There are two types of people in the world: those who prefer a phone call and those who prefer to text. Those who prefer calls usually enjoy human interaction, immediacy, and nuance. Those in the text camp feel more comfortable thoughtfully composing their communications and want to avoid fumbling through formalities and uncomfortable silences. Each side has a hard time understanding the other. But what if there was a way to give people a choice? Wouldn’t that be particularly useful in matters of business, to not force your prospects to engage in one particular way? If a prospect would liken talking on the phone to public speaking, granting them a pathway to text communications could be the edge that wins you the deal.
That edge is called Professional Auto-Reply.
In this article, we cover:
- Making it easy for customers to start a text conversation with you.
- How customers make up their mind before their first call.
- Who Professional Auto-Reply is for.
The customer is the captain now. No longer are customers hostage to less access to information. In fact, they often have more information than the salesperson. Online research empowers shoppers well in advance of a call. Eighty-two percent of smartphone users consult their phones on purchases they’re about to make in-store and 45 percent read reviews before making a purchase. In B2B, customers are 70 percent decided before ever engaging a sales rep.
In other words, once your phone starts ringing, it’s not so much a matter of warming up a lead, it’s a matter of shutting up and taking their money.
Seventy-six percent of consumers operate with the expectation that the company they’re doing business with understands their needs. Consider that 80 percent of callers sent to voicemail do not leave a message because they don’t think they’ll be heard. Ninety-five percent, in fact, find text messaging more convenient than voicemail. Think about that number. Do you have any kind of text messaging strategy devised? If that 95 percent were looking for a pathway to their preferred method of contact with you, would you be able to oblige?
Look, it’s not that difficult to start a text conversation with a customer, but creating a soft landing, particularly early on in your relationship, could have great impact. It could be as simple as setting up Professional Auto-Reply.
Give Them Your Digital Business Card
Picture this: your typical prospect calls for more information. You could text back every single call you receive, but that’s just not realistic for most businesses. Instead, with Professional Auto-Reply, everyone who calls receives an immediate text or email response. That message can include a link that takes them back to your web page or a content-rich landing page (your “digital business card”), complete with all your marketing magic. This setup opens the gates for text- and email-fond customers to lean into their favored mode of communication right from the jump. And if they do prefer that intimate one-to-one call, it will be obvious and you can return their call at your earliest convenience.
The minutia of data entry also can be curbed by asking callers to provide or update their contact information for your records. Whether they prefer to text, email, or call — or don’t care at all — Professional Auto-Reply provides the immediacy today’s business environment demands. If 80 percent of callers aren’t leaving a voicemail, can you afford not to have a measure in place to capture that interest before it moves on to the next business on their list?
Small Business Bang for the Buck
Small business owners, sole proprietors, and entrepreneurs find auto-reply a particularly handy feature. Realtors, accountants, and industry service professionals rely on it for greater customer care and service. A contractor, for example, is often out in the field all day inundated with calls from clients, subcontractors, and prospects. He or she could have certain (or all) callers receive a custom text message with a link to an auto-reply page where they can schedule a meeting or get a quick status update.
And while YouMail offers its auto-reply feature as part of its free service, Professional Auto-Reply includes far more advanced functionality with your digital business card landing page. Though text auto replies won’t work for inbound calls from landlines, you can set it up to send an email as well, provided the number appears in your address book.
At YouMail, we have sent hundreds of millions of auto-replies on behalf of our users. We’ve found that most people love the instant response and providing that pathway to turn a phone call into a text message or email thread.
You no longer need to worry if you’re dealing with a phone call person or a texting person. Now you can just shut up and take their money.