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Best Ways to Use Texting For Business: Great Ideas From Zipwhip Customers

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There are endless applications for business texting. Case in point: our customers! From service to marketing and everything in between, our customers are always finding new and innovative ways to leverage texting in their day to day.

Looking for some new or additional ways to use texting within your business in 2021? Watch this 50-minute webinar where we explore some of the great ways Zipwhip customers are utilizing texting to reach their customers faster, streamline their work, build strong customer relationships and grow revenue.

We share stories from customers in many industries, including a credit union, radio station, music academy, boxing club and more. But if you’re not in one of these industries, don’t worry, we’ll discuss how these use cases can be applied to any business.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Use SMS Keywords and Auto Replies to provide consistently good customer support
  • Improve your response time by using pre-written text Templates
  • Utilize text payments to streamline your workflow
  • Stay organized and reach customers at just the right time with Scheduled Messages
  • And more!

Featuring

Keith Hitchcock
Keith Hitchcock
Digital Content Producer
Courtney Parham
Product Trainer & Instructional Designer

Keith Hitchcock:

Hello, and welcome to another webinar at Zipwhip coming to you from Seattle Washington. I am one of your co-hosts Keith Hitchcock. I’m digital content producer at Zipwhip, and I’m happy to introduce my other co-host Courtney Parham. Courtney, tell folks a little bit more about yourself and what you do at Zipwhip.

Courtney Parham:

Awesome. Thank you, Keith. I’m so excited to be here. Hi everyone on the line. My name is Courtney Parham. I am the product trainer and instructional designer here at Zipwhip. That’s a very, very long title for… I like to help people learn how to text. So some of you on the line who are current customers may have taken a training from me. You may have done an onboarding experience or refresh your experience, watched a training video I put together. So I’m very, very passionate about getting teams up to speed with training and making sure you understand the best practices. So YouTube can become a tech expert.

Keith Hitchcock:

Yes. So either you’re already texting and you’re looking for some inspiration or you’re contemplating texting for business in either case you’ve come to the right place. We have a team of moderators that are behind the scenes helping out as well, answering your questions that we can’t get to. So we got a whole team here to support you and to hopefully get you inspired around texting for business. So you’ve gotten to know us a little bit. Let’s get to know you. I’m going to launch a poll here and please engage. The question is how does your company currently text with customers now? There was a selection for, we don’t text with customers quite yet, and that’s fine, no judgment here. And we have a spot, a selection for folks who are already customers and using Zipwhip texting for business and some other selections there.

Keith Hitchcock:

Let’s give you a couple more moments to engage with that. And then we will take a peek at the results. One more moment, one more moment, and-

Courtney Parham:

That no more.

Keith Hitchcock:

No more. Let’s take a look at what people said. Okay. So, we have a lot of customers on. Hello and welcome. Thank you for being customers. We really appreciate your business. Some people are using cell phones and some people are not texting, and you are welcome here too. So, thanks for playing along. Let us take a look at our agenda today. It’s pretty simple here. After we get through our housekeeping, we will dive into the main content. We will have some time for a live Q&A towards the end of our session which is 45 minutes in all. And so, but feel free to toss your questions and, or comments along the way our moderators might be able to help, and we’ll also be gathering those questions to ask when we have the Q&A. And so thank you for engaging with brief survey as the closer of webinars, we will be sending along a video and a PDF of the slides that you’re seeing today. So you can watch for that as well.

Keith Hitchcock:

We are showcasing our keyword texting ability here. If you want to try this you can do it right now. You can text, great. Just the word great to this number and if you’re a customer using Zipwhip, be sure to toggle your signature off. So we get a nice, clean, single word of great. And we’ll send you some links to go deeper with content that we’re talking about and some other links that we think might be helpful for you and a link to an eBook as well as there. With that I want to start moving us into a main content of the day which is all about great ideas from customers. I have the pleasure of speaking to a bunch of our customers back in the Fall, which was such a delight.

Keith Hitchcock:

I wish we could be featuring all of them today but we have handpicked six of them that we think you might be interested in hearing about, and more to come when we dive in about that, but there are a few people who are new to texting, so just in case we have some complete newbies here. Courtney, do you want to talk to us about, well, what is texting for business?

Courtney Parham:

That’s a great call-out, Keith. So not only a call out for the newbies, but some of us are recommitting our dedication to making sure we’re using all the tools in our tech stack properly and efficiently. That whole new year, new you idea. But for those of you who may just be getting started with Zipwhip, considering Zipwhip or rededicating yourself to Zipwhip. Zipwhip is the texting for business service. So it’s different than personalized texting on your cell phones. This is a platform that you can access from your computer, that you can access from your smartphone and all of your text messages are going through that dedicated landline phone number that your business is already using when calling or engaging with your customers, your prospects, and your community members.

Keith Hitchcock:

Courtney, can you tell us a little more about the features for texting for business, for people who might not know?

