Most businesses only use their phone number for calls, but they could be doing more with it.
A lot more.
Believe it or not, 10-digit landline numbers (also known as long codes) can receive texts. With the help of some advanced technology, businesses can be up and texting in no time.
In fact, some companies already are. There are a number of reasons why:
- Reach–Over 60% of the world’s population has a mobile phone subscription
- Cost-Effective—Texts get more responses than any other channel due to a 98% open rate
- Availability–All mobile phones, even feature phones, have a messaging capability (Over 4.55 billion people worldwide are expected to use mobile phones this year)
Businesses are learning to centralize their systems and capitalize on the purchasing power of consumers at their meeting point. As strategic advancements become more crucial to the lifeline of a business, learning how to retool the current marketing model to incorporate texting within the business communication platform is essential. Here are some ways businesses have already adopted texting:
- Restaurants use texting to inform patrons their table is waiting or to send discounts to customers. Small restaurants are taking advantage of apps to send customers personalized text when their table is ready. Customers and businesses love it: restaurants can customize their texts with special deals and customers don’t have to lug around pagers. On a national scale, larger chains like Dunkin’ Donuts and Taco Bell have used text to send customers who opt-in discounts and special offers.
- Colleges and universities use texting to inform students what place they are in line for services, and to notify students and faculty of emergency situations. Miami Dade College has implemented a system where students must log in and can decide whether or not they want to receive a text message to notify them what place they are in line. This way, students will be aware of how much time they have left without having to watch the screen for their number to be called.
- Companies use texting to send delivery confirmations. Customers shipping packages with FedEx and UPS can use text to track their packages, as well as receive notifications about when their order should arrive, much to their delight. Retailers like Amazon or Wal-Mart also offer this feature; all customers have to do is opt-in to the program and they’ll receive shipment updates and estimated arrival times.
- Medical professionals use texting for patient reminders. Companies like On-Time RX and HealthCrowd send automated texts reminding patients when to take their prescription medications. Studies show that patients who receive program are more likely to take their medication than those who don’t receive reminders.
While each of these demonstrate how businesses are engaging in outbound text conversations with their customers, OneReach technology allows for two-way text messaging. In the past a patient may have received a text-reminder that they have an upcoming appointment, but if they needed to cancel or reschedule they would still have to call their doctor’s office. Using OneReach’s integrated platform, the same patient would now be able to text back from the original reminder message and reschedule at their convenience without ever having to call the office. It’s easy for you and convenient for them–they have a smoother experience and you decrease the number of no-shows.
Customer service and engagement is one of the most important elements of a business structure. Implementing tools that will leverage communications to keep you connected to your customer base is invaluable to your brand and future growth.
Photo by Flickr user Garry Knight.