How To Grow Your Business With Direct Text Messaging

How To Grow Your Business With Text Messaging

More than 5 billion people regularly use text messages to communicate throughout the world. Of those, more than 277 million are Americans over the age of 12. 

It’s hard to imagine that 30 years ago text messaging was not a thing. Now, 97% of Apple IOS or Android smartphone users use text messaging regularly, with the average user sending and receiving 94 messages per day.

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To break that down, 18,078,704 texts are sent every minute, just in the USA. That’s not because the number of cell phone users has increased dramatically in the last few years, it’s because we are all using text a lot more. In fact, since 2010, texting rates within the USA have grown by a whopping 216%. WhatsApp texting service reports that its users alone send 65 billion messages every day.

Most people won’t answer a phone call and emails are often filtered, making text messages the obvious choice for getting your message through to your customer base. Following up on initial contact with a text is the smart thing to do. It’s simple and it increases your open rates and customer conversion rate like no other follow up method.

What Is Business Text Messaging?

Short-code message service (SMS), or text messaging, is one of the most popular forms of communication today. Businesses use text messages for many reasons, from appointment reminders to text marketing to advertise flash sales to autoresponder follow-up responses.

Allowing your customers to “opt-in” with their phone number to receive SMS text messages, emails and other forms of communication is a great way to boost the personal contact client’s love. 

Typical conversion rates for SMS campaigns are around 45% but can be much higher. This means an SMS marketing campaign typically produces a 250% higher conversion to sale rate over email, making it one of the most effective tools for your growing business

People are more than 200% more likely to respond to a text message than a phone call, while the confirmation rates of text are nearly 300% higher than that of phone calls.

Why Text Messaging is Important to Business

Why Customers Prefer Texting a Business

If you’ve ever spent an hour or more on the phone wading through an automated system to be routed to the right department, verified your identity and described your issue to more than one person, and come away with an unsatisfactory answer, you know why so many people prefer texting today. 

Texting lets you contact businesses directly – you send a message and if it needs to be answered by another department, it’s their problem, not yours. You can go on about your day while they sort it out…you don’t have to wait on hold, talk to multiple people, or spend your day listening to awful music and assurances that “Your business is very important to us.” If that were true, would you be on hold? 

You can send and receive texts from anywhere. You don’t need to be at a computer and won’t be explaining to a subway car full of people who you are, where you live, and what your issue is. Texting does not include all the strangers around you in the conversation. 

Unlike using a landline, you’re also able to take and send photos on phone. If a tech wants an insanely small 16-character serial number, instead of breaking out a flashlight and a magnifying glass so you can snap a photo and send it. The tech gets accurate information the first time, and you don’t strain your eyes.

On the business’ end, one customer service person answering text messages can take care of several customers at the same time, delivering accurate information fast. It’s less frustrating for the customer and more cost efficient for the local business, a win/win. 

Broadly’s all-in-one app provides unlimited messages and makes it easy to engage with customers the way they prefer.

4 Reasons Why Text Messaging is Important to Business

1. Customers Prefer Texting

Text messaging is a simple and often preferred by customer’s way of being contacted, and 82% of all text messages are read within 5 minutes. Emails are comparatively lacking in their reach, with only a 25% open rate. Texting is now considered the normal way to communicate. It makes sense for businesses to adapt along with technology.

2. Texts Are Very Effective

Text message campaigns are more effective than email campaigns – with a far superior return on investment. The response rates to text are 7.5 times higher than that of email. The response time to texts is much faster than the response time for emails, even when the content is the same.

3. They Are Opting In

Since people opt-in to receive text messages from your business, they don’t mind reading them. This personal touch makes the customer feel more valued.