Courtney Parham:

Yeah. Absolutely. So really there are features within Zipwhip, which we’ll be talking about the benefits of those and the best ways to use those during today’s session, but there really truly are certain features that a personal cell phone just doesn’t offer. So of course the speed of which you can text when you’re on a keyboard versus your thumbs. There’s automation features like scheduled messages, auto replies, the keyword functionality that we are showcasing to date as well. You can, like I mentioned, save your thumbs from falling off. You’re getting that being able to sit down in your computer and just have that conversation via text message. But most importantly also there’s that organization that reporting because records matter in business.

Courtney Parham:

Being able to have your centralized communication, no matter who in your business is managing your texting, or if there’s multiple team members managing, texting, everyone can engage and you have those reports in those records moving forward.

Keith Hitchcock:

Great. Thanks for that refresher, Courtney. And I’m going to request to Courtney that we turn off our videos so that we might be able to preserve some bandwidth for the slides, which are such a beautiful deck that we’ve put together. I want people to be able to see it. So I’m going to turn off my camera once my little spinny wheel of concern stops. So, [inaudible 00:06:49]-

Courtney Parham:

That’s right. So, we will turn them back on for live Q&A but let’s focus on the slides. How about that?

Keith Hitchcock:

Sounds good. Okay. Starting off. Yeah, my I still have a little spinning wheel help here. So I’ll turn off my camera when I can, but I want to dive into the content. So as to provide a little more context here, we talked to six different customers like credit union, staffing company, fitness company, who are using texting in powerful ways to drive their business. Now, each of these business may not actually be like the business that you have, but I want you to pay attention to the use cases, how they are using business texting and see for yourself, what are the ideas that you can borrow yourself and implement into your own business. With that, Let us dive into EXCEL Federal Credit Union. I had a great chat with Britney Bailey back in the Fall, and they had a great idea.

Keith Hitchcock:

Well, the great idea was using keyword texting for consistent quality customer service. So he started with the challenge, which was, we need to schedule appointments and they hadn’t been doing any texting before. And they landed on a solution which was combining business texting Zipwhip with a third party scheduler tool. And they started scheduling appointments with that tool. People would send in the word appointment, and they would be prompted with some other automatic texts that would come back to them after that keyword came back to them. So, from that they actually expanded out to their texting use cases into scheduled reminders, potentially communicating safety protocols via text. They had auto replies for after hours and just general customer service, a set of quick questions that could be answered via text.

Keith Hitchcock:

You don’t necessarily need to get on the phone and answer. They would start by, one of their members would see an announcement about being able to make an appointment on their website and giving the keyword appointment, and the number that they could text that to. So the member would get back a response and here they there’s actually a complex system that they used, which was able to route people to different locations if they needed to talk to different locations. They’re able to text in Midtown, or AFC for the Atlanta Federal Center branch. This is EXCEL out of Georgia.

Keith Hitchcock:

And then this is a hypothetical tax that I thought, “Oh, this would be a good idea too. I’m not sure if they’re using this but they’re able to… When someone arrives for the appointment, they can use a keyword to help them with any safety protocols, whatever the current safety protocols were. So this use case of scheduling appointments with keywords help them expand to all different parts of their customer service and even into loans. And I love this quote from Britney. She says, “We have weekly management calls where we’re talking about different things that we could roll out. The question now has become, well, can we text that?” I just love. So, they’re loving, texting and using it in all sorts of way. So you may not be a credit union, but our question to you is, how can you be using a keywords to create some more consistent and quality customer service for your own business?”

Courtney Parham:

A really great call-out Keith. I think that’s a really interesting way to think about going into the new year. I know it’s the beginning of the year, so we have these really ambitious goals but there’s no reason we can’t hit those goals. So thinking of things like, can we text that? That’s such a great theme to kick off the new year when you’re thinking about your tech stack, you’re thinking about your channels of communication within your business and driving that fast, easy, and convenient experience. Can we text that? I really enjoy that. Our number two example, which is from MEMCO Staffing. I actually had the pleasure of working with this team, yesterday actually. So I was actually able to connect with them in addition to Keith doing his interview with one of their branch managers as well.

Courtney Parham:

So what MEMCO Staffing is doing is a really interesting way that they’re tackling staffing in the construction space. So it’s unique, it’s exciting. So they knew that they had a need and they are absolutely crushing filling that need. So what their challenge was with getting in front of talent and candidates quickly, especially in the construction space, you can imagine that that staffing experience might be a little bit non-traditional. Meaning, they’ve got talent and candidates that are on job sites. They’re not in front of computers, they’re on their cell phone. They’re not necessarily able to get on a phone because sometimes jobs sites as you can imagine are loud, but you can absolutely still have an impactful conversation via text message. So they were able to create converse. They were introducing texting a way to create conversational text messages, to have that reach with their candidates.

