with our annual State of Texting report.

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