When it comes to impressing customers, good communication holds a place at the top of the list. After all, responding quickly to customer inquiries or orders lets customers know you value them and appreciate their business. If you miss their calls or misplace their messages, they will take their business elsewhere – regardless of how wonderful your product or service might be.
Small businesses have unique challenges with maintaining good communications. With a limited number of staff, and with everyone typically wearing multiple hats, things sometimes get lost in the shuffle. However, new app-based services can help you communicate faster, better and smarter. Here are three ways to use those capabilities to more effectively communicate with customers this year:
1. Text With Customers Right From Your Business Number
Your business voice line is by no means obsolete, but more than ever, customers want the option to text with businesses to get estimates, order products or ask questions. In a survey of 1,000 consumers conducted by Cloudli, more than 80% said they want to be able to text their favorite businesses, and 76% said they’d be more likely to frequent businesses that offer a texting option.
If you want to stand apart from your competitors and offer service that attracts and retains customers, adding texting to your phone line is a must. Cloudli TalkNText can be layered on any landline to instantly enable it with texting capabilities. Or, you can cancel your other phone service – which might be costing you around $30 and $50 per line – and take advantage of TalkNText’s dual voice and texting services.
2. Use Text Auto-Replies to Keep Customers in the Loop
Small business owners keep a lot of balls in the air. At any given time, you might be receiving a shipment, checking stock, running to the bank or helping a customer. In other words, you can’t be by the phone at all times to answer customer calls.
For times when you can’t get to the phone, text auto-replies can let customers know you received their message and will return their call or message at a designated time.
With Cloudli TalkNText auto-replies, it only takes a minute to create a customized text reply, or a standard one you use anytime you’re unavailable. You can schedule certain messages to send after business hours, letting customers know specifics like, “You’ve reached us outside of business hours. We’re open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feel free to visit our website at <<web address>> for information, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I’m back in the shop.”
You can even trigger text auto-replies based on keywords. For example, an automated text could include “Text QUOTE to get pricing information.” When the user sends a message with QUOTE, an automated text reply is then sent with pricing details or a link leading to your website’s pricing page.
3. Share Numbers to Broaden Customer Support
A Business Texting plan that lets you share a number with one or more of your employees expands your ability to support customers at their moment of need. With Cloudli TalkNText, you simply follow instructions to “Invite Your Team,” and indicate which phone number(s) you want to share with which team members. They will receive an email allowing them to connect. After that, whenever a customer calls or texts the business, any one of those employees can answer or respond.
With shared numbers, customers get to talk to someone in your business more quickly and reliably. All messages exchanged between your employee and a customer can be stored in the TalkNText app, so you can review them later and stay in the loop.
Don’t Keep Customers Waiting
App-based services like TalkNText make customer communications smoother for everyone. Customers don’t leave a voicemail and wonder if it was received, or call multiple times without reaching a live person. SMB owners, meanwhile, can more easily communicate by text, send a text auto-reply or have teammates pick up calls and text in their stead.
The best thing of all: these services and more come in one subscription package costing as little as $15 per month per user – several times cheaper than piecemeal services you can get from your regular service provider.