Courtney Parham:

Again, we need to get in front of that top talent, get them placed. So MEMCO Staffing can keep crushing the game like they are. So these are the texting opportunities that they are taking advantage of. So first and foremost is group messaging. So volume matters, especially in the talent and the talent space. You need to put as much talent in front of the client that you’re filling that position for. So they truly understand these are exactly the best of the best that we are getting placed into these positions. They’re scheduling messages, so they can stay top of mind and actively engaged. So onboarding paperwork up after interviews, think about those times where you’ve dialed out at an appointed time and even though it’s an appointment, the call still gets missed. A scheduled message can absolutely make sure that that is a more efficient process, making sure that no one is in fact missing that call.

Courtney Parham:

And then more importantly, they’re setting themselves apart from their competition. So really getting that opportunity to connect with people in the way that fits best to connect with the talent that is filling their construction staffing roles, and being able to stay in front of those, excuse me. And staying in front of those contacts. So let’s talk about the notifications of open positions. So I put together a template here that is similar to their workflow, but this is focused on group messaging and dynamic fields. As I called out, it is a absolute numbers getting you have to get in front of the talent. You have to stay top of mind with the talent. You have to stay competitive in this space, and when you are filling those roles. You may not be in staffing but competition, we all seen it, we all experience it.

Courtney Parham:

So here’s an example of a group message. You’ll see, I have three named contacts plus 97 additional contacts because from that when you’re utilizing group messaging and Zipwhip, you can reach out up to 100 recipients at a time. To make this an even more scalable process for the MEMCO team, we’re tagging in features like dynamic fields, which auto fills details from the saved contact record into body of the text message upon sending. Saving your team time, creating a scalable work experience, and creating a personalized experience for that recipient. So, this is on the receiving end. And this is one of the biggest questions I get for anyone that as we’re talking about dynamic fields, as we’re talking about messaging, what does the recipient experience? And this is a quick example of the recipient experience. You’ll recall on my last slide, there were 100 contacts that I reached out to, but when Nadia is receiving this message, it’s a personalized experience for Nadia.

Courtney Parham:

And that’s one of the biggest benefits of group messaging. It’s fast, it’s easy, it’s convenient, and it’s scalable for you and your teams. So big shout out to Camilo, who is one of the branch managers at MEMCO actually had the pleasure of talking to him yesterday. So really, one of the things that was his biggest takeaway when speaking with Keith was being able to reach a mass amount of people at once is crucial and an important aspect of texting and filling positions. Volume matters, engagement matters, outreach matters, especially being able to stay in touch as quickly as possible. So thank you so much Camilo, and thank you for those great ideas.

Keith Hitchcock:

Let’s dive into TITLE Boxing, which is customer number three, that I have the pleasure of speaking to. So, the theme of speed is good for boxing and business when I spoke to Ron Alesia, there at TITLE Boxing Club and that the particular branch at Trexlertown, Pennsylvania. They were getting heavy into template usage, which was helping speed. The challenge that they were working with there was driving new membership. And it’s probably a challenge for all the gyms and fitness clubs, and particularly in a time like this. And maybe you have a business that relies on membership and keeping membership up. One of the key factors that Ron is working with in this club is driving membership up. And one of the key factors in that is the response time with which he’s able to, or his staff is able to respond to questions, inquiries, and all that sort of thing.

Keith Hitchcock:

So they implemented Zipwhip and they leveraged templates in a big way, which are those pre-set responses to questions, inquiries, those commonly asked questions and whatnot that they can Zipwhip right back to someone right away even and when a situation calls for it. So they’re using that and they realized that, well, this is good for just member retention as well. So speed, getting back to being able to answer those quick info, answer quick questions, last minute changes, updates, there’s a class cancellation, or, “Hey, we have some slots open up in this session.” All that kind of stuff.

Keith Hitchcock:

If you can handle that very quickly, like templates help you do, then you have a greater chance of retaining those members and getting new members. So from there, they were actually able to expand out into other areas like marketing special offers and events, or using texting.

Keith Hitchcock:

So let me show you how they did. Templates, there’s just a simple hypothetical example here. Someone calling in a perspective a member saying, “Hey, can you please send me info and membership.” Think about how long it might take to type out or thumb out response if you’re doing old school smartphone texting this response. They have the goal of responding to any and all inquiries in three minutes or less. So you could probably get it in three minutes, but how much more time would you be saving day after day, moment after moment, if you’re able to implement a template or like this? Just quick response, then your staff is able to get back to something else.

Keith Hitchcock:

So this is just one of the many templates that they are using. And Ron said to me, “We have a ton of different templates that we use from Zipwhip that enable us to touch a prospect or a lead within seconds of having that communication come in.” So templates are super powerful. I want everyone watching to think about, even if you’re not anything like a gym or a fitness club, how could you be leveraging templates and all those frequently asked questions, or different types of responses that you find yourself or your staff finds, just repeating again and again, and again? It’s a big, big time saver. So speed is good for boxing and business, especially when you’re using templates.

