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Over half of consumers want businesses to text them back

The majority of consumers and small business owners prefer to text each other more often, according to a recent survey.

Texting has become ubiquitous to almost all of us. Most Americans (95 percent) own a cellphone, with 77 percent owning a smartphone. Consumers and small business owners find value in two-way text messaging, and want to text each other more frequently, according to a survey by Seattle, WA-based cloud software platform Zipwhip.

It has released its The State of Two-Way Business Texting 2018 study. It asked over 500 consumers and 250 small business owners to discover attitudes and practices related to two-way texting.

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It is easy to see why text messaging is the most-used data service across the world. We send and receive five times as many texts compared with the number of phone calls each day, according to mobile intelligence firm Informate.

A huge 90 percent of the time, a text is read within the first three minutes of receiving. Customers who receive texts from businesses tend to have a 40 percent higher conversion rate than those who do not. Small businesses could benefit from this consumer behaviour.

There are over 200 million business phone numbers in the US. Most businesses are able to text-enable their existing landline, VoIP, or toll-free phone number, which allows customers to communicate with businesses and get rapid responses.

Texting is one of the best ways for small businesses to strengthen their relationships with their customers. According to Zipwhip, texting can drive customer engagement and loyalty across almost all consumer industries.

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It can also improve communication channels between businesses and consumers and give consumers a personal and streamlined experience that will ultimately improve brand perception.

Top-level findings from the survey revealed that 56 percent of consumers and 53 percent of small business owners want to text with each other more often.

Respondents showed strong business communication preferences. Over 50 percent of consumers reported that they preferred text message over the phone, while one-third prefers text message over email

Over two thirds (71 percent) of 30- to 44 year olds said they would text a business more frequently if they had the opportunity, followed by 65 percent of 18- to 29 year olds.

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John Lauer, CEO of Zipwhip, said

"As we move toward a mobile-first world, consumers want to communicate with businesses in the same way they do with friends and family, and that's text messaging. Texting is easier, faster and boasts a 98 percent open rate.

While texting was once a tactic embraced for small-scale communication needs, it is now the preferred method for communication and an invaluable part of the customer journey."

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