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Five Smart Uses of SMS for Small Businesses

Posted by Natasha Grach

May 10, 2018 10:44:53 AM

It's often a bit awkward having to give out your personal cell phone number so that clients can send you text messages about business matters. Luckily with technologies like virtual PBX services, you can give out a "http://info.cloudphone.com/blog/5-clever-ways-to-use-phone-numbers-to-grow-your-business" target="_blank">business phone number and have both your business calls and texts instantly routed to your existing cell phone. You maintain a professional image and separate work/life identities via your dedicated business line, while also evading the extra cost and hassle of having to manage two devices. How often do business owners find themselves texting back and forth with their clients and employees?  It's so informal, right?  With 90 percent of people reading a text message within the first 3 minutes, according to MobileSQUARED, it's the fastest and most effective way to get in touch! 

Here are some uses of two-way business texting that can be highly impactful, while also not encroaching as much on your work life balance as handing out your personal cell number might.

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1. VIP Customer Support

Providing great customer service is essential for keeping clients happy, but sometimes phone and email communications just won't cut it. That's where text messaging comes in. Giving your VIP client contacts -- the ones with the killer accounts -- access to text support through your business phone number (aka ability to reach you anywhere at anytime) is a sure way to keep them happy and coming back for your products or services.

2. Escalation

Texting with clients and colleagues is a fast and efficient way to escalate an urgent matter. Sometimes you have to explain a situation in depth, whether it's an email or a voicemail, but the person you're trying to reach is not in front of a computer or can't pick up the phone and listen to a message (in a meeting, perhaps). A text can be incredibly useful to notify someone about an urgent communication that you've sent them -- and also a quick way to receive a response. 

3. Company Announcements

With hundreds of emails coming in each day, it's inevitable we will overlook one here and there -- even if it's internal, and from the boss. Plus, with teams working remotely and with little time to spare for distracting and long group meetings, text announcements just make sense. So, next time you have a company announcement like a new initiative, sales incentive or social event, try SMS. You'll be able to communicate the details effectively without upsetting workflow. 

4. Subscribing to a Work-Specific SMS Marketing List

There are times when you need to subscribe to a work-related marketing list. But there's that fear of using your own personal cell phone number, in case you start getting unwanted communications, reminders, marketing offers, etc. If you have a virtual PBX service providing your SMS-enabled business phone number for your company, you can always add a temporary virtual number to your account for things like this. The cost is low and this additional virtual line can be canceled fast.

5. Take Orders

If you're buying something for business purposes, you might want your business-related texts to be captured separately from your personal texts -- another handy use of a virtual PBX service. Say you're ordering supplies, or even pizza for an office party...always good to have a separate record of your business expense-related communications.

SMS is an essential part of our everyday lives -- it's how many people connect these days and it's accessible to nearly everyone. SMS can be a very useful tool to keep in touch with clients and colleagues when phone and email just won't do -- but keeping your business identity separate from your personal identity is typically a good idea.

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Topics: Cloud Phone, iPhone, Mobile Productivity, Cloud Phone Mobile App, Texting, Business SMS, Android

Voxox Cloud Phone Now Supports Two-Way SMS for Toll-Free Numbers (and Gives Business SMS Away for Free!)

Posted by Natasha Grach

May 10, 2018 10:28:20 AM

 

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We are excited to share that our Cloud Phone service is now supporting two-way SMS for toll free numbers!  Not only that, but Cloud Phone customers will also get complimentary SMS that they can use with their toll free numbers. It's an awesome deal - check out our announcement here.

Topics: Toll Free Number, Business SMS, Texting

How to Improve Your Customer Service with SMS

Posted by Erica Berry

May 10, 2018 10:23:31 AM

As a small business owner you know great customer service is very important for not only keeping your current clients happy, but also for attracting new business by way of referrals. You also know that providing top notch customer service isn’t always possible when you’re on the go or when you’re out working to build your business. So, how can you do both? With SMS.

SMS isn’t just for big corporations with mega marketing budgets. It’s actually a practical solution for small businesses looking to provide stellar customer service. SMS is an affordable and simple way to reach and be reached by clients. When your business phone number is connected to your smart phone, you’ll always be able to help.

Here are a few ways you can use SMS to improve your customer service.

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Provide Speedy Service

Texting is a quick and convenient way for clients to communicate a problem or ask a question. Likewise, it’s often quicker and more convenient for you or your team members to respond to a text than answer a call.

Here’s a scenario:

Say you own a two person car repair shop. You have a client at the front desk paying for a repair and your mechanic is out in the garage working on a car. At this same time you receive a text and a phone call – which one are you more likely to respond to in the moment? Our bet is on the text.

Rather than listening to a voicemail, calling back and playing phone tag, the text allows you to read the question or comment and reply immediately – you could even include a photo (ie: a snapshot of your mechanic working on the client’s car). Prompt responses make customers happy. Phone tag does not.

Record Keeping

Texting gives both you and the customer a record of the conversation, conveniently storing important information right on your phone. Have you ever been in a situation with a client where referencing a text saved you face or helped you provide better customer service? So have we. Not only is it handy to know what you and a client have discussed but having the ability to easily pull up important information like an order number or an address straight from a text makes staying on top of customer care easy.

Here’s a scenario:

You own a small screen-printing shop and do work for all your local schools. Baseball season is right around the corner and the team has ordered new jerseys. A pre-season game was added to the roster last minute and they need the jerseys stat! The client texts you with the order number asking if it can be rushed. You research the order number and see that only half of the jerseys have been printed. You assure the client you’ll have them ready by the end of the week – plus you’ll even drop them off. The client messages you the address and you’ve not only made their day, but also made it super easy on yourself to map your route on your phone’s GPS. 

Skip the Hold Music

Texting allows you and your clients to reach one another directly. No waiting on hold, no phone tag or leaving voicemails that go unreturned for days – or for eternity. Ease of communication can make or break a business deal and can cause current clients to love or leave your business.

Here’s a scenario:

A potential client of your PR company is coming into town to meet you and your team. The client is arriving early and wanted to bump the meeting time up. They call to let you know but are stuck on hold. Out of frustration they hang up and call again. After several attempts and a voicemail, they show up at your office annoyed (and two hours early). You’re in the middle of a conversation with another client and have to cut the call short in order to accommodate the in-person meeting. Now – imagine all of this would have been avoided if your potential could have texted to let you know they were arriving early!

Help Multiple Clients

Juggling phone calls isn’t easy, but messaging several people at once can be. Whether you have a steady stream of messages or experience bursts during busy seasons, you’ll find SMS to be a customer service life saver. 

Here’s a scenario:

You run a small floral shop and are always slammed around the holidays. While you’re able to take orders over the phone and in person, text requests are easy and allow your clients to message in an order without waiting on hold, reaching a busy signal or coming into the shop. Once the order comes in, you can send a confirm number, ask any questions and also get card messages, verbatim. Plus, once the order is ready you can send a text alert, or even give them a heads up when the order is delivered.

Your small business already has a reputation for providing exceptional customer service, so keep it up and make it easier on yourself with SMS. Learn more about SMS for business here and get started today. It’s fast, easy and your customers will appreciate it!

Find out more about Cloud Phone features!

Topics: Cloud Phone, iPhone, Android, Texting, Mobility, Business SMS