Courtney Parham:

Our customer number four interview that we were engaging with is, Listen Up Y’all. So this is a digital media broadcasting organization. So they manage five radio stations and an online news platform in the Southern markets. So one of the things that I would want to call out before we dig into this example is, I know that radio stations and media can be a really unique and niche market, especially when it comes to texting, but the lesson here, or my biggest takeaway from reviewing the interview that Keith did, and really working with a lot of our media customers here at Zipwhip is scalability and engagement. So, they may phrase it as audience engagement but every business has an audience. Your audience are your prospects, your customers, your community members, anyone that you intend on trying to attract to your business, keep engaging with your business and growing your business with that engagement.

Courtney Parham:

So keep that in mind, as we dig into this example here. So their challenge of course, was listener engagement, because again, they’re a radio station. So when we’re looking at listener engagement, think about this, of course as audience and your audiences, of course your community. The challenge they’re running into is in traditional or previous experiences, when it came to listener engagement, whether it’s contexting, whether it’s, “Hey, let’s dial in and have this conversation weigh in on this sport.” Anything that it may be. What they were running into is they had a very small subset that they were able to essentially engage with, especially in that call in a model or… So bringing in texting created that scalable engagement. So now, if it’s B caller number 100, it’s not just the 99 people prior that they’re talking to. Now it’s thousands of texts could come in and that’s a ton of engagement that they’re driving.

Courtney Parham:

So when they’re bringing in texting, they’re thinking about the texting opportunities that can continue to grow from this opportunity. So building a pipeline of content leads with sponsors. So all contests that are coming in at radio stations are typically sponsored. So you, yourself may actually be partnering in your community, doing some form of cross promotion. So you may be a fitness studio who’s connecting with the cold-press juice bar next door. You may be an insurance agent who is helping to support small businesses and restaurants by doing contests or raffling around gift cards for those businesses to keep driving that traffic and during these difficult and challenging times. So building that pipeline and having that conversation via text message can absolutely seed more engagement with your business, but also more engagement with other businesses in your community.

Courtney Parham:

They also been using Zipwhip as an emergency response and engagement tool. There was recently a natural disaster event where a hurricane came right over their town and it knocked down power lines. They were losing power. People were scared. People were… What happens? What do I do in this scenario? They’re trying to reach out. They can’t get through on the phone, but text messages, keyword responses to link them to up-to-date news stories has really been able to help drive that engagement and continue to show that they are the local resource for great information. Can you be the trusted local advisor? Absolutely. In texting can help you do that. Really at the end of the day, I know I’ve said this throughout session, meeting people where they are at is so critical. And guess where people are at? On their cell phones.

Courtney Parham:

I’m not unique. The same thing happens to me. I use my phone. I get those weekly reports on screen time. They’re not great, but this is just showing us that this is exactly where people are at and we’re giving them that information that they’re looking for. So one of the pieces of audience engagement that is being used very heavily to even enhance that conversation further, is using the use of MMS messaging. So Zipwhip allows you to send and receive picture messages as a part of your conversation. And this conversation, this is an audience member who is texting in, they’re huge fan of Brad & Kate in the morning, and that is [inaudible 00:24:38]. The cutest pop there is. So this is just a really fun way to drive that contexting, to drive that engagement further. So you can use a picture messaging to troubleshoot issues.

Courtney Parham:

Are you working with a client who doesn’t know how something works? Tell them to snap a picture and text it into you. So you have that context to drive that conversation forward. So this great idea came from Listen Up Y’all but more specifically Andrew Duhl, who was the Group Program Director. Keith had a great conversation with him. And he was talking about how he’s huddled up with his teams internally. They’re really loving Zipwhip. They’re loving the scalabilities of web supplies for them. And he’s just letting us know that he talked with some people in the office, and he decided that if they had to actually put a dollar amount, Zipwhip is worth about $50,000 a year task. A full-time skilled level employee. So Zipwhip can truly be an extension of your team member. You’ve got Andrew, you’ve got Keith, you’ve got Natalie, you’ve got Colleen and you’ve got Zipwhip. So, I was really excited about that example.

Keith Hitchcock:

Me too. Yeah. I was blown away when Andrew mentioned that to me, but it makes sense. The number of ways that they are using Zipwhip texting is as if, I mean, it’s doing the work of a full-time employee, which is great. So let’s move on to customer number five, West Coast Music Academy, had a great conversation with Jeff Novack there, who was the owner of the Academy. And the great idea that I pulled away from him was Zipwhip streamline overall business workflow. And I’m excited to tell you how they did that. The challenge that they started with that got them on the road to doing texting was too much time spent on the phone and email. And we’re probably all experiencing the concept of people not answering our phone calls, even friends and family may not be our phone calls. At any market, people are just getting out of that habit. Now that they’re texting more, same thing with email and the email barrage that come into our inboxes, people are not responding to emails. This is becoming a less and less effective way to reach people.

