70% of consumers prefer to schedule appointments via text: 5 tips for safe, effective patient texting

Andrea Park - Print  | 

More than two-thirds of consumers prefer scheduling appointments by text message rather than by email (25 percent) or phone (5 percent), and 53 percent would like to receive customer service and support via text, according to a new report.

Though texting is not yet universally used for businesses' outreach, in its survey of 1,000 consumers and 1,600 businesses, Zipwhip's "2020 State of Texting" report found that about 68 percent of organizations do text their consumers, demonstrating a shrinking gap between consumer preferences and organizations' offerings.

Reasons commonly cited by those surveyed as to why they have yet to adopt text messaging to reach consumers included the belief that consumers do not want to text businesses; concerns that their messages will be perceived as spam; and reluctance to introduce yet another communication channel into their outreach strategies.

The report offered five "common-sense" strategies to help businesses assuage these fears and ensure their texts are effective:

1. Ask for permission before texting consumers.

2. Ensure they know how to opt out of text communications.

3. Use natural, conversational language.

4. Keep the number of texts sent to a minimum.

5. Only send absolutely necessary, relevant texts.

View the full report here.

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