4. Increase Your Reviews

Include a call to action (CTA) asking for a review in a follow-up text and let customers voice their satisfaction. Here’s what one of our customers had to say:

“Broadly has streamlined our business processes and increased our online reviews! The ability to follow up with my clients via text makes its easy for our clients to give us feedback. They also display all our reviews live on our website, which is awesome for our online presence! They take care of the work for us, which is great for my team. I would highly recommend Broadly!” – Steve Nichols, Nichols Electrical Contracting

Broadly webchat mobile app

Is Directly Texting Customers A Good Fit For Your Business?

Text messaging is a cost-effective method for building customer relationships. The return on investment is extremely high, it’s easy to implement. 

Customers enjoy the personal encounter texting allows, and they prefer texting to any other method of engagement. The real-time response rates show that people will take a moment to respond to text much sooner and more often than they’ll even open an email. To decide if a text message campaign is right for your business is simply to ask the question “Do I want my business to thrive in today’s technological world?” If the answer is YES, Broadly can help you to get started.

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How to Market an Auto Repair Business

Guide To Auto Repair Marketing

Building a profitable local auto repair business means working to ensure there’s a steady stream of new customers coming in so there’s plenty of work to do. Repeat customers are always a possibility should another issue arise with their vehicle, or they have multiple vehicles to maintain. But, they often won’t be enough to sustain your business so it’s crucial to focus your marketing plan on online lead generation and word-of-mouth marketing.

Good customer service aims to make every aspect of purchase simpler for the customer. Great customer service goes above and beyond the customer expectation, ensures all needs are met and breeds customer loyalty – an important aspect of every successful business.

Auto Repair Shop Online Presence

If you want to reach more customers, you must have an online presence. Simply claiming your business listing in various directories isn’t enough to stand out from the competition. To build a solid online reputation, you must go beyond a basic website to include a blog and social media profiles – and then go the extra mile with local SEO to optimize your site so that it has a better chance of ranking in searches for auto repair shops in your service area.

Website 

You should have a professional-looking website that details information about the services your auto shop provides, along with your experience and credentials. Potential customers want to know they can trust you and your work, so it’s never a bad idea to include testimonials or reviews from previous clients and current customers. Your website also needs to have your contact information, social media links, and a blog.

Don’t stop there. Your website must also be mobile-friendly because the majority of people use their phones to search. Keeping the user experience as simple as possible regardless of what device a potential customer uses will go a long way toward getting them to convert whether you want them to call you for more information, send you an email, or join your email marketing list.

Company Blog

A company blog is a place where you can publish content that’s relevant to your audience on a regular basis. Each blog post presents a new opportunity to rank for keywords in the search engines, making it easier for potential customers to find you. Part of search engine optimization lies in updating your site regularly, and blogging is an easy way to do that. 

Not sure what to write about? Take a look at other auto industry blogs for some inspiration. Ideas include:

  • How to Winterize Your Vehicle
  • Synthetic vs. Traditional Oil
  • How Often to Rotate Your Tires
  • News related to vehicle recalls

Good customer service aims to make every aspect of purchase simpler for the customer. Great customer service goes above and beyond the customer expectation, ensures all needs are met and breeds customer loyalty – an important aspect of every successful business.

Auto Repair Social Media

Social signals play a part in how Google ranks your website show your auto repair shop company needs to include social media as part of your digital marketing strategy. Begin with a Facebook page where you share content related to vehicles and their maintenance. You can share your company blog post, along with photos and videos of your work. share links to your blog posts to promote your business on Facebook and other relevant social media channels.

When people take the time to like or comment on anything you share on social media, engage with them so they know you’re paying attention. Even if you simply like the comment they leave, it’s important to take a bit of time to say thank you. Watching how people interact with your company on social media is another way to gain customer feedback. 

Local SEO

If you’re still trying to find a name for your business, consider using the primary keyword in your business name. The auto repair shop that snags a name with the primary locale will have a competitive advantage over other options.

If you already have an established business name, work with what you have to build a strong reputation. Start by adding your business to Google Maps.

Optimize the listing by claiming your business on Google My Business. For the best results, make sure the information on your website includes your address and phone number along with a clear description of your business and the business categories you fit in.

The higher your small business website listing is, the more traffic you’ll get. Google My Business gives you the option to include reviews, ratings, photos, operating hours and more. The more thorough and complete your listing is, the better chance you have of ranking higher in the local map pack for your desired keywords.

car repair marketing tips

Auto Repair Customer Service Tips

Research shows the customer experience is going to overtake price as the main differentiator by the end of 2020.  That means to have a strong competitive advantage, you must focus your efforts on providing good quality customer service on top of having quality products and services.

Good customer service aims to make every aspect of purchase simpler for the customer. Great customer service goes above and beyond the customer expectation, ensures all needs are met and breeds customer loyalty – an important aspect of every successful business.

Web Chat

Adding a web chat feature makes it easy for potential customers to contact you. You can also build a mobile app to help people keep track of their oil change and maintenance schedule, and receive alerts of specials or recalls that affect their vehicle. Include links to download the app on your website.

Reviews

Reviews are a vital part of local SEO marketing for any business regardless of Industry. Reviews serve as social proof and build trust with your company. Data shows nearly 95% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase, and 54% of shoppers visit a website after reading positive reviews. To strengthen your online review profile, you must make it easy for your customers to review your business.

In the auto repair industry, word of mouth is vital to keeping the business up and running. Ethically encourage people to leave reviews for your company on Google and Facebook as they can help boost your SEO ranking. Begin by reaching out to previous customers and ask them to leave you a review. When customers come to pick up their car, ask in person.

 You can also print the card with the URLs of the review sites you want people to use to make it easier for them. If they have to work too hard to do it, many won’t. You can also send a text message or an email after you finish the job, asking customers to leave a written review in addition to Google and Facebook, you can consider other websites such as Yelp and Angie’s List.

Have Quick Response Time

What is your site is generating leads, response time is crucial to landing the customer. People are likely to call the first option they see, but they won’t always go with the first one they call. Customers, especially in emergency situations, are most likely to go with the first company that responds. Research shows the odds of contacting a lead if called in 5 minutes compared to 30 minutes drop 100 times. The study also shows that those who contact leads within an hour are 7x more likely to qualify the lead than companies who waited more than an hour, and 60x more likely than if they waited for 24-hours or more.

auto repair shop customer service

Referrals and Partnerships

As an auto repair expert, you can grow your business and support others in your local community by building strategic partnerships. Talk to your local auto parts store. Go meet with them and explain what you do. Ask if they’d be willing to send customers your way and leave some business cards or brochures with them. To help solidify the relationship, offer to order some of your parts and supplies from the company if you’re not already doing it. Also, talk with local towing companies and insurance companies to see what you can do to become a preferred provider.

Connect with other local businesses and offer discounts for repair services on their fleet vehicles.

Consider joining industry trade organizations such as the Automotive Service Association, the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers, or the Coalition for Collision Repair Excellence.

Promotion

You can use pay per click advertising (PPC) to generate traffic and leads for your business. Two of the most popular platforms for this are Facebook Ads and Google Ads.

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads are a form of social media marketing. You can set a daily budget and target your audience based on a variety of demographics such as location, income, interests, and behaviors. The ads will show in the news feed or the sidebar of the Facebook account belonging to anyone who meets the criteria of your target audience. You can also use Facebook ads to grow your pages fan base or target people who have visited your website.

Google Ads

Google Ads operates much the same way as Facebook ads. your ad will display and relevant Google searches. When executed correctly, Google ads are estimated to yield a 2 to 2.3x return on investment.

Giveaways

Giveaways are especially helpful when you are first starting to build your online presence. Running a giveaway for a free oil change and encouraging people to like or share the social media post announcing the giveaway will help spread your reach. You can also use incentives like free oil changes to encourage repeat business while rewarding your loyal customers.

Auto repair marketing is similar to standard online marketing. Your focus is on creating a high-quality online presence to bring in new customers regardless of what industry you work in. Whether you specialize in foreign vehicles or offer basic maintenance and repair services, such as oil changes and tire rotations, your marketing efforts must demonstrate how your company is the best choice in your local area.

Customer Service Chat For Business

Why Customer Service Chat Matters In Business

In this era of instant gratification, people want information quickly and easily. Webchat delivers answers when and where customers need them – instantly and directly to their devices.

Good customer service aims to make every aspect of purchase simpler for the customer. Great customer service goes above and beyond the customer expectation, ensures all needs are met and breeds customer loyalty – an important aspect of every successful business.

 

Rapid feedback from the company is vital when queries arise. Having an agent available in real time through your company website has been shown to improve customer wait times and increase sales closures. 

Why You Should Be Using Web Chat

The fastest and most relevant tool available today is real-time online chat. Simple questions are swiftly answered and potential stumbling blocks cleared in moments. More complicated issues are easily and immediately referred for a phone call or email for enhanced support.

 Study after study shows the value of customer service chat:  

  • In a Drift survey of 433 companies, the ones with the 10 fastest response times all used live chat on their websites.
  • Aberdeen reports that live chat is one of the top ten technologies best-in-class customer experiences (CX) leaders planned to use in 2019, with 38% reporting they already have live chat in place and 26% saying they plan to implement it.
  • The 2015 Zendesk Benchmark study found that live chat drives the highest customer service satisfaction compared to other common forms of communication. 92% of customers reported they preferred live chat. 
  • Only 9% of customers can resolve issues via self-service, according to Gartner.

 

How Customer Service Chat Improves Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction breeds customer loyalty, an outcome every business aims to achieve. So how does using real-time chat on your website improve customer satisfaction? By giving instant access to an agent within your company who is able to answer questions personally, you show the customer they are valued and that their business matters to you.

It’s a unique method of direct communication which allows immediate personal rapport. Current problems can be addressed while allowing the company agent an opportunity to go above and beyond, into the realms of great customer service. The customer can save a copy of the chat for reference in case the issue occurs again.

How Customer Service Chat Increases Sales

How Customer Service Chat Increases Sales

Webchat is still rare enough to provide a significant advantage over your competitors that don’t offer the same service. If your agent is on hand at the moment a question arises, the wait time shifts to mere seconds over search or email inquiries. When customers can’t find answers they’re looking for and help is not available, they look elsewhere…to your competitors. 

When using webchat, you maximize productivity and save time not just for the customer, but for your company too. One web chat agent can cover multiple inquiries at the same time. With the answers at their fingertips, average web chat operators can deliver ultra fast answers in under a minute. Many operators can cope with up to 60 separate encounters per hour. 

Each chat dramatically increases the chances of closing a sale. The high rate of customers who need support while making online transactions makes chats the most effective tool available today for conversion to sale.

Addressing Customer Needs

For many people, the idea of making a phone call to ask for help is horrifying. Finding the right phone number, spending endless time navigating an automated system, waiting on interminable hold, and dealing with an operator who might be unfriendly or hard to understand is stressful and time-consuming. Webchat minimizes stress, effort, and inconvenience, making it the favorite choice for anyone who wants their interactions kept to a minimum and their problems solved super quickly. 

With online web chat, most questions are answered within the first minute. Customers get the answers they need and get on with their day.

What Our Customers Say About Broadly’s Web Chat

Our customers love Web Chat. Here’s what they have to say.

  • “We love Broadly and can definitely see how they help a business grow. We’ve connected with 80 new customers through their web chat feature in less than 2 months, and our reviews have jumped 31% in the same time period!” – Ed Sieber Sr., Glass Doctor of Charlotte
  • “If you’re looking to grow your online presence and connect with more customers, Broadly is the way to do it. Their review process is easy and effective – in one month we’ve already seen a 35% increase in reviews on our Google listing. The chat box on our site helps us connect with leads and bring in new business. They’ve been a great partner for us!” – Melissa Thomas, Mr. Electric of Land O’ Lakes
  • “We’ve been using Broadly for a year now and couldn’t be happier! Broadly’s software is very user-friendly, which makes it easy for our customers to provide us with feedback and leave reviews. We also love the chat service! It’s efficient and allows us to offer our customers another way to communicate with us. Broadly has been a great fit for us!” – Renee Lucas, LCS Heating & Cooling.
  • Broadly webchat mobile app

Best Practices for Using Live Chat

Keeping response times down is a huge competitive advantage. Live interactive support at the touch of a button, with the fastest possible response times compared with any other format – phone, email, social media platforms – is rapidly becoming the standard all businesses need to meet to ensure their customers return time and time again. 

Here are some tips to maximize your web chat user experience:

    • The most effective way to create loyal customer relationships is to reduce customer effort. Putting your customer service chat link on each page in the same spot makes your virtual help desk easy to find anywhere on your site.
    • Customers expect to have all the relevant information at their fingertips, and when they can’t find what they’re looking for themselves, they want someone available to be able to point them in the right direction. 
    • Train your support team to be caring, supportive, able to work out a question which might not be asked clearly, and knowledgeable enough about your product to give relevant and rapid feedback easily. Roleplay different scenarios that may arise with strategies for coping with difficult situations and supply a robust knowledge base.
    • Optimizing all customer support materials for the mobile user makes sense, considering that more and more people are using their mobile phone for all aspects of online work than ever before – and the trend keeps growing, with more than 60% of customer support experiences sought through mobile devices.
    • Chatbots can answer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to speed response times even more and provide links to handy tutorials.
    • Agents can focus on areas of expertise, and questions related to their expertise can be directed to support channels with the use of keywords or account identifiers for follow up. 

The Return on Investment (ROI) of Great Customer Service

Investing in good quality customer service may sound expensive. Is it really worth it? Research finds it is absolutely undeniable that customer service drives sales and revenue. 

  • Harvard Business Review found that “customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experience.”
  • “We know that brands that can improve the customer journey see revenues increase as much as 10 to 15 percent while also lowering the cost to serve 15 to 20 percent.” – McKinsey
  • Even a minor improvement to a brand’s customer experience quality can add tens of millions of dollars of revenue by reducing customer churn and increasing share of wallet. Additionally, superior CX leads to reduced service costs and lowers the cost of customer acquisition through word of mouth. – Forrester
  • 97% of global consumers say customer service is important in their choice of, and loyalty to, a brand. – CustomerThink

Unhappy customers are costly. They call more often, make more demands, and are more likely to damage your brand by word of mouth. Even after your competition has lured them away, they may continue to make disparaging comments on social media. 

Providing good customer service is a no-brainer for business growth, and web chat tools enable a faster, more efficient experience.

The convenience factor is clear. With a single click your clients can open a web chat session. No wasted time on the phone or waiting for an email response. The person you need, the person trained to find answers, is -virtually- right there, in the webchat box, on your screen.

When your brand consistently offers superior customer service, most clients are prepared to spend a little extra on the product to ensure they will benefit from the convenience that comes with great service. If you’re ready to grow your business and build lasting customer relationships, enhanced customer service with live chat software makes a huge difference!

Stats for local businesses

Local Business Statistics

A local business is any business that serves a local market and is not part of a national chain, and they are essential. In fact, local businesses are often the backbone of the local economy. This is especially true when you take the time to look at this infographic on Broadly for a better explanation of how vital these types of businesses are to economies. 

Statistics on local businesses

Local Businesses versus the Chain Stores

It might be surprising for you that nearly 66% of the population is willing to pay more at local stores for the same things that would cost less at other stores. The fact that many are willing to spend more for the convenience of not going too far to get the things that are needed can help local businesses in a community thrive.

