When faced with the choice between checking your emails or your text messages, which do you typically prioritize?
If you’re like the majority, you’re more likely to quickly read a text message that pops up on your phone over opening your emails. Text messages are concise, quick to read, and often require only seconds to respond. What’s more, you can even read SMS messages directly from your phone’s lock screen, making them almost impossible to ignore.
When it comes to interacting with customers and colleagues, more and more businesses are ditching the traditional lengthy email correspondence, and instead using messaging solutions to quickly and efficiently stay in contact and convey information.
Historically, SMS was limited to personal communication between individuals. It may even have been seen to be unprofessional to contact a client via text. However, these days smartphones have become an integral business tool for many people, and the boundaries between text messaging and formal communication are more blurred.
While text messaging offers convenience and creativity, they also come with their own set of etiquettes and potential pitfalls, and you’ll want to ensure you maintain text message compliance in your communications. So, how do you use texting correctly in a professional environment?
We’ll delve into how texting can enhance your communication efficiency, help in relationship building, and highlight some common faux pas to be mindful of.
Why Use Business Texting
Text messaging is quick, efficient, and has high open rates. Most people these days have their mobile phone to hand almost 24/7, making text one of the most direct ways to reach them wherever they are.
Whether you’re looking to speed up internal communication amongst colleagues, deliver marketing messages directly to your target audience, or offer a more convenient customer support function, incorporating text-based communication can boast a range of benefits.
Business texting offers real-time communication that enables swift exchanges of information. Whether you’re coordinating with colleagues, providing updates to clients, or addressing customer inquiries, text messages can expedite the flow of information.
For instance, imagine you’re a project manager working on a tight deadline. Instead of waiting for an email response, you can send a quick text to your team members through the Vonage cloud telephone system, providing them with important updates and clarifications.
High Open Rates
Text messages boast impressively high open rates, making them an effective means of conveying critical information. Whether you’re sending appointment reminders, order confirmations, or promotional offers, you can be confident that your message will be seen promptly.
Efficient Appointment Handling
Texting proves invaluable for effective appointment management. Whether you’re sending reminders, confirming attendance, or making scheduling changes, text messages significantly minimize the chances of missed appointments and streamline scheduling processes.
In cases where text-based appointment scheduling is employed, consider additional security measures like a secure instant messaging platform to safeguard your end-users privacy and maintain confidentiality.
Furthermore, for those seeking enhanced security in their digital communications, using a VPN can be a valuable addition to your toolkit. VPNs encrypt your internet connection, making it more difficult for anyone to intercept your messages or track your online activity. This added layer of security ensures that your scheduled messages, personal information, and sensitive data remain confidential.
However, it’s crucial to choose the right VPN for your specific needs. If you’re a gamer looking to maintain privacy and security choosing a VPN for War Zone can be especially beneficial. It not only protects your in-game identity but also shields your communication channels from potential threats. On the other hand, if you run an ecommerce business, this won’t be the VPN for you. You’ll need to look for one that is better suited to your needs.
Convenience for Customers
With business texting, your customers don’t need to think about checking their email or take time out to answer a phone call. Instead, they can receive important updates and information from you in seconds, straight to their phone.
Enhanced Customer Support
Texting offers a fast and user-friendly avenue for customer support. Imagine a situation where a customer encounters difficulties with a remote desktop connection.
Instead of grappling with a complicated phone menu or awaiting an email reply, the customer can easily send a text detailing their problem. A customer support agent can swiftly respond, offering step-by-step guidance to address the issue.
When to Use Mobile Texting
While there are plenty of benefits to business texting, it might not always be appropriate, and maintaining professionalism through texting can require a level of finesse.
Let’s take a look at some scenarios where business texting could be useful, and how to use it to your advantage without compromising on standards of professionalism.
At the beginning of the client intake process, you can use text messages to reach out to potential clients and initiate contact. Texting offers a quick and non-intrusive way to initiate communication.
Potential clients can express interest and enquire further about your products or services, without taking up their valuable time with phone calls or your message getting lost in their busy email inbox.
Appointment Reminders and Confirmation
Use texting to remind clients or colleagues of upcoming appointments or meetings. For example, let’s consider a law firm that has incorporated family lawyer software into its processes.
Their client has an upcoming virtual consultation regarding their case progress, so they send a convenient business text reminder two days prior: “Hello [Client’s Name], just a quick reminder about our virtual consultation scheduled for [Date] at [Time]. Looking forward to our discussion.”
This integration of tools ensures clear communication, timely reminders, and a personal touch, aiming to provide a seamless experience.
