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Industry • Best Practice

Two-Way SMS: 5 Features to Elevate Your Self-Care Business Communications

Foster client relationships with conversational text messages

When you’re running a self-care business, communication is key. Establishing a rapport helps build relationships with clients and turn first-timers into regulars. There are a number of ways to keep in touch, including social media, email, and phone calls. However, given the popularity of text messaging among the under-50 crowd, you’d be smart to include two-way SMS in your comm strategy.

That said, engaging in two-way text conversations with clients takes a thoughtful approach. Automated messages can feel robotic or impersonal if handled poorly, but having your team hand-craft responses all day isn’t realistic. By prioritizing a two-way SMS solution with the five features on this list, you’ll be able to strike a balance and give clients a more convenient — but personal — way to connect. 

Two-way SMS: 5 features you need

A natural tone that facilitates conversations

There’s no shortage of automated text solutions out there, but not all of them work the same way. Many of them are one-way only, with no option for clients to respond. Others only allow clients to respond with specific keywords, which doesn’t foster ongoing conversations. Additionally, automated messaging often comes off as robotic, which likely doesn’t vibe with your brand identity.

For your two-way SMS solution to be truly two-way, the lines of communication need to be open on both sides throughout every part of the client journey. That means going beyond keywords and keeping a conversational tone while ensuring that no client messages slip through the cracks.

Appointment confirmations and reminders to reduce no-shows

Reminders are an important part of self-care business administration; they help reduce no-shows and encourage repeat visits. Your front desk team can handle these reminders manually via phone or email, but that’s not the most effective use of their time. Instead, use your two-way SMS capabilities to automate this important step of the appointment journey.

Look for customizable reminders that you can edit to reflect your brand identity; this way, clients can be sure they’re getting a message from you, not spam. These notifications should not only confirm bookings but also send appointment reminders and pre-appointment preparation requirements as needed. With the right solution in place, this should all be fairly low-maintenance after the initial setup, leaving your team free to focus on the clients currently in the shop.

A dedicated phone number to stand out among the spam

There’s no two-way SMS without a dedicated phone line. Having a phone number specifically for client communications not only adds legitimacy (no more texts from strange numbers!), it actually enables two-way ongoing communications. When all of your messages come from the same phone number, clients know not to dismiss them as spam — while also having an easy way to get in touch to reschedule or ask questions. 

Having a dedicated phone number has additional benefits that go beyond two-way SMS. For example, Boulevard’s Messages feature has optional call forwarding and Caller ID functionality, keeping your business a step ahead when clients call your dedicated phone number. Just think of it as a single source of truth that clients can text or call at any point throughout their journey.

One inbox to rule them all 

Once you’ve got two-way SMS up and running, you can expect to have dozens of ongoing text threads with clients. It’ll be a chore to keep up with all of them if they’re all stored in different places, like individual client profiles. Instead, look for a centralized inbox that lets your team manage all incoming and outgoing messages from a single hub.

Having a dedicated inbox also makes it easier to keep track of conversation histories with individual clients. This way, you can be sure you’re addressing any ongoing challenges and answering the right questions without making your clients repeat themselves over and over again. 

Software integration that makes your life easier

You could add two-way SMS to your business by adding another or service, but why do that when you can take advantage of the self-care business software you already use? 

Your two-way SMS communications should seamlessly integrate into this software, allowing you to access your message inbox from the same dashboard where you find your client profiles, appointment calendar, and other features that make your life easier. With the right software partner, integrating two-way SMS functionality should be a breeze — which means you can focus on growing your business.

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