Keith Hitchcock:

So, he had a sense that texting would actually improve things and by gum it, it did. He says, now almost all customer communication is done via text now. And you can imagine for a music Academy, doing music lessons that people are coordinating, times changing appointments, having to cancel appointment, having back and forth about how much was that lesson and all that sort of thing. They do all that via text now, or almost all via text now. That’s quick info, it’s updates, it’s rescheduling, all that is saving time for not only employees but their customers too. So they left that sort of thing. It turns out during the lockdowns and time of COVID, Zipwhip has been an important tool for internal communications too. It’s not a huge Academy that they have, but enough that there needs to be some coordination among the employees that are working remotely now.

Keith Hitchcock:

So they found Zipwhip to be a super useful tool critical for internal communications, because there might be last minute changes that are coming about as well if some status changes. And the running thing of a lot of these companies had has been starting for one use case and expanding out there. And the West Coast Music Academy is no exception. They figured out that they could be texting out promotions to everyone who is opted in to receive texts. And so they’re driving even more business that way. So let me talk to you how one part of this streamline their business has been via payment. Now, if you haven’t heard yet, Zipwhip implemented TXT2PAY, it’s a new feature, that came in at the end of 2020.

Keith Hitchcock:

So the users have Zipwhip at the premium level can now use TXT2PAY to have their customers pay them. It’s a super simple, secure, elegant solution to get billing, to get payments from customers. So here’s an example of someone who’s just wanting to pay for two months of lessons, they’re say, “Hey, I want to pay for two months of lessons and using the template for TXT2PAY. The operations’ person is able to zap this back. And once this person is in the system, their customers in the system, they can use TXT2PAY for paying whatever they need to do. It’s simple, it’s connected to their credit card and it helps them streamline everything they do. So, Jeff told me this. He said, we can literally have someone text us for information about the school, send them that information, get them set up for a lesson except their payment, and basically all from Zipwhip.”

Keith Hitchcock:

So Zipwhip has kind of become this all in one tool from the beginning of a prospect or a lead coming into the company to a happy paid customer, which is amazing. So the question and challenge to you in your own business, even if you’re nothing like a music Academy is, what parts of your business workflow would texting help out? Can it do more than it’s doing right now? Can you streamline your whole system from beginning to end for a customer, or what component can it do including TXT2PAY? There you go. That was customer number five. Courtney, what do you think about customer number six?

Courtney Parham:

Well, just like all of the customers, Keith, I think they’re all terrific, and they’ve got great ideas and that is… Can you just… I’m sorry. I have to go back to that last example. I just think that is so terrific. The TEXT2PAY creating that one-stop shop, the efficiency and the tech stack. I just really was blown away by that one. I mean, I say this by about everybody, all six of the customers that we worked with for the interviews and the presentation today, but these are really great innovative ideas to really start your new year off on the right foot. And that’s no different than customer number six. Mustard Seed Financial & Insurance.

Courtney Parham:

So one of the challenges that they were seeing, especially as we all transitioned to work from home in certain communities is the flexibility of still being able to have centralized communication channels that everyone can access, but still create a work-life balance to still have the flexibility to again be able to engage in. If you do have what we would consider non-traditional, but of course it’s not non-traditional in your example but if you’ve got truckers, if you’ve got construction, if you’ve got people that are working nights that you’re looking to engage with, it’s just a little bit different of an experience, but Zipwhip and including texting helps create that centralized communication. So all of your different shifts, all of your different team members can have that one-stop shop as we saw an example five through communication.

Courtney Parham:

So the texting opportunities that Mustard Seed Financial & Insurance saw as a part of bringing texting on board is the one phone number access. I cannot stress this enough. This is not a number that you text from and then you call from a different number. It’s all funneled through one branded number. It’s that number that’s on your business card. It’s that number that’s on the door of your business. It’s the number on your website. It’s the number that they call and hit your voicemail. It’s that same number that you were sending and receiving text messages from. And that is one of the most critical and important pieces that we’re not scrambling all over place trying to keep track of several different phone numbers.

Courtney Parham:

Having that instance of multiple users helps keep that record keeping and the momentum alive in those conversations because momentum happens. Momentum happening is so in credibly critical to closing business, winning business, staying top of mind, and having that fast, easy, and convenient way to engage with someone helps you see that through what the business. And it creates that consistent customer experience.

Courtney Parham:

So as we saw before, you can have your keyword responses, your message templates, letting people know that they can engage with you via text message and get the same great service that they would get if they walked into your business, if they called into your business, if they emailed your business, same thing with texting, same great experience. And they’re offered the bigger opportunity that they saw is the mobile app. So with Mustard Seed Financial & Insurance, they are specifically working with insuring truck drivers. So as you can imagine, they’re keeping us going there. They’re delivering really critical pieces of our daily lives for our businesses, for our grocery stores, for our daily lives.

