The Ultimate Business Text Messaging Guide
As the old adage goes, knowledge is power. With that in mind, we have crafted this guide to provide you with a comprehensive overview of business text messaging. While you don't need to be an expert in every topic we cover, this guide will provide you with the fundamental knowledge and insights you need to effectively implement a text messaging system in your business.
Consider it a valuable resource on your journey to mastering the world of business text messaging.
Everything You Need to Know About Phone Numbers
Landline vs VoIP
As a business owner, it’s essential for you to understand the technology behind the choices you are making. Let’s look at some definitions and review some key differences.
A landline is a phone system that uses physical metal wires, usually copper or fiber optic.
This is the technology most of us are familiar with.
You reach out to a telecommunication company, get a phone number, buy a physical phone, plug it into the wall, and there you go, you have a phone system for your business.
However, you should remember that the standard features available for a landline phone system have not changed much since phones have been around. They consist primarily of call waiting, caller ID, call blocking, and voicemail.
We can text-enable your landline phone system from service providers such as Comcast, Time Warner, Spectrum, and Rogers. Start a free trial today!
VoIP (voice over internet protocol)
VoIP is a phone system that uses the internet, and more specifically the cloud.
A VoIP phone system introduces a range of possibilities due to the fact that it doesn’t rely on a physical connection.
Given this difference, landlines are often referred to as hard phones and VoIPs are considered softphones.
We can text-enable your VoIP phone system from service providers such as RingCentral, Vonage, and Nextiva. Start a free trial today!
Mobile phones work the same way as landlines, the fundamental difference is that instead of a wired connection, mobile phone systems make calls using wireless electrical signals. Mobile phone numbers cannot be text-enabled.
What should you choose for your business?
A landline is generally more reliable than VoIP, as it uses a dedicated physical connection to transmit voice signals.
But both systems do present themselves as double-edge swords. If you lose power, you lose your landline and if you lose your internet connection then you lose your VoIP phone system. However, the likelihood of having access to a cellular network is much higher during an outage than having a generator.
Compatibility & Mobility
Landlines require a physical connection, so you are usually limited to a physical phone or fax machine.
A VoIP phone system can be used on any device with an internet connection, which makes it more flexible and portable than a landline.
Landline phone services can be more expensive than VoIP, especially if long-distance calls are frequently made. This is something to consider if you are going to receive international calls, a toll-free VoIP number might be the best option for you.
Landline phone service typically offers fewer features than VoIP, such as call forwarding and voicemail.
Phone Number Types
Local Phone Number
These are phone numbers that are assigned to a specific geographic location, such as a city or region. Local phone numbers typically have a three-digit area code followed by a seven-digit local number.
A landline local phone number is indistinguishable from a local mobile phone number.
Toll-Free Phone Number
These are phone numbers that are free for the caller to dial, as the cost of the call is paid for by the party being called. Toll-free numbers typically have a three-digit prefix, such as 800, 888, or 877, followed by a seven-digit number.
This is the best option for businesses with multiple locations locally in the USA and abroad.
Requires to go through a validation process through the carrier whereas a local phone number does not
These are phone numbers that spell out a word or phrase when dialed, such as 1-800-FLOWERS or 1-800-GOT-JUNK. Vanity numbers are often used by businesses as a way to make their phone number easy to remember.
A shortcode is a special type of phone number typically 5 or 6 digits in length, and they are designed to be easy to remember and quickly dialed.
In the past, service providers shared shortcodes, which meant that a single shortcode was used for multiple services. For example, a short code such as 55555 could have been used for voting in a television show, as well as for subscribing to a mobile marketing campaign.
This is no longer the case, shortcodes have become incredibly expensive and can no longer be shared. They are now mostly used by larger companies such as Amazon.
Everything You Need to Know About Consent
There are two types of consent that businesses can obtain from consumers in order to send them text messages explicit and implicit consent, let’s dive in.
Implicit consent is when a customer gives permission to receive text messages from a business by initiating an action first.
For example, if a customer provides their phone number so they can be contacted if a product comes back in stock, or when they drop off a product to be serviced. This exchange of information is considered implicit consent.
This key difference is important for business owners to understand.
If the customer starts the conversation, the business can finish it
Ikeono is not an SMS marketing platform, and mass-text messaging is not supported. Our campaign feature is tied to a specific transaction, allowing businesses to connect back with their customers on a personal level.
Most of us are already familiar with this form of consent thanks to email marketing.
