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Using Text Communications to Navigate the COVID-19 Crisis

It’s been an extraordinary few weeks as we’ve come to grips with the expanding reality of COVID-19. As we adapt our personal and work lives to move forward, the way we engage our customers and employees is requiring new tools and practices that can help us adjust.

You likely know Marchex as a conversational analytics and solutions company.   Yet as customer and employee communications channels and technology have evolved, so has Marchex. The world has become increasingly mobile over the last decade and that is more true today than ever as we work from home in increasing numbers.  Marchex has expanded its capabilities to include several SMS text solutions for businesses with customers who prefer texting.  We recognize that texting is becoming increasingly adopted in business, both externally and internally.

During these times of social distancing, calls and texts are more important than ever, and adding a consumer-friendly communication channel expands the ways in which businesses can engage with customers and employees in real-time.

Texting Can Be a Lifeline for Business and Customer Engagement

For example, Marchex company Sonar has direct experience helping businesses put SMS text communication plans in place during a crisis. With Sonar, a large regional insurance carrier put outbound SMS messaging in place in the early days immediately following Hurricane Irma when phone lines were out. As a company facing a devastating event, they were challenged with finding an immediate solution to the question: How can we communicate with all of our customers to check on their safety and start helping them pick up the pieces?  This capability gave the Insurance carrier a lifeline to reach their customers and communicate throughout a time when phone lines and email service were incapacitated. By engaging in text communications, they were able to offload dramatically increased volume from an overwhelmed call center while helping to meet critical customer needs that would otherwise have been meaningfully delayed.  From within their central CRM, they were able to send out mass texts to all their customers asking, “Hey, how are you doing? What’s going on? Do you need any help?” Within 30 minutes, HALF of their clients had responded.  This enabled the insurance company to deliver great customer experience at a time of critical need.

Texting Can Help Businesses Stay in Touch with a Distributed Workforce

We are seeing many more businesses implement texting capabilities to help keep their employees and salesforces informed with current, real-time updates. Several enterprise and international businesses are implementing SMS messaging with their workforce in the field to ensure that all employees have the latest information as soon as it’s available. In an environment where teams are becoming more distributed, information sharing can be challenged and critical opportunities to communicate can be missed.  Adding text capabilities can mean sending critical information to a sales team to make sure a valuable lead is responded to in a timely fashion or keeping employees updated on critical corporate information in the face of rapidly changing dynamics, such as the circumstances we are all facing with the Covid-19 outbreak.  Employing texting solutions can be a critical application for staying connected, informed and highly productive, especially as workforces are becoming more distributed.

Marchex is committed to working with customers as we navigate these highly unusual times. If you would like to learn more about how to implement a text-based channel to communicate with customers or your workforce in this challenging environment, please contact us so we can help you get started.