Make Phone Tag a Thing of the Past…

Make Phone Tag a Thing of the Past…

By Christopher Leedom

CEO, Textmaxx Pro

How many of you reading this article are frustrated by the volume of voice mail—both left and received—during the average workday?  Whether it is for sales, service or collections, your staff leaves dozens—if not hundreds—of voice mails every day.  It has probably become one of the biggest drains of productivity and labor—but nevertheless necessary—until now.  Do I have you scratching your head a bit?

First, let me issue you a challenge.  Identify one employee in your business that interacts with your customer base on a daily basis—for instance, a salesperson, a collector, or a service representative.   Next, identify twenty customers that you need to communicate with that particular day.  If you are a working with a collector, pick twenty accounts that just became delinquent.  If you are in sales, pick twenty customers that need follow up.  Now, take ten of these customers and send them an SMS message initiating communication with them.  Sales, service, or collections – it doesn’t matter.  Then, take the next ten customers and call them, if you do not reach them, leave a voicemail initiating communication.

By the time you get done calling the ten “phone call” customers, chances are 50% of the SMS customers will have already texted you back!  Why?  It is because 93% of SMS messages are read within ten minutes and a return text is usually sent within twenty minutes.  How does that compare to the voicemails—no contest.  You probably will connect with two or maybe three of the outbound phone calls and will likely leave seven or eight voicemails.

I have observed this exercise with countless operations.  Our organization has worked with thousands of companies over the past twenty years.  When we started Textmaxx Pro four years ago, I could not have predicted the impact on productivity.  We see it across virtually every industry vertical we serve.  In today’s world everyone returns an SMS message well before returning a voicemail.  There are countless studies that prove this.

So how do you optimize your SMS messaging strategy?  First, think of it the same as your phone system.  You need a tool that is proprietary and resident to your business that will serve your SMS communication needs, and ensure compliance.  I hear too many dealers say, “My employees are really good at texting, they use their personal phones.”  When I hear this, I cringe.  Think about it, would you utilize your employee’s personal phone number when advertising on the web or in television commercials?  Would you give each employee a copy of their entire customer activity when they leave your company to work elsewhere?  That is precisely what you are doing if you do not have a product that allows you to store, monitor, and control all SMS activity.  It doesn’t matter whether it is sales or collections.  You need to retain and control those conversations for a host of reasons, none the least of which is compliance, but that is a topic for an entire article itself.

So, if you want to eliminate—or at least greatly reduce—the wasted time and effort of phone tag, implement a well-thought-out customer contact strategy where SMS communication is your first form of communication.  You will be amazed at the impact it will have on employee productivity.  It is an incredibly effective way to communicate with your customers.  In my opinion, it is even more effective in collections or service where you already have a relationship with the customer.  Today, studies show SMS messaging to be the preferred method of communication of most customers across virtually every demographic.  It is hands down the most efficient mode for just about every conversation.

If you would like a deeper dive into this topic, sign up for an exclusive demo with one of our sales representatives by visiting www.textmaxxpro.com for more information.

Chris Leedom is the CEO and Founder of the Leedom Group.  The Leedom Group includes Textmaxx Pro, a complete SMS messaging solution for small to medium business with a custom design for sales, service, collections, account management, and client retention communication.  The Leedom Group is based in Sarasota, FL.  You may reach Chris at chris@leedomgroup.com.

Google’s Click-to-Text Rivals the Success of Click-to-Call with Mobile Customers

Google’s Click-to-Text Rivals the Success of Click-to-Call with Mobile Customers

Customers preference for text messaging is increasing, and Google is responding!  Google has enhanced its mobile search capabilities to include text messaging between customer mobile devices and text-enabled businesses thanks to AdWords Message Extensions.  

AdWords message extensions allow people to see your ad, click an icon, and contact you directly by text message to book an appointment, get a quote, ask for information, or request a service. Message extensions can help grow your business by giving people another – and often preferred —  method to reach you.

Message extensions are designed to be shown only to people on phones capable of sending and receiving text messages, and they require your business to have a phone number that is able to receive, process, and send text messages.

When someone taps the message icon in your ad from their mobile device, their messaging app will open with a pre-populated message that you create.

Example:

Nick owns a car dealership and is running an AdWords campaign for a sale on SUVs. He sets up his Google message extensions to quickly communicate with his customers about his inventory.  When his ad appears, a message will pop up with “All SUVs on Sale. Text to Save Now!”  When the users taps on the message, a new pre-populated message from Nick will appear in their messaging app.

When someone taps your message icon, you’re charged for a click – just as if the person tapped on your ad to go to your website.

With just 6-months on the market message extensions are already showing a 50% higher conversion rate over a mobile ad alone and rivaling the success of call extensions.