Courtney Parham:

So as you can imagine, as insurance is coming up for renewal or they’re shopping for new pricing, they’re going home to a computer oftentimes. A lot of this is taking place right on their mobile phone but more importantly, the customer service representatives or the agents they’re engaging with, also need the flexibility of being able to respond at a moment’s notice and put Zipwhip in their pocket and take it with them.

Courtney Parham:

So with that centralized communication comes the mobile app. So there’s several different of course, applications available in Zipwhip. You can sit down in front of your computer and send a text message. And if you have the Zipwhip mobile app on your tablet or your smartphone you can get up from your computer, go pick up the kids, go drop them off, run to the grocery store, stop by an on-site appointment, and be able to still pull out your phone and conduct business just the way you would sitting in front of your computer with the Zipwhip mobile app. All conversation history is intact. Sending and receiving messages through the Zipwhip mobile app is still through that same centralized phone number as we saw earlier is so critical. So you really have all of the pieces of the puzzle right there in one place.

Courtney Parham:

So you’re sitting in front of your computer, you get up, you can still provide that same great service through the mobile app. You can access your message templates, your signatures intact for proper identification, and all of the conversation history syncs directly back to your computer instance [inaudible 00:35:44]. So we were working with Christopher Aldrich, the transportation team leader of must receive a Mustard Seed Financial & Insurance. And so he’s talking about being to continually engage and provide updates on quotes. Be able to find updates on renewals or pricing as policies come up for renewal, or someone is reaching out about pricing for a new policy and getting that quote.

Courtney Parham:

We have on average anywhere from five to 13 people allow us to quote them for commercial insurance based off just a text message. Really that boils down to pure profit. So that’s easy and convenient is great, but growing and being able to manage your business with the same great consistent service via text message is even better.

Keith Hitchcock:

We have covered a lot of ground, Courtney. I want to make sure that we have time for questions. So can you give us just a quick recap of what we’ve covered?

Courtney Parham:

Great. Let’s dig into all six, just a quick recap. So coming number one on our list was EXCEL Federal Credit Union. They were talking about consistency with their keywords. So they’re able to create quality customer service, provide safe spaces and protocols and schedule appointments in a quick and efficient manner using the keyword functionality within Zipwhip. Number two, we had MEMCO Staffing. So this is great to create that conversational text messaging because reach matters, being able to get in front of a lot of people to let them know, “Hey, you would be a great candidate for this role matters, especially in the staffing space.”

Courtney Parham:

Number three, I loved this so much. Speed is good for boxing and business. Really, it boils down to you got strike when the iron is hot. So using those templates to speed up that workflow, using those templates to create that experience consistently, making sure that you and all of your staff members are responding on an on-brand fashion, is huge.

Courtney Parham:

Number four, Listen Up Y’all. Were talking about scalable engagement. So this is where we’re seeing the MMS messaging. This is where we’re seeing group messaging with dynamic fields. This is where we’re building our relationship with our community, so we are the trusted local advisor. So no matter what industry you are in, you want to be the true local trusted advisor and texting can help you do that. Number five, we have West Coast Music Academy. They are streamlining everything top to bottom awareness to purchase, to engagement, one-stop shop using TXT2PAY, where you can receive payments via text message. And last but not least, we have number six Mustard Seed Financial & Insurance, centralized communication. Are you sitting in front of your computer and you need to get up and go somewhere, download Zipwhip mobile app, put it in your pocket and take it with you.

Keith Hitchcock:

Okay. Thank you, Courtney. So, we’re going to dive into questions here. Before we do, we realized that we’re getting on 45 minutes and you may have only a lot at that much time. We’re going to probably go a little past that. So if you need to hop off no problem. We won’t take it personally. Do take a moment to engage with that survey that will pop up on your screen when you close and just take a couple of moments to tell us how we did. If you’re a customer, it’s an opportunity to tell us, “Hey, what other content would be helpful for you in your day-to-day business work flow? So, if you need to take off, adios, thanks for being here. And if you can stick around for questions that are those always fun questions that we can answer, we’ll get to as many as we can. Let’s dive into that.

Courtney Parham:

Fire it well. Awesome.

Keith Hitchcock:

All right.

Courtney Parham:

Keith, I see quite a few questions coming in. Should we just dive right in?

Keith Hitchcock:

Dive in. Yes.

Courtney Parham:

All right. So one question that just came in is, do you find most people using Zipwhip are using it on a desktop or using it on their personal phones? Really terrific question. Thank you for that. Really, truly depends on your business models. So there are more highly regulated or industries that are using Zipwhip like, financial institutions, credit unions, insurance organizations, where they like to keep their teams using Zipwhip at a specific time of day, top or bottom seven to four or whatever that may be. And at 4:00 PM, you’re done. So you’re not taking Zipwhip with you.

Courtney Parham:

So if you do need that flexibility, it is available to you, but it’s typically inline with your business model more than necessarily a trend one versus the other. So if you do need that flexibility, it’s absolutely available to you. You can put it in your back pocket and take it with you.

