Business Daily Media

Text messaging: The new expectation for Australian small businesses

  • Written by Dave Scheine, Country Manager Australia at Podium

COVID-19 has created an immense challenge for businesses in every industry who have battled restrictions while navigating shifts in customer behaviour brought on by the pandemic. However, with great challenge comes great opportunity. There are so many options for small businesses you can start. Australians today are more plugged into their mobile devices than ever before, which presents new opportunities for the way business owners cater to their customers. It is important to provide customer service that is quick, convenient and personal and our research shows that there is no better way to do this than through text messaging.

Many of us live and work via our smartphones. Just as text messaging has revolutionised the way we interact with friends and family, it’s set to have the same impact on the way businesses interact with new and existing consumers. Text messages have a 209% higher response rate than emails, Facebook, and phone, while four in ten Australian consumers would switch to a business if it offered text communications. One in five (19%) are already conversing - having real, two-way conversations - with local businesses via text, and of those that aren’t, almost half want to. 

Evidently, therefore, mobile communications are no longer optional, but essential. It’s not an exaggeration to say that small businesses who rely on traditional marketing channels or a physical location are in danger of being left behind. You could have the best products or services on the market, but if you don’t find a way to communicate that to your audience, your return is next to none. Rather than relying on a physical location in the ‘discovery’ phase, or laborious email chains to communicate with customers, small businesses can use text messaging.

A key aspect of consumers’ preference for text communication is its capacity for a real, conversational feel. Three in four (76%) Australian consumers would be more likely to text with a local business if they knew a real person was going to receive and respond to their message instead of receiving automated messages. Text messaging implies personal, real relationships. 

Any business - from builder to retailer, and car dealer to dentist - can benefit from text messaging. For example, dental clinics can use text messaging to confirm or reschedule appointments, share updates and promotions and allow patients to leave a review once they have finished their appointment. By sending customers a one-touch link to leave a review via text - rather than relying on them to proactively search your business and do so at a later date - you can incentivise them to leave the reviews that help businesses stand out from the crowd.

A great example of this is Cairns Precision Dental Group. The practice is a much-loved business that has been the core of the local Cairns community for over 17 years. The business prides itself on providing highly skilled professionals who offer the local community the best possible solutions for dental treatments. However, their exceptional service begins well before their customers sit in their chair, and well after they leave it. Driven by their ongoing commitment to provide excellent customer service, the business prides itself on ensuring patients are always informed and up to date with any changes or promotions.

More recently, the team began to notice a shift in their patient’s communication preference, especially with the younger demographic. To accommodate the shift, they made text messaging their main form of communication. By offering SMS, it became an easy and convenient way to contact the practice directly and simplified scheduling appointments. It also gave customers an opportunity to opt-in to be notified about upcoming promotions and offers that the practice was running each month. Since implementing these processes through Podium, Cairns Precision Dental Group’s opt-in list for text communication has grown to over 3,000 subscribers, highlighting the need for text messaging as a way to communicate.

After seeing how SMS had transformed communication with patients for scheduling appointments and sharing promotions and updates, the team also decided to implement SMS as a solution to assist in the review collection process. By streamlining the process of leaving a review, the team noticed a significant increase in customers posting a review within an hour - in some cases minutes - of their appointment. The practice’s average star rating has increased from 4.47* to 4.85* and over 100 reviews have been posted.  

The power of text is only rising, and shows no signs of slowing down. When it comes down to it, business texts are so much more than just texts - they’re relationships, and an opportunity to increase customer engagement, create trust, and convert customers for life.


 Dave Scheine, Country Manager Australia at Podium

Business Today

Utilising communication tech to alleviate employee burn out

Hybrid work solidified into the business model in 2021 – plain and simple. Jabra research revealed 42 per cent of employees last year requested leadership to help make their virtual workspace more comfortable. Employees are ...

Space Machines readies for liftoff securing launch services deal with SpaceX

SpaceX to carry Space Machines' Optimus Orbital Transfer Vehicle as part of its April 2023 mission. Optimus is one of the largest spacecraft built in Australia and furthers Australia’s sovereign capabilities toward in-space...

Deliver business benefits through operational excellence

As Australian businesses emerge from the pandemic lockdowns and draw up plans for growth, increasing numbers are adopting a strategy of operational excellence. Operational excellence involves everyone in an organisation and f...

Modern slavery conference to take on the criminal enterprises and address global injustices

Influential experts from around the world will take part in a unique international online summit targeting modern slavery being hosted by Australian charity Freedom for Humanity later this month. Modern slavery is a process...

Unit4 Appoints Tania Garrett as Chief People Officer

 Unit4, a leader in enterprise cloud applications for people-centric organisations, today announced the appointment of Tania Garrett as Chief People Officer. Tania will oversee the company’s people success function wh...

FIVE reasons why you should set up an instant office instead of a fixed lease

Australia is now on the cusp of very volatile economic period. As the world tries to pick up the pieces after two years of global lockdowns and constant setbacks, we continue to face the aftermath of COVID on many levels. Acc...

Business Daily Media Business Development

Utilising communication tech to alleviate employee burn out

Hybrid work solidified into the business model in 2021 – plain and simple. Jabra research revealed 42 per cent of employees last year requested leadership to help make their virtual wo...

David Piggott, Managing Director ANZ at Jabra - avatar David Piggott, Managing Director ANZ at Jabra

Space Machines readies for liftoff securing launch services deal with SpaceX

SpaceX to carry Space Machines' Optimus Orbital Transfer Vehicle as part of its April 2023 mission. Optimus is one of the largest spacecraft built in Australia and furthers Australia’...

Business Daily Media - avatar Business Daily Media

India's employee hostels are often like prisons – but young women garment workers don't always see it that way

Kavitha, 18, earns a living at a clothing factory in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Like many of her colleagues, she lives in accommodation provided by the factory, where she share...

Andrew Crane, Professor of Business and Society, University of Bath - avatar Andrew Crane, Professor of Business and Society, University of Bath

Shortage of workers threatens UK recovery – here’s why and what to do about it

For the first time since records began, there are more job vacancies in the UK than unemployed people, according to the latest monthly labour market figures. This has been driven mainly by a...

Donald Houston, Professor of Economic Geography, University of Portsmouth - avatar Donald Houston, Professor of Economic Geography, University of Portsmouth

A central bank digital euro could save the eurozone – here's how

Blockchain bailout?4K_HeavenThe European Central Bank and its counterparts in the UK, US, China and India are exploring a new form of state-backed money built on similar online ledger techno...

Guido Cozzi, Professor of Macroeconomics, University of St.Gallen - avatar Guido Cozzi, Professor of Macroeconomics, University of St.Gallen

Deliver business benefits through operational excellence

As Australian businesses emerge from the pandemic lockdowns and draw up plans for growth, increasing numbers are adopting a strategy of operational excellence. Operational excellence in...

Chris Ellis, Director Pre-Sales at Nintex - avatar Chris Ellis, Director Pre-Sales at Nintex



NewsServices.com

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion