Staying ahead of the competition
Now imagine you’re having a conversation with a lead in SMS. Now how many of your competitors are doing the same thing? | would venture to say none.
And the reason that is is because most people, most businesses do not have SMS enabled as a communication channel between them and their customers.
Now you might be saying, hold on a second, Rod. Sometimes a business will SMS me and remind me about an appointment. Now have you ever tried to respond to that appointment?
Right, have you ever tried to respond to that SMS and engage in a conversation that’s like, oh, four o’clock, hey, guess what, sorry, I’m going to be late. You can’t do that. It’s either, I’m going to attend or I’m not going to attend, because the SMS is run by a robot that’s not very intelligent, whereas an SMS run by a human being or potentially a bot that is driven by artificial intelligence.
Now you have a communication flow that is nuanced and you can respond to people, to a business, in such a way that doesn’t require you to get on the phone with them. And you know what? One of the things that people most abhor is the prospect of getting on a telephone call with somebody they don’t know. And that’s especially strong today, right?
Back in the day, when I was coming up, we would just pick up the phone and have chats with our friends, no big deal.
Because we had no other option, right? And we all dreamed of the potential of video calling to be in our present day. Well, it turns out here we are, we’re doing video calls, it’s happening, but we still defer to text for most of our communications. And that’s what | would like you as a business to do with your customers and leads as well.
Tips for effective SMS communication
So what are some tips to communicate effectively over SMS? Well, you have to keep it conversational, right? You don’t need the, apart from the first SMS, just identifying who you are,
“Hi, it’s Rod from such and such practice.”
You might wanna do that because chances are it’s just going to come up as a number and most people will look at it and unless they see who it’s from in the first sentence, they might potentially ignore it and consider it spam and that’s not good.
So, if you identify yourself in that first line and then from there, you don’t have to keep signing off. They’re like, Thanks very much, Rod. “Sincerely Rod,” that’s for email.
This is SMS. It’s just a conversation So what do | advise? Have a conversation the way that you might with a friend or a family member. You might want to keep it a little bit more formal. You might want to maintain the voice of your practice, but again SMS is a much more conversational medium and it forgives so much more than a written email might, right?
So that means it’s entirely okay to have typos in the SMS. Not that you want to necessarily implement typos deliberately, but if you happen to have a typo, if you’re missing punctuation, if you’re summarizing a few things with abbreviations, that’s okay because that’s how SMS works, and that’s what we’re used to.
And the reason for that is because most of us are using our thumbs for this, right? So in reality, we all forgive each other for SMSs that aren’t as polished and constructed as emails and letters.
And that’s a good thing because once you get down to this more familiar style of conversation, what does it feel like?
You’re not communicating with a brand voice anymore. You’re not communicating with a business. You’re communicating with a potential friend.
And that’s considerably more advantageous to you if you want them to like you, if you want them to trust you, and if you eventually want them to buy.
Now I hope I’ve convinced you that using SMS is the future of communication for now, okay? This is where we’re at right now. You need to catch up, you need to make sure that you’re interacting back and forth in two-way SMSes, right? Not just one way where you’re reminding people of appointments, but in two-way SMSes where you’re going to have proper conversations. Now you might be going to me, “well, Rod, | don’t have somebody basically sitting there on a mobile phone, their personal mobile phone, responding to SMSes”. No! That’s not how I want you to do it.
By using a system like Hattie, you can have an SMS number for the entire practice. And even better, the SMS communications that go back and forth, they don’t stay on one phone that you have to pass around physically.
Like, for example, let’s say somebody goes home and wants to SMS with people over the weekend. Let’s say there’s an SMS required in the evening. Who’s got the phone? Where do you find the phone? No, no, no, no, no, no. What we do is we implement the SMS two-way exchange in Hattie.
And that means that anyone in your practice that has access to Hattie, whether they’re in your office or outside of your office, at any time 24-7 can interact via SMS with that customer and the record of that transcribed conversation remains in Hattie for good.
So what that allows you to do is leverage the entire team to jump in and support this patient and see the path of that SMS conversation stream in the past. So that you can leverage the context that’s been created by that conversation in real time.
So you can either use yourself, people who work for you to communicate via SMS, or if you’re really, really cool and flashy, you can implement an Al booking bot that will communicate via SMS with customers until they book, sounding like a real person, and thereby getting more bookings as a result.
Even when you’re not in the building, even when you’re on the beach, having dinner with your wife or husband, whatever it is, that thought is working on your behalf with your prospective customers and your patients. Isn’t that wonderful?
All right, so that’s the beauty of SMS messaging and the beauty of integrating Hattie to manage your SMS messaging for your practice.