Keith Hitchcock:

Great. I’m seeing some questions about, “Hey, what features does my plan include? Because we are potentially talking about some features today that aren’t in your starter package, for example. And so, Courtney, can you fill us in on that a little bit?

Courtney Parham:

Really great question. Thank you, Keith. So as you guys know, there are different tiered packages when you are utilizing Zipwhip. Some of you may be in a larger organization, so you have a custom package that was predetermined by your organization when coming on board with Zipwhip. Some of you came in through our website and said, “This was a great opportunity for me to use texting.” So you selected one of the plans available there. So the starter package that we’re seeing is 500 messages per month, one user, one line. So you’re ready to rock and roll. It’s you your business, and you’re sending and receiving text messages. When we’re looking at an unlimited plan, you’re looking at unlimited messages every month and you have up to three users. So it could be you and two additional staff still were using that centralized phone line, that’s a great experience for anyone engaging with your business.

Courtney Parham:

Then there’s of course the premium line. This is the one that would be used if you’re interested in TXT2PAY. So also being able to text some that centralized number with unlimited texts per month. But on top of that, you can add TXT2PAY, so you can receive payments via text message on that plan as well. So you have up to five users, it’s still the one centralized wine, but you have all of the features available to you and you can add TXT2PAY to that, excuse me, to that package as well.

Keith Hitchcock:

Awesome. What else are you seeing over on your side there?

Courtney Parham:

I see a question here that I think is really great, because this is a common question when we discuss group messaging and Zipwhip. So what’s the difference from Zipwhip and my Android group texting on my cell phone? So those are lists top to bottom on that. First and foremost, if you send a group message from your cell phone, just your Android or your Apple phone, it’s not coming from your business phone number and we’re driving that consistency. So that’s one difference. The second difference is group texting on within Zipwhip is not like group texting on our cell phones. Group texting in Zipwhip is a blind carbon copy. So it’s that BCC function, everyone who is listed on that group message being sent through Zipwhip, is receiving that message as a personalized experience.

Courtney Parham:

And when they respond to that message, it’s coming directly back into Zipwhip and going to no one else. So throw a group message together, put a template on there, put in some dynamic fields, and anyone receiving that message would be none the wiser that it was sent to 97 other people. So, terrific question. Thank you.

Keith Hitchcock:

Yeah. Good one. Thank you. Here’s one. I like this one is what should I include or not include in my texts to customers? [inaudible 00:43:58]-

Courtney Parham:

Oh, I love this question. I love content questions.

Keith Hitchcock:

Yeah. You have some ideas about this. Yeah, Courtney?

Courtney Parham:

So when it comes to content, when you’re thinking about a text message, there’s three main pieces that I like to advise anyone using texting, whether it’s your first day, or your thousands’ day texting is proper identification matters. If someone does not know who is reaching out to them, they don’t recognize the number, you haven’t thrown your name and your brand in that text message. You haven’t turned on your custom signature, which helps create that consistent identification. People are less likely to respond or engage with that message. So make sure you’ve identified yourself.

Courtney Parham:

Second piece is a call to action. Call to actions are so critical when it comes to reaching out to someone. So why should they respond to you? What’s the benefit there? What is the action you need them to take? And then what are the expectations that you are taking on to support this action that they were meant to take? So call to actions. What are you asking them to do? Phrase it as a question, and courage them to take the action. And last but not least think about promotional messaging, make sure it’s conversational. Don’t really throw the sales pitch at them right away. Ease into the conversation, establish and maintain that rapport, because when messages come off too salesy, I don’t care if you’ve properly identified yourself, it’s going to be off-putting.

Keith Hitchcock:

Great. And what other questions are you seeing Courtney?

Courtney Parham:

Let’s see here. Great question. Can you please share some best practices on getting people to opt into texting? So one of the best ways to opt into texting is to encourage people to initiate the conversation. So if someone is texting you, that’s a form of implied consent. We also have really great, or we have a really great eBook about TCPA compliance that just explains, opt-in how to keep track of, and records of those opt-in. But getting people to text you is such a critical piece of that, because now people are asking for information from you. They’re asking to engage with you by sending you that text message. So updating your voicemail breeding to say, “Hey, you can also text us at this number, updating your email signature, when you are leaving voicemails to promote that choice of calling or texting, when you are engaging on your website saying, “Text us if you have social media blasts out there that say, you can now engage with our business via text message.” This is encouraging that inbound messaging where you are allowed to respond to someone when they did send you a text.

Keith Hitchcock:

Great, good question and great answer.

Courtney Parham:

Terrific. Let’s see if there are any other questions coming in.

Keith Hitchcock:

Here’s what I’m seeing. Is texting with Zipwhip HIPAA compliant. This is [inaudible 00:47:12]-

Courtney Parham:

Oh, great question. So we do have a lot of medical providers, dental offices, home care providers, doctor’s offices. So medical clinics that are using Zipwhip, and what we always strive to do is make sure that you are able to have those conversations safely and relevantly. So I do recommend downloading our TCPA compliance eBook that will outline all of the compliance factors to keep you and your team compliant using Zipwhip.

