81% of Americans utilize SMS, or some other form of instant messaging, everyday. It’s no surprise that people like the convenience of receiving answers instantly, without having to wait for a response. Messaging through texts, website chats and social messaging apps has quickly become the preferred method of communication for consumers, and businesses need to keep up. When given the option, most people opt to send instant messages rather than to call a business.
Usually text messages are read within 5 seconds of being received, and people have adapted to that method of communication. Why?
It’s Quick and Convenient
Often times people don’t have time in their day to call and set up appointments or ask service-related questions, and the truth is, business owners don’t always have time either. Messaging is a quick and convenient way to get in touch with your consumers, and for them to get in touch with you, without having to pick up the phone or find time to get on a call. If you’re already on a service call, it makes your life much easier to be able to message a customer back instead of having to go outside to answer a call. People love convenience and they love immediate responses, so messaging is a must.
It’s Easy to Track
Can’t remember a customer’s name or what time they asked you to come over? One of the best things about messaging is having all that information easily accessible right at your fingertips. When someone calls and you’re really busy, you might forget to write down their name or input the service information. When this is communicated through messaging, it’s easier to track and refer back to. Customers love it too, because they can easily look back and read what time you’re coming over, what they were quoted, or anything else you discussed.
It’s Less “Scary”
With the technology people have at their fingertips today, the ease of instant messaging has become expected. With that, so has the stress-free communication that comes with speaking to someone via messaging rather than over the phone. This doesn’t mean you should shut off your phone line and only message your customers, but instead, allow those customers who would rather message you to have that option. When someone has a question after hours, it’s nice to have the option to send a message via your website or social media messaging app.
My doctor’s office has a live chat messaging app on their website for patients to utilize. They suggest that we go through this messaging service with quick questions for the nurses or medical assistants. Not only is this easier for the nurses and MA’s who no longer have to sift through the messages and call patients back, only to receive an answering machine more often than not, but it’s much easier for the patient. Instead of waiting all day to receive a call back, or even waiting until the next day to hear back, I quickly type in my question and get a response hassle-free and right away.
Convenience is a part of customer service, and this brings people back.
For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. If any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add, please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!