Best Practices

Ten Rules for Texting With Customers

Ten rules to maintain professional and successful business SMS with your customers. Be aware of how the current marketing laws and your tone can affect how customers view and interact with your business. We show you what to keep an eye on for new and existing users of business texting.
Ten Rules for Texting With Customers
Ten Rules for Texting With Customers

Texting is a part of most people’s everyday lives, 97% of smartphone users send and receive text messages regularly. Over the years, text messaging has surpassed phone calls as the number one use of mobile phones for users. Users also view text messages as one of the most important uses of their smartphone.

A wide variety of business SMS is emerging for customer service and marketing. Many customers prefer a conversation with a business by text to a phone call. Enabling text messaging in business creates a convenient way for customers to reach you.  To maintain professionalism in the texting sphere, your business must be aware of the ways in which business SMS differs from personal texting, business email, and phone calls. Follow these rules to make sure you are using your business texting abilities to their full potential.

1. Be compliant with text marketing laws

There are laws put into place to protect consumers from receiving marketing spam from companies. If you want to use your texting capabilities for marketing, you must get written consent (through keywords, an online form, or a paper form) and supply information about the nature, frequency, and opt out instructions to the recipient. Your customers must agree to receive marketing SMS and be able to stop them at any time. 

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) limits the unsolicited messages sent by phone calls and text messages. The provisions limit automated “robotexts” from spamming users with unsolicited messages. The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) all deal in business text laws. Check their websites for more information on how to comply with the current laws for business text messaging.

Messages initiated by the consumer and delivery messages are not marketing and not subject to the same laws. Text messaging for customer service is a practical way for customers to reach your business directly.

Send an email to your customer base

“Enjoy 10% when you sign up to receive text messages. We’ll send you occasional special offers and previews of new arrivals.” Provide a link or instructions on how to sign up. Link to a webpage where they can add their information and agree to the terms, or provide your phone number and a message they can send to opt in.

2. Verify your need for HIPAA compliance

If your business deals with private health data, you must comply with The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards for privacy. Your business must use HIPAA compliant methods of messaging for secure transmission of user information. For private information such as health data, the platform must have securities in place. It is more secure to not send protected health information by text message, as texting apps do not have appropriate security measures. If using text messaging for protected health information, the business must warn the patient of the security risk and the patient must consent to text interactions.

Check out our Text Enable Healthcare page with information on how healthcare businesses can use texting for scheduling and reminders. Patients can contact your business by text message to make an appointment, and receive reminders before upcoming appointments and bills.

3. Use clear and concise language in your messages

Text messaging legitimizes simple and quick contact through short direct messages. When using text messaging for your business, your messages should thoroughly answer the customer without overly composing paragraphs. SMS users expect messages with the vital information - an answer or an update - that can make your job easier.

With such brief messages, you must be clear in your language. When helping a customer, provide clear directions or direct links that will lead them to the next step. A sentence or two at a time should suffice when talking to a customer, remember to leave space for their responses and follow up questions.

4. Reply quickly to incoming messages

The text message read and reply rates are much faster than those of email are. Additionally, consumers miss and ignore calls on a daily basis. With text messaging, businesses can quickly interact with customers instantly. Customers expect quick replies to text messages; your business has a couple minutes before a customer might move on. A short reply will satisfy a customer’s question, receiving a response when it is still on their mind.

5. Send messages during appropriate business hours

Precisely like phone calls, fulfill your business text messaging during your business hours. Maintain professional business SMS not just by the content, but also with your delivery. Customers do not want to be bothered early in the morning or late at night. Messages received during unsuitable times are less likely to appear professional.

If you receive messages after your business is closed, provide your business hours and let them know you will get back to them when you next open. Dependent on your business’ customer service abilities, you can offer direct help to incoming messages around the clock.

Example

Due to the holiday, we are closed. We will get back to you when we return Tuesday at 10am to 5pm. Have a nice day!

6. Introduce yourself and sign off

When starting a conversation by text, introduce yourself to your customers. With a personal and friendly opening, text messaging can feel as personal as a phone call or in-person interaction. Gather customer names to make your messaging personalized. With personal business texting, customers are reaching you or your staff directly for customer support. This can help build an important relationship with your patrons. Customers knowing they are chatting with a person instead of receiving automated responses will make the texting interaction less frustrating.

When the conversation seems completed, check with the customer if there are any other questions or topics they would like to discuss before leaving. If not, politely wrap up the conversation and thank them for their interest in your business. Let customers know how they can contact you further.

Example

Hi Ellen, thank you for your order! We will send you another text message when your order is ready to be picked up. Reply with any questions you have or call this number to reach us.  –Roger @ Downtown Bites

7. Maintain a friendly and appropriate tone

Texting has its own culture of language and abbreviations. For business texting, your tone and language should reflect your business and professionalism. Keep slang and abbreviations to a minimum unless they are widely accepted in your field. Your business’ impression should appeal to customers. But do not leave your customers cold with robotic text, show friendliness, understanding and personality when appropriate. 

Add emojis sparingly. Emojis cause your messages to look less professional, especially when used more than once a conversation. Keep your business in mind when deciding the tone you want to portray to customers.

8. Start with the important information and keep messages short

For any form of communication, users tend to read the beginning and skim longer passages. Even in text messaging, the preview of the text might be all the customer reads. In the first few words, you should give important information about the message.

Short messages are best suited for text interactions. Containing the necessary information in a few sentences makes text messaging appealing, especially for customer service. If messages get too long or too numerous, suggest expanding the conversation to an email or phone call. 

9. Limit repetitive messages

When interacting with a customer by text, try to make your message clear. Be patient with customers, some messages might go unnoticed for longer than others might. Distractions may happen, only worry about messages that need immediate action. For messages that receive no response, a new message might call attention to the forgotten conversation. However, do not send messages repeatedly if there is no reply. If a customer does not respond, try an email or phone call for important and time-sensitive matters.

10. Verify your information and messages are correct

Before sending a text message to clients or customers, double check your message for errors in spelling or grammar as well as mistakes in information. If you need to verify information with an employee or coworker, do so before sending. Verify the recipient; a little research can prevent a message going to the wrong person.

Reminder

If you want customers to start sending you text messages instead of phone calls, they have to be aware of your texting capabilities. Only when customers are aware your phone number can receive calls and text messages will they start texting you.

For more answers about business texting with Texty Pro, visit our FAQ. You can enable text messaging on your existing business number today. If you have any more questions we can answer, reach us at support@xedia.net so we can personally discuss how we can help you text enable your landline phone number.


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Business staff texting from their landline | Texty Pro
Business staff texting from their landline | Texty Pro
Business staff texting from their landline | Texty Pro
Business staff texting from their landline | Texty Pro
Business staff texting from their landline | Texty Pro
Business staff texting from their landline | Texty Pro
Business staff texting from their landline | Texty Pro
Business staff texting from their landline | Texty Pro
Business staff texting from their landline | Texty Pro