Order Updates and Confirmations
Keep customers informed about the status of their orders through text messages. You can pop them a text to let them know when their order is shipped, out for delivery, or successfully completed, saving them the hassle of tracking the package or contacting you for updates.
Order Issues and Inquiries
Use texting to address customer concerns or inquiries about their orders. Quick responses can enhance customer satisfaction and prevent potential escalations. You can even record text messages to enable you to keep track of customer interactions, inquiries, and requests.
While recording text messages can be useful for compliance and accountability, it’s essential to balance this with respecting privacy.
Customer Surveys and Feedback
Customer feedback can be invaluable, but convincing people to spend time filling out online surveys or participating in feedback groups can be a challenge. Instead, you can send text-based surveys to gather insights from clients.
Texting allows for quick responses, making it a convenient method for collecting feedback.
Promotions and Special Offers
You can utilize texting within your marketing plans by sending exclusive promotions, discounts, and special offers directly to customers’ phones.
When using text messaging within your marketing strategy, ensure compliance by establishing clear communication guidelines, making sure you have proper consent, offering opt-out options, and utilizing text message archive practices for mandated periods.
Using Emojis in Business Texting
It’s likely you frequently use emojis in your personal communications. They can serve as convenient substitutes for words and add emotion to messages. For example, a thumbs up in agreement, or a smiley face can lighten a more serious topic.
But are they appropriate for mobile texting in business? The answer is yes, given the right approach. Emojis can indeed enhance business messages and help to build client relationships by adding a personal touch..
The Do’s: Using Mobile Texting and Emojis correctly
Be Attentive to Tone
Texting is quick and efficient but it does lack the subtleties of in-person conversations, often leading to misunderstandings. Emojis can help with this by adding emotion to your messages and clarifying your tone.
For instance, a smiling face emoji can add warmth to a serious message, while an eye-roll emoji can clarify light-hearted banter. Nonetheless, exercise caution in emoji usage to ensure they don’t unintentionally render your messages as too casual or insincere.
In settings, such as client interactions or formal business communications, it’s important to send a professional text message when communicating via SMS, even when using emojis. Striking the right balance between friendliness and formality can make a significant difference in how your messages are perceived.
Choose Appropriate Emojis
Emojis can add depth and emotion to your messages, but ensure they are contextually relevant. Select emojis that enhance your message rather than confuse or misrepresent your intentions.
Proofread Before Sending
Typos and autocorrect mishaps can lead to confusion or unintended meanings. While we often send texts quickly on the go, you should still treat them like any other business communication and take a moment to proofread your messages to ensure they are clear and accurate.
Consider Cross-Cultural Sensitivity
Emojis can have different cultural connotations. Research the meanings associated with emojis in the recipient’s culture, especially if you’re communicating with someone from a different background, such as someone in the UAE with a .ae domain.
Writing tips to boost productivity
In addition to emoji usage, it’s worth noting that efficient writing practices, such as these writing tips to boost productivity, can significantly enhance your mobile texting effectiveness. Consider adopting writing techniques like concise messaging, clear subject lines, and using templates for common messages to streamline your communication and save time.
The Don’ts: Pitfalls to Avoid
Overuse of Emojis
While emojis can enhance messages, using them excessively can make your texts appear unprofessional or juvenile. Strike a balance between textual content and emojis.
Emojis may not always be universally understood, and their meanings can evolve over time. Avoid using obscure or potentially ambiguous emojis that might lead to misunderstandings.
Emojis in Formal Settings
In professional or formal communication, improper usage of emojis can lead to a lack of professionalism and misinterpretation.
Consider a scenario where a legal tech conference is underway, and participants are engaging in a virtual panel discussion about the latest legal tech trends in the industry, specifically the adoption of AI-powered contract review software.
If, during the panel, a participant responds to a colleague’s comment on the growing role of AI in contract analysis with a thumbs-up emoji and a winking face emoji in the chat, it may convey agreement but also a sense of dismissiveness or sarcasm.
To maintain the seriousness of this sort of discussion, it would be advisable to opt for emoji-free, well-crafted responses that contribute meaningfully to the topic being addressed.
Emojis to Replace Words
Emojis should complement your text, not replace it entirely. Relying solely on emojis can lead to confusion and hinder effective communication.
Using Emojis in Disagreements
Emojis might trivialize serious discussions or disagreements. Avoid using emojis that could be perceived as dismissive or sarcastic during such conversations.
Using Mobile Texting and Emojis Effectively
Mobile texting and emojis can add depth and emotion to your messages, bridging the gap left by the absence of nonverbal cues in text-based communication.
By adhering to the do’s and avoiding the don’ts outlined in this framework, you can use mobile texting confidently in your communications.