Investing in new technology for your company is daunting. Your executive team wants to be sure the money is worth spending. You want to have all the best features included. You need quality design that integrates with existing software. It has to be approved by everyone — your IT, sales, marketing, support teams all have to be in agreement. When you’re getting a new text messaging service for business, how do you find the balance with all the things?
Take a deep breath — it’s possible. Firstly, it shouldn’t be too tricky to agree that your business needs a text messaging service. It’s the future of customer service. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of customer service teams will be using SMS and messaging. But, it’s not just useful for customer service. Business text messaging can benefit everyone in the organization. And, your customers want it. Here’s what I mean:
- 75% find it helpful to receive appointment reminders via text.
- 72% are more likely to make a purchase when texting with a real employee.
- 7 in every 10 consumers don’t receive texts from their favorite brands – even after making it clear they want to.
- 69% would prefer for an unfamiliar company to contact them over text messaging, rather than over the phone.
- 63% would switch companies if they offered text messaging.
So, it’s time to start your journey to find the best text messaging service for your brand. To help, we’ve gathered together some essential steps and features to make sure you’re getting the right text messaging service for business.
Step 1: Get buy in
Buying new tech is a lot to ask for. So first, get a text messaging service for business that meets multiple departments’ needs. New technology can take some time to adopt. Before you dedicate the resources for onboarding, strategy and building new SOPs, make sure you have buy-in from every team that the new service will impact.
Here’s how in three easy steps:
1. Send out surveys
Every team will have different wish list items for the service you commit to. For example, your sales team may want a service that helps them manage opt-in and opt-out lists with customers so they know they can confidently send out promotional texts without legal trouble. But, your customer service team cares more about having a text messaging service that integrates well with your CRM so they have a better sense of each customer’s history.
So, send out surveys to each team to gather the list of “must-have” and “nice to have” features so you can be well informed as you shop for a service. Be sure to gather information from customers as well to get a sense for where this channel would fit into your customer experience.
2. Set a couple meetings to talk through hopes and dreams together
After gathering survey data, have managers of each team meet together to swap results. Give time to talk through what each team ideally wants from the text messaging service. Be sure to share hopes and dreams and address potential pain points the new tech could solve or bring about. Spend time envisioning the future use of the service as a company to know you’re all on the same page about how it will fit within your customer experience and your larger company goals.
3. Map out training needs
Let me tell ya — adding new software can be a nightmare if you don’t have the right help along the way. A new text messaging service for business may cause some upheaval to your internal processes. And, it will definitely require a re-education for existing and new employees. It’s not always comfy to be taught new things.
Before you commit to a technology, get information on whether the company you’re buying from will provide training and help tools for your employees…or if you’re left on your own. How much will the company be involved during implementation? Are they flexible if you need to make changes and tweaks along the way? Will you get personalized training for your employees? Or will they just send you training material and videos to teach your team yourselves?
Get all the facts about the process of implementation and training. Then, map out with your management team to establish how training will work for sales, marketing, customer service, etc.
Step 2: Get the right features
Once you have everyone’s wish list items, now you need to wade through the massive lists of features to figure out which features are essential to have. Well, let me help you out on the technical side of things to prioritize some essential features. Look for:
- Opt-in/opt-out management — so you can stay compliant and organized.
- Conversational texting — to allow for inbound and outbound SMS and MMS messaging between your employees and your customers.
- Contact management — so your customer history and contact information is easily populated when agents are interacting with a customer.
- 1:1 and 1:many texting — so your sales, marketing, and customer service teams can chat with just one customer at a time, or send out blasts to all of them!
- Detailed reporting with historical data and analytics, preferably integrated into your native CCaaS platform — so your management team can track customer satisfaction and metrics across all of your channels.
- Automations like bots, keywords, autoresponders and even things like triggered sends and templated responses could fall in this category — so your team can simplify processes and reach more customers efficiently.
- APIs for customization and integration to use with your existing systems — so you’re not forced to change *everything* with the implementation of texting.
Step 3: Make sure it’s easy to use
It’s essential to test out multiple services to find the software that will fit your company best. More than anything, make sure the text messaging service is easy to use for your business and your customers. Texting is supposed to be efficient, and effective.
As of now, 77% of consumers have a positive perception of businesses who use text messaging services. And ideally, 64% of consumers prefer texting instead of a voice call for customer service needs and another 81% are frustrated being tied to a phone or computer in order to reach a company. The reason customers prefer texting is because it’s fast. As seen in the graphic below — it takes mere seconds for someone to respond to a text, while email takes much longer.
What’s the point of adding texting to your business if it’s going to be clunky and slow to use. The goal should be to find a system that is easy to use and well designed. Test out different services before implementation to make sure that it’s easy to use for your team and for your customers to make for the smoothest transition and best customer experience.