Keith Hitchcock:

Good.

Courtney Parham:

A question that just came in. Does your system manage the opt-ins and opt-outs? So if someone does determine that texting is no longer their preferred form of communication, there is an opt-out functionality that’s built directly into Zipwhip. So use of the word, stop. It has to be just the word, stop. No other characters in the text message and that will trigger the opt-out. We encourage all users of Zipwhip to communicate the option to opt-out via text message to anyone that you’re engaging with clearly and plainly. Typically, we recommend putting this in your signature line. Something as simple as, “Tech stop to opt-out.” Someone does trigger the opt-out by texting him the word stop. Our network receives it. A network message is automatically fired to confirm that the text line, they will no longer receive incoming messages from this line.

Courtney Parham:

And then it’ll suppress them text message functionality for that particular contact. So you and your staff don’t accidentally text that person in the future. So that is the opt-out functionality specifically within Zipwhip to help your team differentiate between someone who may have opted out and someone who you’re still actively engaging with.

Keith Hitchcock:

Good question. Good answer. What else were you seeing, Courtney?

Courtney Parham:

Let’s see here. Questions have slowed down quite a bit on the side I’m looking at over here. Do you see anything, Keith?

Keith Hitchcock:

Oh, we could… Here’s one. How much does text to pay cost?

Courtney Parham:

Ooh, great question. I know we’ve touched on TXT2PAY and how it can really create that one-stop shop for you. There is no additional cost to your Zipwhip package to enroll in TXT2PAY as a service on your Zipwhip line. So as long as you’re on the Zipwhip premium package, or you’re in a custom package that may have been set up with an account executive here at Zipwhip, it is no cost for you to enroll in TXT2PAY.

Keith Hitchcock:

Yeah. I do believe off via charges, it kind of a standard payment processing fee just like any other payment solution would. It’s a small percentage point there but pretty standard.

Courtney Parham:

Really twisted question that we just saw is, how do you set up the TXT2PAY feature?

Keith Hitchcock:

There is a link, and-

Courtney Parham:

Go on Keith.

Keith Hitchcock:

I don’t have access to it right now but we did do this… I want to highlight to this TXT2PAY webinars. How to collect payments via text webinars that we in back in December. It’s on our resource center that we’ll walk through, and talk through a lot of the questions that are coming up around TXT2PAY, but there is a link that hopefully the moderators can drop in chat, that is just to, well-

Courtney Parham:

Yeah. Natalie just dropped it in the chat.

Keith Hitchcock:

Okay. great. That will at least get you started and should get you to the right place of just signing up for it. It’s relatively easy.

Courtney Parham:

Yeah. And there’s a demo mode. So when you do sign up, you can go into the demo mode and practice and see what that experience looks like before you go all the way through to merchant mode where you’re actually dealing with real true funds. So it is nice to be able to sign up, get your at-bats and if you will, and then be able to start using TXT2PAY as a payment processing feature within your business.

Keith Hitchcock:

Good call. Okay. Well, I think we should probably begin to wrap things up. First of all, with a thank you Courtney for being here and presenting all your great wisdom and knowledge around texting for business.

Courtney Parham:

Thank you. I’m happy to be here and happy to be working with everyone on the call.

Keith Hitchcock:

And thanks to everyone for showing up. Taking some time out of your day to get inspired or reinspired about texting for business and all the things that you could be doing, as Courtney says, new year, new you. So now’s your chance to implement some of these tools as the webinar closes look for that survey to pop up on your screen before you do, I do want to highlight, if you’re looking for more inspiration, you can’t get enough, go do check out Zipwhip resource center. It’s been newly revamped and you can easily access a bunch of different eBooks webinars, videos, we also have a blog with lots of information and inspiration. There is a help within the Zipwhip app.

Keith Hitchcock:

If you’ve never found this before you just go to the lower left side of your app, there’s a question mark there that you can click and get some help within the app. In February, I want to tease a little our next and latest, greatest state of texting reports, texting 2021, which tracks consumer and industry trends for business texting. Some of those stats are pretty interesting this year and may affect how you’re looking at implementing and continuing with texting for business. So with that-

Courtney Parham:

What if I call out, Keith?

Keith Hitchcock:

Yeah-

Courtney Parham:

I’m so sorry. One last thing that I do want to call out for those of you who are still on the line, for those of you who are current customers, we are also adding in some more content for you guys to keep learning, keep rocking with us here at Zipwhip. So in that follow-up survey, it does ask if there’s other topics that you may want to learn about. We are reading those surveys. We love hearing your feedback. We love hearing those topics. They help drive the content that we are producing and providing you. And we’re getting that in front of you on a regular basis in 2021.

Keith Hitchcock:

Thanks again, and have a good rest of your day and a great 2021.

Courtney Parham:

Thanks you all.

 

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