When it comes to the best way for businesses to reach customers, one communication method stands out—texting, also known as SMS.
Of all the messaging options available, the texting app on cell phones remains the most popular, surpassing third-party apps and even email and phone as the preferred way for businesses and consumers to connect.
Here are some of the key benefits of texting over other messaging apps:
- SMS works on all mobile devices. The platform is universal so any cell phone can send and receive messages to another cell phone with the texting app.
- It doesn’t require an internet connection. SMS runs on a cellular network instead of using an IP address, so customers without an internet connection can still send and receive texts if they have a phone number and a cellular signal.
- Ready to use immediately. A cell phone’s texting app is always accessible and ready to send and receive messages. There’s nothing for users to download and no username or password is required, making SMS fast and convenient to use.
- Messages can be sent automatically using an API. Reach customers faster, more easily and at scale. Read 8 ways businesses can use an API to reach customers.
Why texting is a better option for businesses
Consumers love texting with family and friends. The medium has been used in increasing numbers for nearly three decades. Businesses recognize that this simple tool that people use in their everyday lives is also the ideal platform to communicate with customers.
The stats in this post highlight why texting is a better option for businesses compared to other messaging apps. That isn’t to say messaging apps don’t serve a purpose, they do. They can be fun for individuals to connect with one another.
But communication tools that need to be downloaded from an app store aren’t convenient for businesses, many of which want to respond to customer inquiries, send appointment reminders, share promotional offers and conduct other types of customer communication.
APIs allow businesses to send programmatic text messages at scale
A text message API allows businesses to communicate with customers on a mass scale. With two-way conversational texting, a company can send text messages to a large group of customers at once while still being able to respond to each customer one-on-one.
Reaching large numbers of customers at one time using an API allows companies to better utilize human resources. Eliminating the need for employees to handle recurring daily tasks such as confirming appointments or sending reminders gives them more time to strengthen existing customer relationships and focus on new business opportunities.
Consumers say texting is the fastest way for businesses to reach them
Fifty-eight percent of consumers say texting is the fastest way for businesses to reach them (2021 State of Texting). Time is money, so the sooner a business can reach a customer, or the customer can reach them, the sooner the matter can be resolved.
Texting ranks highest in consumer preference relating to messaging, but it also beats email and phone calls in terms of the best way for businesses to connect with customers.
The default texting app is the messaging tool used most often
There’s a reason all smartphone manufacturers include a texting app on their products, research shows consumers like it. Sixty-three percent of consumers use the texting app on their phone more than other messaging tools (2021 State of Texting). As the image below shows, a phone’s texting app is far and away the most used messaging tool.
Expecting businesses to monitor multiple messaging apps is unrealistic
Businesses have enough on their plates without needing to monitor dozens of messaging apps customers may be using. One of the biggest advantages of SMS is the availability of the audience. Consumers already have the texting app on their phones. Expecting businesses to communicate with customers using multiple messaging tools is unrealistic, especially when their native texting app already does the job.
Creating a branded messaging app requires a lot of resources
Building a messaging app that only works for your business can be costly to develop. Aside from needing updates every time a phone operating system changes or dealing with unexpected technical bugs, devoting time to updating an app that could quickly become outdated may not be worth it.
Consumers don’t want to download another business app
Consumers have a lot of apps on their phones, most of which rarely get used. Don’t expect customers to download your company’s app, especially if the only reason is so they can communicate with you. Sixty-four percent of consumers are unlikely to install a company’s branded app (2020 State of Texting), so save your time and resources for other projects.
You may think your branded app is useful because customers have downloaded it. Unfortunately, 61% of consumers say they are very likely to delete a business app shortly after downloading it. Either the app didn’t provide enough value to keep it on their phone or the reason they contacted the company in the first place has been resolved.
Texting offers an integrated payment system with business notifications
Texting is moving beyond simple conversations. Businesses and customers are using it to make secure payments. Nearly half of consumers say they would like the option to pay a business by text (2021 State of Texting).
Zipwhip TXT2PAY pairs Authvia’s secure payment platform with business-texting software, enabling businesses to request and receive payments via text message. It gives customers a simpler way to pay, decreases overall transaction time and improves customer satisfaction.
Customers can send and businesses can receive payments from any mobile or desktop device without the need for a virtual terminal or point-of-sale system. Learn more.
Customer service issues are resolved faster with texting
SMS can provide a direct line to a customer service team and is less costly than long-distance phone calls where customers wait on hold for the next available representative. It’s also a better experience for consumers.
More than 90% say they have hung up while waiting on hold for assistance (2020 State of Texting). For customers, having the convenience of texting the same phone number they would otherwise call makes the whole experience better.
Using third-party apps to reach a representative can be challenging. Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, Google Hangouts and others aren’t designed for business communications. To learn more, download the e-book: How to Transform Your Customer Service with Texting.
Experience the benefits of business texting with a free trial
Customers are already using SMS to communicate with businesses. Leverage the power of this platform for appointment reminders to reduce no-shows while increasing customer satisfaction and boosting sales with marketing and promotional messages.