Chapter 1: Real-Time Messaging is Eating the World
The old ways of doing business aren’t fast enough to keep up with today’s customer and their expectation of immediacy. As we’ve increased the speed of our communication, we’ve stopped relying exclusively on the phone and the email inbox. We still need phone and email touches, but what’s really driving the Era of Real-Time is messaging.
Text messaging, live-chat messaging, and internal team messaging are the cornerstones of a real-time approach. They’re all about the short, instant messages that can get you from A to Z — from confusion to clarity, from new prospect to delighted customer — in no time flat.
Here are the 4 channels of real-time messaging is impacting business:
- Text Messaging to Connect with Anyone, Anywhere
- Live Chat to Connect on the Website
- Social Messaging to Connect with Followers
- Internal Chat to Connect Internally
If you think about how you, your friends, your family, and your customers really communicate, text messaging likely plays a huge part. We don’t pick up the phone and call even our best friends anymore without sending a text to check and see if now is a good time to talk.
Which is why business-class text messaging has emerged as the single most powerful form of communication you can adopt to drive quicker connections, higher engagement, deeper relationships, and more closes for your business.
To be clear – we’re not talking about the old-school mass text messaging. We don’t mean promotions from strange 5-digit numbers trying to scam you into a contest or a pyramid scheme.
This is a new conversational approach to text messaging for business, built off of your existing business phone number, focused on creating quality relationships, starting meaningful conversations, and organically promoting customer engagement.
A text-enabled real-time communication strategy boosts your inbound and outbound conversion rates at all points throughout your contacts’ journey.
When you’re browsing at a brick and mortar store (it still happens sometimes, right?), what would you do if someone came up to you with a clipboard and started asking you a bunch of questions about who you were and what you were doing in the store?
You’d probably be pretty put off. If they were really persistent, preventing you from seeing the products you were shopping for unless you told them your job title and annual income, you’d likely turn around and leave the store. You’d probably tell your friends about how annoyed you were, too.
But, this is what we do every day to online prospects whenever we gate the info they’re interested in with intrusive forms.
The real-time answer to bloated, annoying forms is live chat. Tools like Drift keep you always connected to your online prospects. They sit unobtrusively in the corner of your website, always at the ready to connect leads with real members of your team, just like helpful sales reps in a in-person store. Live chat is a quick, instant way for you to give your contacts the info they need, when they need it.
Social Messaging is a must today to be sure your followers and customers can reach you on any popular social media channels, like: Facebook messenger, Instagram and Twitter.
Be sure to remind your team to respond and reach out in a personal way to leverage social real-time messaging.
Responding in real time to public social mentions and comments is important but the potential impact of using direct messages is being used to build relationships at scale.
A real-time philosophy isn’t only for your communication with customers and clients. Your internal team can move more quickly and authentically, cutting unnecessary back and forth, reducing communication bottlenecks, and distilling communication down to the essentials.
How? Reduce your email use and shift internal communication to messaging platforms like Slack. You and your team all know the frustration that comes from too many meetings that could’ve been emails. Now, we’ve moved into an era of too many emails that could’ve been simple Slack messages.
By focusing on messaging for your team communication, your organization can be freed from their bloated inboxes. Like all good messaging platforms, Slack encourages quick, brief, friendly messages that get the point across without wasting time. With internal messaging driving your organizational goals, you’ll become more responsive, more agile, and more fluent in the language of real-time that businesses now runs on.
With that in mind, we’re excited to share actionable tactics to most effectively use text messaging in your real-time communication strategy below. These tips will help you improve how you connect and engage with leads, close deals faster, and delight customers into brand promoters.
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