Textmaxx Pro Launches 3.0 API

Textmaxx Pro Launches 3.0 API

Textmaxx Pro Launches Latest Texting Engine with Universal Integrations for Improved Customer Experience for Dealer Management Systems

Textmaxx Pro, a nationwide provider for SMS and MMS text-to-landline service for businesses, launches its latest texting engine, Textmaxx Pro 3.0, with universal integrations for Dealer Management Systems.  The integration includes all of Textmaxx Pro’s award winning features currently available to its clients.

“As Dealer Managements Systems look to be more inclusive, adding a dynamic communications platform to their software provides outstanding value and increases customer retention,” said Chris Leedom, President and CEO, Textmaxx Pro. “Integrating with Textmaxx Pro will give any dealership a competitive edge in their industry.”

Textmaxx Pro 3.0 can seamlessly integrate into any Dealer Management System, allowing users to quickly communicate with customers in a more effective and engaging way than by phone or email. Through the use of our mobile app, both sales and service employees can access Textmaxx Pro for a variety of functions designed to deliver a better customer experience, increase sales, and sale time .

“The auto industry has the most to gain in text-enabling their landline,” said Paul Johnson, Director of Sales and Operations, Textmaxx Pro. “It greatly improves the customer experience and gives the user confidence that they are connecting with interested buyers.”

The launch of Textmaxx Pro 3.0 follows a series of exciting innovations to Textmaxx Pro’s software, including an updated user experience in the Textmaxx Pro web portal and mobile application, and the launch of the EasyConnect feature.  This groundbreaking technology allows users to send and receive text communications through their Outlook and other email platforms.

Textmaxx Pro

Across multiple platforms including web and mobile, Textmaxx Pro’s cloud-based messaging solution connects businesses to customers using the same local and toll-free numbers that customers are familiar with and otherwise can only call. Using a TCPA-compliant, personalized, automated communications suite, Textmaxx Pro reaches today’s customer exactly how they want:  real-time, via text message, instantly to their mobile phone. Textmaxx Pro is a division of Leedom Group, for more information call (866) 367-6889 or visit www.textmaxxpro.com.

6 Sure-Fire Ways to Let Your Customers Know to Text You

6 Sure-Fire Ways to Let Your Customers Know to Text You

We have found our clients are very enthusiastically text-enable their landline with Textmaxx Pro and quickly opt in their current customers. But what happens to all their new and perspective customers? How will they know they can text your business?

We have put together six sure fire tips that will let everyone your business communicates with know that their texts will be received and answered.

Google:
Google is making it easy for you to communicate with your customers via text with their text extension available both through their Google Local business listing and Adwords campaigns. With one click, a key prospect or customer can text your business.

Check out our blog on how to set up the message extension feature on your Google profiles and Adwords campaigns.

Website:
Your website is the first place most consumers engage with your business. Let them know you are welcoming and easy to contact with “Call or Text” and your phone number at the top of your web page where people can instantly tap to call or text your business.

Keep the “Call or Text” verbiage through your website and place special significance to it on your contact page. See an example below:

 

 

Email/Business Cards:

Once you have had that initial contact with a prospective customer or client, keep them engaged by being accessible to them via phone, email and text. By adding “Call or Text” to your business card and email signature you are showing them you value their business and are ready to connect with them in the way they prefer.

Social Media: Facebook/Twitter
Similar to your website, Facebook and Twitter offer a space at the top of your business pages where you can place a timeline or cover banner in addition to your profile logo/photo. This location is an ideal place to promote your “Call or Text” plus phone number feature. It is also a great place to promote your keyword to your text-enabled number to entice customers to opt in to two-way texting with your business.

Check out our blog explaining all mysteries behind keywords here:

Also, adding a “Call or Text” call-to-action message at the end of certain posts will increase responses from your customers and clients. See an example below:

 

Advertising:

As you are marketing your business to prospective clients and customers, remember to include “Call or Text” or promote your keyword with text-enabled phone number as part of your advertising campaigns placed on local radio, TV, print magazines/newspapers and in direct mail. See an example below:

Marketing and Sales Email Blasts:

Your marketing department is pushing emails out every week with sales and specials – why are you only using click-thru links, landing pages and forms to track their success. Start the conversation instantly by including “Call or Text” with your phone number, or a text in keyword to your text-enabled phone number the top and the bottom of the email.

Pro Tip: type the your phone number into the email vs inserting a linkable image, so mobile phones can click to directly to call or message your business.

 

Questions? Are you looking for more marketing assistance? Email lindsey@textmaxxpro.com with any questions. To learn more about our managed services programs email Dave Leedom at dave@textmaxxpro.com.

At 25 Years Old, SMS is the Worlds Biggest Communications Platform

At 25 Years Old, SMS is the Worlds Biggest Communications Platform

On December 3, 1992, British software engineer Neil Papworth sent the world’s first ever text message. It was to an executive at Vodafone, saying “Merry Christmas”.

