The vast majority of people want to receive texts from businesses and communicate with businesses in that way. But there are some things you need to look out for to make your texting strategy the best it can possibly be. Here are 8 examples of business texts to avoid sending to your leads and customers.
Hi [First Name]
You want to text people because of its personal nature. But shortcuts like custom fields only save time and effort if you use them carefully. Relying on automations too heavily leads to embarrassing situations like this one. Obviously mistakes will happen – and sometimes technology simply doesn’t work in our favor – but don’t be afraid to include some sort of QA process to ensure all “customizations” will show up before hitting send.
Contract and Agreement Discussion or Negotiation
There aren’t enough characters to cover these topics properly and people don’t want an endless stream of messages. And more importantly, texting isn’t the best way to discuss sensitive or private information, which could easily come up when discussing contracts, terms of service, etc.
While you can cover general concepts relating to a contract, introduce an important aspect of a contract, or clarify a small portion of an agreement through texting, you should then prompt someone to look at their email, get on a phone call, or schedule an in-person meeting.
If a customer or client texts you about their contract, redirect the conversation as appropriate to a better communication channel.
Notice of Contract Termination or Expiration
If you’re ending a business relationship with a client or customer, do not simply send them a text. It’s very unlikely you’ll be able to convey the proper information and use the right nuance.
Imagine how off-putting it would be to receive a text that essentially says, “Your contract has now expired” or even worse “We have terminated your contract” without any warning or follow-up. This will undoubtedly lead to unhappy customers.
Sure, use texting to remind someone to do something related to a contract, such as notifying a gym member to complete a payment to avoid losing their membership or reminding a client to sign the new contract you sent over. But don’t try to use texting as a way out of having a difficult conversation, no matter how simple it seems.
This applies more so when texting a client as opposed to a customer, but you should never critique a client or their work over text. It leaves too much room for misinterpretation and could easily be seen as a passive-aggressive action.
If you have to question whether or not it’s acceptable to text a client about something, the answer is no. Figure out a better way to have that conversation and use texting to set it up.
It may seem counter-intuitive to consider reminders to be texts no one wants. But there’s a line. An appointment confirmation text is great. A reminder a day or two before a meeting is great. A reminder the day of could even be helpful. But anything more than that is (almost) always overkill.
Unless people specifically ask for daily reminders of some sort, opt for intermittent. For example, it’s acceptable for a personal trainer to text their clients every day about training sessions. But it’s not okay for a sales rep to text their leads every day to push them to make a decision.
Last-Minute Meeting Cancellations
Texting lets us communicate quickly and send follow-up reminders, but don’t rely on texting alone to make sure someone knows you need to cancel. You certainly cannot assume they’ll see your text in time.
Go ahead and text them that you need to cancel, but also do everything else you can to ensure they aren’t left waiting for a call or, worse, for you to show up in person.
Requests of Personal Information
When it comes to business texts to avoid, this is perhaps the most important. Just never ask people for personal information — birthdays, addresses, etc. — via text. That quickly gets you into trouble. If you need that info, text someone and include a link to a secure site or ask them to schedule a phone call.
Don’t put anyone’s personal information at risk because of convenience!
Information Meant for Someone Else
I’m sure all of us have sent a message to the wrong friend when trying to make plans. But when it comes to business matters, sending a message to the wrong people sends recipients straight into panic mode. Sending a message to the wrong person also only leads to stress for the sender as a potentially important message never got read by the right person!
Confusion abounds when messages go to the wrong people. Double and triple check the right recipients are getting the right messages before hitting send.
Carefully planning and executing your business texting strategy helps ensure you aren’t sending texts no one wants. As you interact with your customers and clients, you’ll figure out other business texts to avoid sending.