Almost every time you sign up for a new service or fill out a form, you are asked to check off a box that essentially gives that business consent to contact you in the future with marketing material.
In business text messaging, explicit consent is when a customer specifically agrees to receive marketing text messages from a business.
This can be done through an opt-in process, where they are presented with a clear disclosure that they will receive text messages from the business if they provide their phone number.
Everything You Need to Know About Mobile Payments
The evolution of technology within the retail space has consistently addressed key challenges related to time. Constantly working on eliminating inefficiencies and improving processes to make it easier and faster for customers to interact with businesses.
It started with an online store that allows your business to be open 24/7 and now mobile payments remove the need for your customers to even get off the couch while browsing your website.
With the convenience of Apple Pay and Google Pay, your customers don’t even need to reach for their credit cards. Add the power of Ikeono’s suite of features, you have a formula for success.
Ikeono’s text payment feature is powered by Stripe and all major credit cards are accepted (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express).
Apple Pay uses advanced security features like Touch ID and Face ID to protect your customer’s payment information and prevent unauthorized transactions.
In addition, Ikeono’s payment over text is powered by Stripe and PCI compliant without the need for you to take any extra steps.
What is PCI compliance?
It is a security standard in the Payment Card Industry (PCI) that protects you and your customers. It allows businesses to securely accept and process payments.
Being PCI compliant means that a specific set of rules have been followed to allow you to securely accept major credit cards and avoid potential charges.
Have you been accepting credit card payments over the phone? Or have customer credit card information in an email or text message?
Please note that this practice is not PCI compliant. Ikeono’s text payment feature protects you and your customers through a simple secure payment link.
Contactless Payments with Ikeono
Webchat to Text Payments
Assisting customers while they are browsing your website can be the difference between a successful transaction and an abandoned cart.
The web chat tool enables you to not only provide real-time assistance but also to continue the conversation via text message. This allows you to support customers throughout the entire decision-making process, from initial product discovery to final payment and invoicing.
By leveraging the power of web chat and text messaging, you can provide a seamless and convenient shopping experience for your customers.
Out-of-Stock? No Problem – Just Text and Pay!
It’s been over two years since the pandemic, and we know businesses have felt the impact of the ongoing supply chain issues.
In both online and physical retail environments, it is not uncommon for customers to be disappointed when they find that a product they were looking for is out-of-stock.
With Ikeono you are able to manage the customer’s entire experience. Here’s a workflow we see very often:
The Power of Integrations
Your point-of-sale holds some of the most valuable information you have about your customers, their personal information, the brands they like to buy, their purchasing habits, and even personal anecdotal information that allows you to build an even stronger relationship with them.
Ikeono’s point-of-sale integration provides a number of powerful benefits. Let’s break it down.
Automation of Routine Tasks
With 90% of customers preferring text messaging over phone calls and email open rates at a mere 21%, routine tasks can be streamlined with a personal touch.
For more tips on Google and Facebook reviews, check out Ikeono’s recommended workflow here.
Make Data-Driven Decisions
Get valuable insights and data on customer behavior, which can help improve marketing and sales strategies down the line.
Centralized Phone Book
Having all your customer’s information in one place allows your team to easily access and manage customer data.
A direct integration with Ikeono means that there’s no need to export/import any customer data from your POS, simplifying the implementation process.
Streamline Your Service Department
Service departments don’t have it easy, you need to provide customers with a quote, things always turn out to be different once you get started on the repair, and instant communication becomes the most important tool you need.
Having a standardized process and updating your customers every step of the way is the key to a job well done and a happy customer that will rave about your service.
Automatically notify your customers via text every time the work order status changes or ask them for a convenient time to reach out via phone for longer more difficult conversations.
Explore Our Integrations
Our integrations make it easier for you to introduce a new business text messaging tool.
▸ Lightspeed Retail (R-Series) ▸ Lightspeed eCom (C-Series) ▸ Lightspeed Retail (X-Series)
▸ Google My Business ▸ Stripe payments ▸ Facebook, and Instagram messenger
How Our Free Trial Works
You can download our free 14-day trial and try Ikeono for yourself. Here are a couple of things to note.
✓ Your phone number is not being ported over.
✓ Your carrier stays the same.
✓ You won’t see any additional charges from your carrier.
✓ Your voicemail, voice calls, or phone trees won’t be affected.
One week after your trial, your phone number will be released and removed from hosting with Ikeono, unless you sign up of course!