SMS now stands as the  most successful communications platform of all time, connecting billions of people worldwide. Celebrating 25 years, lets review SMS’s history and the developments that have shaped its phenomenal success.

SMS origins back to 1984, when Friedhelm Hillebrand and Bernard Ghillebaert from the GSM Corporation first developed the concept of sending a short message (hence SMS – the short message service) to and from a mobile device.

1992: Merry Christmas

On December 3, 1992, British software engineer Neil Papworth sent the world’s first ever text message. It was to an executive at Vodafone, saying “Merry Christmas”.

1993: Nokia Makes the SMS Commercial

Nokia released the 1011 – the first handset that enabled users to send and receive text messages – and the world was changed forever.

1995: Slow to adapt

Consumers initially failed to see the advantages of texting –  the average mobile phone user in the US sent less than one text a month:-(

But 1995 brought the invention of the T9 system for writing text messages on a numerical keypad, using keypad numbers 1-9 to type individual letters – a major solution for many mobile phone companies.

1997: QWERTY Keyboards pave the way

in 1997 Nokia released its full physical “qwerty” keyboard on a mobile phone – the 9000i Communicator. It paved the way for the BlackBerry (launched in 2002), and the rise of the way we text on smartphones today.

Mobile operators were soon hailing texting as a quicker alternative to voice calls.

1999: SMS ignites

In1999, mobile operators turned a simple messaging platform into a global billion-dollar industry. Texting became so popular that it sparked its own language. Txtspk made it quicker to text and as a result, the average number of text messages sent in the US reached 35 per person every month. At $0.10 a text, it was a gold rush for mobile operators.

2007: SMS becomes the most successful communication platform of all time

2007 was a landmark year for SMS –  it was also the first year where more texts were sent than calls made from mobile phones.

Despite rapid developments in smartphone technology, and new apps flooding the market, texting remained the number one form of mobile communication.

2011: Everyone still uses Texting from the Smartphone

By 2011, Smartphones had taken people to virtual keyboards on a smartphone screen and the introduction of Swype sped up the process of texting once again. As texting became quicker and easier, more people started using it as their go-to method of communication with not only friends and family, but with preferred businesses as well. It was in 2011 that SMS usage peaked – with 3.5 billion active users across the world.

Today: 5 billion people and counting

With the rise of instant messaging services such as WhatsApp, iMessage, and Facebook Messenger, many experts are predicting a decline SMS texting. But shallow thinking like that ignores the 5 billion people globally using SMS every day. What’s next, why new services like RCS, which uses SMS functionality to send information-rich, interactive messages with app-like capabilities.

And the future? Well, SMS is still proving its worth to brands looking to improve their customer experience. It remains an ideal platform for sending customers useful, relevant information in the right place and at the right time.

While new forms of communication come and go, SMS is 25 and remains the most successful communications platform of all time.

If you’d like to learn more about how SMS texting can help you make timely connections with billions of customers, ask the textperts. Call or text 866-367-6889!

Unlock the Potential of Google Adwords & Business Listings through Text Messaging.

Unlock the Potential of Google Adwords & Business Listings through Text Messaging.

Earlier this year, we blogged about the rapid growth in Google’s Adwords message extensions. Quickly following the feature’s launch, consumer data showed that user’s preference to text a business rivaled their habit of calling that business or visiting it’s website.

New researched published in Auto Remarketing last week reveals that “90% of consumers want to use messaging to interact with a business – with 50% preferring to message via SMS text.”

This revelation in consumer behavior comes when only 48% of businesses are capable of messaging with their customers.

Our team at Textmaxx Pro anticipates this number will greatly increase with Google’s launch of its Click-to-Message service for your Goggle Business profile.

Additionally, a recent article published via Hallam examined  consumer response to Google Adwords campaigns revealed message extensions rate as the third highest click, following an ads headline and price information. 

Having a message extension in a campaign also increased the overall click through rate (CTR) percentage between 25-36% for customers on mobile devices.

The biggest takeaway from integrating message extensions into your Adwords campaign is it produces a lead generating click. When the customer proactively engages with the company via text it provides a viable direct lead via the customer’s phone number.

The clear competitive advantage for your business is text messaging.

To help get your business started with these new Google features, we have laid out the five steps to set up Google Click-to-Message:

Step One:  Get your business landline set up to receive text messages. If your business land line is not text enabled to receive text messages, you cannot set up your Google Click-to-Message feature. Click Here to learn more how to have your landline text enabled.

Step Two: Log into your Google My Business Page

Step Three: Select messaging in the left menu and add your text-enabled business number.

Step Four: Verify that number with a code sent from Google

Step Five: You’re all done and consumers can now text message your business

Are you ready to unlock the true lead generating power of Google by text enabling your business?  Text or call us at 866-367-6889 or email dave@textmaxxpro.com to get started.

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