The Power of Local Search

When an individual needs something, they often use the internet to search for a local store that provides it. Roughly 72% of the people who execute a local search will visit a store that is located within five miles of their current location. Did you know, there has been a 900% growth in recent searches for shops that end with “near me tonight/today”. 

The Impact of Mobile and the Internet

With nearly everyone carrying around a cellphone in their pocket there is a big opportunity for driving those people into your local business.

Mobile searches with the words “open near me now” have also increased by nearly 200%. This is a simple search that shows that individuals are looking for local shops to find what they need. Many of these searches result in a visit to the local shop within a period of 24 hours, and it has been determined that nearly 82% of all consumers check their phones while they are shopping to see if the purchase is a good one. 

In the US alone, 36% of the small businesses that exist do not have websites of their own. This is extremely hurtful for business because …. 

Having a good mobile SEO will help because…. 

Here are some interesting statistics about local businesses in this space:

  • 84% of consumers will treat an online review that they read just like a personal recommendation from a friend.
  • A few bad reviews on the company’s site will make the reviews seem more reasonable for most consumers.
  • Negative reviews must be handled properly by the store management for it to draw in customers.
  • Only about 30% of the customers that you would normally get will allow one negative review to prevent them from doing business with a local business owner. 
  • About 70% of your customers are likely to leave a review when asked.
  • Reviews from existing customers are expected to boost the business by about 30% more sales, which can be a lot for a local business.
Small business statistics

Small Business Statistics

When it comes to the work environment of most Americans, it is the small business sector that the majority are employed. A small business is defined as any business that employs less than 500 people at a time, and these types of companies account for 99% of all of the businesses in the country. For this reason, those thinking about starting a business of this type face a bit of competition, but there’s a lot of room for success. Broadly has created this informative infographic to illustrate some of the top stats in this business sector.

Small Businesses Can Be for Everyone

These types of businesses are a great sector to consider for minority and women entrepreneurs; about eight million of these businesses are run by owners that are Asian, Black, Hispanic, or Native American. This number of minority-led companies is only growing!; based on the infographic on Broadly, a steady increase of as much as 38% has been observed, which means that the market is becoming very friendly to people of color. Additionally, for women entrepreneurs, the small business market is growing into a very worthy consideration for investment as well. 

When it comes to employing people, small businesses owned by women and people of color have a relatively high number of paid employees. For women-owned businesses, about 10.5% of the small businesses in the country have paid employees. For businesses owned by minorities, the number is slightly higher; about 11% of these businesses have paid employees that help in day-to-day operations. 

 

Management and Some of the Pitfalls of Ownership

When it comes to owner salaries, there’s a wide range of numbers that can be encountered in this space. Owning a small business does not guarantee that you will succeed as these stats will show you:

  • The median cost for a small business startup is about $10,000.
  • As much as 30% of the business owners don’t even take a salary. 
  • About 86% of owners earn less than $100,000 per year. 
  • The average salary for many owners is about $59,000.

It Takes Extensive Work

The market for small businesses is healthy, but it’s essential to understand that it’s very easy to fail when you’re running a business of this type. Typically, the factors that cause business failure can be avoided, but the stark data presented in the Broadly infographic states that up to 50% of these small businesses will fail within five years, and 70% will fail in double that time period. 

Unfortunately, much of this comes down to mismanagement:

  • The standard business owner tends not to delegate properly and will take on too much responsibility.
  • About 82% of small businesses also tend to fall victim to poor cash management. 
  • Cyber attacks also cannot be ignored; small companies are about 43% likely to encounter a hack. In fact, about 60% will experience this within the first half-year.

Be Ready to Embrace Marketing 

This is essential, and about 47% of small business owners handle their marketing efforts in-house. Also, about 87% handle marketing via social media platforms. Despite this, about 84% of potential customers prefer businesses with a website to those that primarily engage with customers via social media.