The Definitive Guide to Business Texting
Texting has Become Big Business, and Business is Booming
In today’s era of ultra-fast communication, texting continues to be people’s favorite way to talk with each other. Sending personal text messages is fast, easy, and convenient—so it makes sense that professionals are embracing business texting for all those same reasons.
Most importantly, data shows that customers are almost-universally onboard with businesses texting them rather than calling or sending emails.
How much do we consider “almost-universally onboard”?
89% of people surveyed worldwide said they would like to use text messaging to communicate with businesses.
Business Texting Statistics and Trends
At first, we thought that seemed a little strange.
Emails are still the king of professional conversation.
Phone calls are how deals get done.
Meanwhile, texting is usually considered informal and personal. It’s the way we make plans with our friends and apologize to our mothers for not calling them enough. Nothing about texting screams, “Big Business!”
And that’s exactly why customers ♥ it.
Most companies may be surprised to hear this, but people like to be treated like people. Not consumers, or clients, or patients—but actual human beings.
Text messaging is an opportunity for your business to engage your customers in a personalized conversation or share valuable information in a way that’s easy to digest.
Where your company newsletter is a double cheeseburger of knowledge that customers can sit down and savor, text messages are a tray of mini sliders they can enjoy in one bite. Both are packed with flavor. Both are great options. But if you’re only providing double cheeseburgers, you’re missing out on all the customers who are in the mood for a quick slider.
Did anyone else’s stomach just start growling with the thought of sending text messages?
Good, because we’ve got a whole lot of text messaging stats for you to chew on.
Why Text Messaging is a Perfect Fit for Your Business
Give the People What They Want
Right off the bat, it’s important to note that texting in general is the most visible communication channel that we as a species have ever developed. Studies show that 98% of text messages are opened, and about 95% of responses are given within 3 minutes. Obviously, none of the traditional, “more professional” channels even come close to those numbers.
Only 7% of people say they generally answer phone calls from unknown numbers. Email open rates languish right around 20%. Meanwhile, 85% of people say they actively prefer to receive text messages over a phone call or email.
You could argue those jaw dropping metrics are inflated by personal texting, but even professional-only use cases show it’s the way customers want to interact with your business.
say they would like the option to troubleshoot issues over text
would like the option to text companies about billing questions or concerns
would prefer to change or update a purchase over text
also said they think companies who provide texting options value their time, are progressive and would recommend them to others.
So, if people love business texting so much, why isn’t every gosh darn mom and pop shop on the block doing it? Like most things that are cool and (relatively) new, the issue is with supply rather than demand.
Most Businesses Aren’t Equipped to Give the People What They Want
Due to all of the reasons we’ve discussed so far, only 67% of professionals report that they’ve ever even tried using text messages to communicate for work-related reasons. Most of that communication is being done on their personal phones, from their personal numbers, because… well, because they don’t have any other options.
62% want to separate business texting from personal texting, but their company hasn’t provided them with the communications tools necessary to text from their business numbers.
In fact, this is the primary reason that only 14% are currently using text messaging as part of their communication strategy to talk with their customers.
Often, the issue is that a company’s phone system simply doesn’t provide access to text messaging. So if you’re using an older hardline-based phone or even a hosted PBX system, chances are you don’t have the technology in place to start texting.
If that’s the case, step one of your business texting journey is upgrading your phone system to a unified communications solution. That way, you can manage your phone calls, text messages, video conferencing, and much more from a single platform.
Sure, you could also just add a dedicated business text messaging service to your existing phone system. But that’s like putting a band-aid on a broken leg. No matter how many you add, all you’re doing is covering up the limitations of your outdated technology without actually fixing them .
For more help deciding if unified communications are right for your business, read our deep dive.
We’ve talked a lot about the seemingly-endless potential of business texting, so now let’s really dig into some of the ways text messaging can help increase your customer engagement and provide worthwhile benefits.
Tips You Could Put into Practice Today
86% of small business owners who actually use text messages to communicate with customers say it leads to higher levels of engagement, but it seems like most businesses still aren’t sure how to add text messaging to their communications strategy.
We put together a list of easy tips to help you do just that.
FluentStream Makes Business Texting Easy Enough for Everyone
Managing text messages in addition to the rest of your business communication tools can seem daunting. That’s why we made things easy and integrated text messaging into the natural flow of our system.
FluentStream has text messaging capabilities seamlessly integrated into everything so you can text your customers from anywhere on any device.
Learn how to manage text messaging from any of the FluentStream interfaces:
√ My FluentCloud Web Portal
√ Mobile App
Built for More than Just the 💩Posts
In addition to the basic send and receive functionality you expect from a text message service, we’ve built custom functionality into our platform that are designed specifically to help businesses manage their text message program.
A prime example is our Automatic Text Reply feature.
For all the details on how to set up and use Automatic Text Reply with your auto-attendants, check out the full blog.
Reserve Your Place in the Customer Engagement Revolution
3.5 billion people around the world own a smartphone.
70% of smartphone owners say texting is their #1 most-used feature.
The number of texts sent each day in America has grown 216% since 2010 and an eye-popping 10,772% since 2005.
Clearly, texting is more important to our customers than ever before.
When you add business texting to your suite of customer engagement channels, you let your customers know that you care about their time and preferences. You’re willing to make things as easy as possible for them.
More than that, you’re willing to engage in 2-way conversations where they have just as much of a voice as your entire company.