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Voice calls used to be the way consumers took care of business, from getting their hair done to scheduling a plumber’s visit. In a mobile-centric world, that is no longer the case.
In fact, 89 percent of consumers in one survey say they prefer to communicate with businesses via text messaging1. But only 30 percent of consumers say they actually receive texts from small businesses they patronize2.
For business owners who rely on appointments to make a living, missed calls are lost opportunities. And while some people still leave voice messages, those aren’t always handled quickly enough to prevent the customer from going elsewhere.
Texting, as the dominant form of communication, is now one of the most beneficial business investments, especially for small businesses. Texting is personal. It’s simple. And business texting can convert missed calls into sales.
For Posh KC, a premier beauty and bridal salon in Kansas City, answering calls is always a challenge. Employees focus on clients in the salon, so incoming calls often go unanswered.
Callbacks for voice mail messages are labor-intensive and problematic. Often clients don’t leave a message. Or the messages are incomplete or incoherent, requiring someone on staff to manually scroll through caller ID logs to match numbers with messages in order to return a call.
Since 90 percent of Posh KC’s appointments are booked by phone, missed calls are an obstacle to providing the high level of client service that the salon has built its business upon.
In just a few years, the owner of Posh KC, Ashley Patton, turned a part-time gig into Kansas City’s premier beauty and bridal makeup provider, with 12 professionally trained stylists and makeup artists. Amid that fast growth, the salon struggled to efficiently handle appointments and respond to client phone calls.
As a small business, Posh mixed a landline business phone and personal mobile phones to manage calls and book appointments. This just multiplied the challenges.
After seeing a brief product demonstration of Sprint Smart Messaging, Patton realized how the text messaging service could help the busy salon manage calls and better serve clients – without having to hire an employee just to answer the phone.
With Smart Messaging, Posh now has an “always on” automated attendant that ensures calls are never missed. Patton especially appreciates the AI-powered assistant, Numa. It can provide routine information about the salon and send auto-reply text messages that engage clients in text-based chats.
Posh has seen an immediate benefit from this smart text messaging solution, in the form of increased business. The Smart Messaging app is cloud-based, so it is accessible through the salon’s landlines, mobile devices, a tablet, and the Posh computer system. When a call can’t be answered by a real person, which is about 30 percent of the time, the salon can convert incoming calls to a text conversation, so no call ever really goes unanswered.
Clients whose calls aren’t answered receive an immediate personalized text message from Posh and can engage with the salon via text. All the messages remain within the app, so designated employees can check salon-related chats with clients while keeping work and personal messages separate. This has not only saved calls from going unanswered, but has improved the accuracy of communication with clients.
The app also adds texting capabilities to Posh’s website and Facebook page, so clients can get in touch with the salon without downloading any new apps, creating a new login, or having to fill out a cumbersome “contact us” form. The salon can also convert online leads into appointments or easily reschedule clients through the Smart Messaging app, without having to manage multiple messaging tools.
As Posh eyes future expansion of the salon, the Sprint Smart Messaging App can grow along with it. The solution supports multiple locations and phone numbers, with any combination of shared or individual inboxes that a business needs, as well as the ability to easily add app administrators to accommodate growth.