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Are Patients Texting Your Practice?


December 18, 2014

Are Patients Texting Your Practice?

Home > Blog > Are Patients Texting Your Practice?

It’s not uncommon to find a OneReach team member wearing a bright blue t-shirt with the words “Can I Text Your Business” in big block letters on the front of it. My colleague and I were both wearing them at the International Customer Managment Institute conference in San Diego a couple months ago, when a woman who manages a contact center said- “No, you can’t!” from across the way. While that may seem like a pretty normal statement, the ensuing conversation brought a couple key elements into focus for us both.

You can’t stop someone from texting your business

After engaging with this woman who is widely considered an expert in her field, we agreed that there is nothing you can do to stop someone from getting out their cell phone and sending a text message to your business phone number. Even your toll-free number. The only thing you can control is what happens next. For almost all companies, that text message will not be received and the customer will get no response at all. Let’s just call that the worst customer experience ever.

You can control what happens when someone texts your business

There are a lot of different ways to handle inbound text messages that are being sent to your business phone number(s). The easiest thing to do would be to use OneReach to create an auto response. Even something as simple as “Thanks for contacting us! Unfortunately we don’t monitor our text traffic at this time, so please give us a call if you’d like to speak with us” would create a better customer experience than no response at all. Other options include developing fully interactive responses (think of an IVR, but for text messages) that would allow your patients to serve themselves. For example, someone could text your office and get a reply with their upcoming appointment details, balance details, or any other relevant information that you decided. You could even go as far as to offer your patients the ability to text chat with your practice. That is where a patient texts in and a staff member replies through a web chat interface. Truth be told, the winning recipe may combine both automation and live agent conversations.

If you’d like to learn more about this, or to sign up for a free trial so you can determine if patients are texting you now, click here or contact us at (303) 974-7351.  And of course, you can call or text that number!

Photo by Pixabay user DarkoStojanovic.

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