With more and more people staying home, the use of robocalls is at an all-time high. Yet, less people have reported answering their phones when they see an unidentifiable number. Because of this, we are seeing more and more clients adapting to the times by shifting their messages from voice to written formats such as email and text. As experts in this field, we want to share these simple guidelines to get the most out of your text messaging campaigns.
Avoid confidential information over text
Any confidential information should be shared in person or over the phone with the customer and its approved recipients. Texts can never truly be 100% HIPPA Compliant so it is best to inform the customer to call the office for certain details that are considered sensitive. Alternately, with Inphonite Secure we can help identify that the person is truly who they say they are with some security questions, while some consider annoying, it is the only way to know your message is being received by the intended party.
Make sure that somewhere in your text you are saying the name of your business so that your text is recognized as being from a legitimate source. I have actually gotten a text reminding me of an appointment, but it didn’t say whom it was from and did not allow replies, so I had absolutely no idea who was reaching out. That brings me to the next one.
Just as I mentioned above, allowing replies or giving a way to contact you is key. I now text my dentist’s office and optometrist to confirm appointments, or new details regarding waiting in the car, rescheduling, and updates on prescriptions. It’s far easier to shoot off a text in a thread that is always there, rather than try to remember what I was told, or have to look up the number, call somewhere, and be put on hold.
Write clear call to action items
Each text you send out should have a clear reason for the text followed by an action item that the customer can easily understand and follow. For example, if you would like the customer to confirm their appointment tell them to reply in a certain way. If you are texting about outstanding bills, provide a link, or direct them to the most efficient outlet for payment.
Keep is short and simple
There is nothing worse than receiving a long text, especially if it is sent in segments that are out of order. Keeping your messages short and concise appears professional and keeps the customer engaged. 140 characters are considered the industry standard when it comes to text length. We recommend staying at or below the standard, but if your business needs a longer message we offer single texts up to 420 characters or TextCards for messages up to 1,000 characters for your needs.
Get permission from customer (Opt-ins / Opt-outs)
Before sending any message to your customer it is important to get consent. Alternatively, with every message you need to offer an opt out option. Make sure to remain respectful of the person’s wishes just like you would do with an email or voice call and reach out to them in the manner they prefer.
Respond to every message, quickly if possible
Above all, don’t leave them hanging! Most people open and read a text within moments of receiving it. So, if they are reaching out to you, respond back and try not to make them wait. Sending an automated “Thank you” or answering their questions quickly is courteous and appreciated. Fortunately, Art of Chat notifies you when there is an incoming message making it convenient for your staff to respond in a timely manner.
Every business is different and may require some additional guidelines when it comes to texting their customers. Regardless of the industry, texting will help you form better relationships with your customers, and we are here to help!