Seven years ago, I was tired of waiting in long lines at my favorite local coffee shop for my “single shot, soy mocha, two pumps, no whip” and thought there had to be a better way. I launched a start-up based on this very principle in 2009, a pioneer in the business messaging space. Fast forward to 2016, and here’s where we are at today.
All things being equal, a millennial would sooner ask for customer service online or via text than make a phone call, according to Frost & Sullivan. The onus is on business owners is to use this insight to serve up customer service experience their way. We are now in an instant gratification market where businesses can’t ignore that yes, there is a better way, and you’re better served discovering it before your competition does.
Is Business Texting For You?
While my team at Zingle lives by the adage “everybody texts, so should you,” there are a few industries that are natural standouts. These include hospitality, parking, and the food and beverage industries. That said, those in professional services, home services, real estate, and many other spaces have a lot to gain from utilizing business texting. The possibilities are too numerous to list here.
How are all of these verticals applying business texting software? The Grand Hyatt New York has used business texting to increase their customer service rating to 70%. (Do you know what’s better than a warm cookie at check-in? It’s being able to text the front desk for towels by the pool!)
Meanwhile, the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina has used business messaging software to slash valet wait times, once a huge operational pain point because of their high volume. Hundreds of Subways all over the U.S. are using business texting to offer delivery service and increase customer frequency. Not only do select Subway customers get to eat fresh, they don’t even have to wait in line and converse with a sandwich artist to complete their order.
Getting Started in Business SMS
The first step in trying out business texting software is to reach out to a provider and let them know your challenges and where you see their services fitting in. Typically a demo will follow. How do you know if it’s working? Despite observable changes like happy customers and enhanced operations, you should have access to an analytics dashboard to help you determine a concrete ROI on your efforts. How much will all this cost you? Companies like Zingle use a subscription model, ranging from $39 to $349+ monthly depending on factors like number of messages, customization needs, user accounts, and more.
Never has the expression “somebody’s out there waiting to eat your lunch” resonated so deeply when it comes to best reaching millennials with technology. (And in this case, the lunch is being ordered up via text.)
How do you see business texting improving your bottom line?
Author: Ford Blakely is CEO and founder of Zingle, a business texting service headquartered in Carlsbad, California.