More people are using their personal phones to interact with business. Is your business one of them?
(Photo: "Texting Pallett" by Matt Tillet in Creative Commons)
When I call my hair salon to make an appointment I usually get a voice mail. It goes something like this:
“Thank you for calling. We are busy helping clients look great. If you’d like to make an appointment, please text us the time, and day you’d like to be seen. We’ll get right back to you.”
They do get right back to me. I have learned that I actually get a quicker response if I simply text my appointment requests. Not only that, but I can easily link their appointment confirmation to my calendar with one click.
Hair salons are not the only companies inviting people to interact with their business via text. Travel, hospitality and restaurants use SMS to message their customers for reservations, flight info and other time-sensitive information.
If you own a restaurant or hospitality business you should seriously consider text as part of our customer service and marketing strategy.
Here Are 3 Reasons You Should Be Texting Customers:
1. Customers like receiving text messages from business
Assuming they are not being spammed or exploited, people want to interact via text with companies they do business with. Loyal customers want to be friends. Texting feels more intimate, personal and yet somehow less intrusive than a phone call.
According to The Harris Poll:
- 77% of consumers with texting capabilities aged 18-34 are likely to have a positive perception of a company that offers text capability.
- 64% of all consumers are likely to have a positive perception of a company that offers texting as a service channel
- The activities people with text capabilities would most prefer to do via text are: check order status (38%) schedule or change appointments (32%) and make or confirm reservations (31%).
2. SMS has 98% read rates
- According to Mobile Marketing Watch, text messages have a 98% open rate, while email has only a 20% open rate. And if the message is time-sensitive, consider this: 90% of text messages are read within 3 seconds!
- Americans exchange more texts than they do phone calls. If you’re texting a customer from a restaurant waitlist app, chances are they’re probably already looking at their phone.
3. SMS Integrates easily with other platforms
Texting your customers is direct, fast and effective but it can also be easier for your business. SMS marketing and customer service offers app integration with other platforms, such as:
- Social media
Run contests and sweepstakes that are promoted by both social media and SMS. For example, invite people to enter text-to-win contests by texting a short code.
- Games, Reservations and More
Texting is a powerful way to invite guests to download your app with one click, play games, check out restaurant specials or be notified when their table is ready.
- Waitlist Management Apps
Texting integrates seamlessly with waitlist apps like SmartCall™ Messenger. You can track arrivals, wait times and send personalized updates to keep your guest posted on their reservation or appointment.