There was a time when company communication was restricted to the old-fashioned US Postal Service. Then, came email marketing software. Later, companies started to leverage the power of mass texting for business communications. Now, text messages from businesses are just as common as receiving a flier in the mailbox. And for an industry like home improvement, text message is critical to closing the deal.
Why? Now, everyone has a cell phone in their purse or pocket. Everyone is familiar with text messaging. If you aren’t using text messages for business, then you are really missing out on great automation tools that can boost the customer experience, and make your communications more streamlined and efficient.
What are some of the fantastic benefits of using business texting services today? How can you best utilize the freedom and flexibility of the key features that SMS campaigns provide? In this article, we’ll look at just some of the ways that marketing messages through an SMS app can push home improvement businesses to the next level.
#1: Positive Customer Interaction Anytime From Anywhere
Business hours shouldn’t limit your close interaction with customers. Text messaging services allow your customers to reach and interact with your business in just a few clicks at any time, all over the world. In fact, 90% of consumers say they prefer to communicate with businesses via text messages over any other method.
SMS messaging puts you in control, and makes sure that your customers receive a response in seconds, no matter what time of day it is.
#2: Appointment Reminders
No one likes showing up at a house for a quote or other appointment only to find no one home. Using a text messaging service to send scheduling information is an enormous benefit to both businesses and clients. Recently, this has recently become one of the most commonly used features of using a messaging service for business.
It’s not just about the customer experience, either. Missed appointments have a very real cost to any business or professional services company.
One of the easiest ways to do this is through automated reminders that give them details on exactly where and when their appointment is scheduled.
#3: Boost Your Appointment Set Rate
Today’s customers live in the now. When a home improvement project is top-of-mind for them, it's critical that you act QUICKLY. Text message can help you do just that. If they're looking for information or a quote, it's critical that you respond by text message whenever possible. Why? Well, 97% of consumers ignore calls from unknown numbers but 95% of text messages are read within three minutes.
Using text message to improve the speed to which you respond to leads will dramatically increase your appointment set and close rates.
#4: Flash Sales
Sending a text message is a great way to build excitement by announcing flash sales and promotions. When past customers or new prospects receive these text messages, it builds a sense of urgency that they love to be a part of.
There’s a reason why “pop-up” restaurants and shops are all the rage these days.
From the customer's standpoint, it may seem like deals happen at random times. From your standpoint, these text messages need to be part of a carefully crafted marketing strategy.
When the time is right, you can send out push notifications of deals that are too good to miss. More customers than ever before are responding favorably to this type of text marketing.
#5: Customer Support
Many small businesses, including those in the home improvement industry, have discovered that if they text one-on-one with customers using an SMS app, there’s a great benefit to both parties. From the customer's standpoint, nothing could be more convenient than being able to receive messages instead of sitting on hold.
Sending text messages can be done at a time that’s right for both the customer and support personnel.
It’s also easy for customers to send a picture with a text message so your team can better diagnose the problem. In turn, you can reply with text messaging that includes PDF files, other images, and even videos that help solve the problem quickly.
#6: Internal Communications
Text messages aren’t just for reaching customers. Texting services can be used for communications between multiple team members as well. This helps both when you're in the office and out in the field. There’s another benefit. When people send messages, it creates a communication chain that can be used in the future to follow up.
A text often indicates that a matter is more urgent, so it needs more prompt attention. It can also be used for more simple matters that don’t require a lengthy email to explain.
#7: Mass Messaging: Choosing the Right Strategy
It’s really important to recognize that when you send automated mass messages, you need to do so effectively and responsibly. Setting up automated campaigns to reach out to different segments of your list can be a powerful tool.
First off, immediacy is key. Make sure to respond to requests or questions as quickly as possible. Using SMS marketing tools is great, but only if you can follow through with speed. Automated messaging can make this possible with tools like Hatch's Speed-To-Lead messaging.
Second, be sure to comply with all laws, regulations, and ethical practices regarding the sending of bulk messages. Provide an easy and quick way for customers to opt-out by simply replying to text messages with “stop.”
#8: Don’t Fly It Alone
There are dozens of business text messaging services that would love to work with you. Sit down with a few and see which would work best in your specific use case.
Also, a good SMS marketing service can help you craft promotion strategies that drive new sales. So, take a look at previous campaigns they’ve done for others.
While none of these services will be free, the investment is worth it. SMS services take a good deal of know-how to utilize properly.
A good messaging service for business will help you identify the right SMS marketing platforms, and create dynamite marketing campaigns. They’ll help you create templates that can be deployed quickly as your inventory conditions change.
#9 Finding the Best Text Messaging Service
There’s a lot to consider when trying to find the best business texting app. Some work with the native mobile messaging service on mobile device. Others are available as iOS and Android apps.
When someone uses iOS or Android apps, they are able to have a more streamlined experience. It also keeps them within your business universe, building a sense of loyalty.
On the downside, this requires them to download an app. Sending and receiving SMS or MMS messages can be done with no downloads.
Consider your target demographic. If your customer base skews older and less tech-savvy, you may want to stick with a pure bulk SMS service. If you’d like to take advantage of more advanced features, a business text messaging app might be the way to go.
Make sure that any business text messaging service you use has an intuitive interface that’s easy for all your team members to fully utilize.
Ultimately the best text messaging service is the one that suits your needs and drives greater profits. So, take some time and consider your customer base and sales goals before you make a firm decision.
Want ideas and templates for automated text messages? Download our Conversation Optimization Playbook today.