Our society has long known about the annoying call habits of telemarketers. Some of these telemarketers are trying to make an honest day’s wages, while others are guilty of participating in various scams.

Although some of us assume that these telemarketing calls are done exclusively by humans, it’s becoming increasingly common to receive calls from robots. These robots aren’t exactly the metallic machines seen in sci-fi movies. They’re often artificial intelligences, or A.I., that sound and even respond like humans, but are actually computer programs designed to converse with regular people by phone.

As calls from robots, or robocalls, become more prevalent as a means to telemarket different products and services, consumers are growing weary of them. The FCC has used regulations to limit robocalls since the early 1990s, but plenty of people continue to deal with these types of calls on a regular basis.

Many small businesses struggle to reach their customers due to the prevalence of robocalls. If clients don’t already have a business’s number in their phone’s contact list, they end up rejecting calls just to avoid robocalls and other telemarketers. This call avoidance causes them to miss out on essential information from the businesses and organizations they actually trust.

One way to get around the call avoidance resulting from robocalls is by taking advantage of text messaging. Texting isn’t necessarily a new form of communication for most people, but it is an underutilized tool among small businesses.

By contacting more customers via text message, small businesses can increase response rates from their customers. This blog post will explore some of the obstacles presented by robocalls, then will show how Weave’s texting options overcome robocalls to improve response rates.

5 Robocall Obstacles

1. General Communication

Robocalls hamper general communication between your office and its clients. In one of our recent surveys of veterinary clinic customers, we found that only 15% of millennials always answer unknown numbers. However, if they know the call is from their preferred veterinarian, those same millennials answer 81% of the time.

Because of this hesitancy to answer unknown numbers, millennials and older demographics are missing out on vital information from the businesses they trust. Whether your office is attempting to schedule an appointment, give a reminder about an upcoming appointment, or share important medical information with clients, call avoidance stemming from robocalls slows down communication between you and your customers.

2. Missed Calls

There are also many instances in which customers call your office, but can’t reach your administrative team. They might leave a voice message, but this often evolves into a game of phone tag. Your office calls back and leaves a message, clients do the same thing, and the cycle continues from there.

Many small businesses lack the ability to handle high call volumes. They may only have one or two secretaries, so any influx of calls could leave them swamped and unable to take calls in a timely manner. Robocalls discourage people from answering the return calls of your administrative team, causing a breakdown in communication and low response rates.

3. Cancellations

Some of the missed calls and voicemails your office receives are last-minute cancellations. Any good marketing strategy accounts for a certain percentage of appointments to fall through. However, some small businesses don’t have the right protocol or tools in place to fill these vacant time slots.

Again, the frequency with which people get robocalls makes it difficult to find folks to take advantage of same-day openings. Some administrative teams resort to laboriously going through old lists and calling customers one at a time in the desperate hope of filling cancelled appointments. The likelihood of getting ahold of someone for a same-day appointment is quite low using this method.

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4. Collections

When customers neglect to pay following an appointment, your office might not see them again for months. Once they leave your office, it’s going to be potentially very difficult to contact them. Telemarketers and robocalls discourage people from picking up even the most important calls, like those regarding payments.

In order to ensure payments are collected on time, small businesses should adopt new ways to process payments including sending a text with a payment link. If you only retrieve payments by older methods such as phone call reminders, you are limiting the speed and frequency with which you can collect payments from customers, as well as their response rate.

5. Customer Reviews

Online customer reviews are a staple in contemporary marketing strategies. Like payments, customer reviews are best requested directly following an appointment. If clients hurry out of your office, it’s going to be tough to contact them about reviews in the months to come.

Robocalls make it less likely that your customers will answer calls regarding online reviews. Emails can be equally ineffective, with some people not checking their inbox for weeks and months at a time. Sometimes the easiest approach to improving response rates for review requests is via text.

Weave’s Text Options

Perhaps the best way to get around the obstacles presented by robocalls is text messaging. Some businesses are tempted to use their own robocalls, but this approach to business communication and marketing frequently alienates customers. Texting is popular and commonplace, allowing customers to feel relaxed and making them more likely to respond.

98% of text messages are opened, a number that’s hard to match through other lines of communication, such as phone calls and emails. Weave’s software facilitates text communication, thereby increasing the productivity of your workforce and your overall revenue.

Let’s look at five key texting features we provide to help your office overcome robocalls.

1. Two-way Texting

Having a text option available to both customers and employees can change the way your business communicates. In a recent survey, we found that 41% of dental clients forget about upcoming cleanings when they don’t get a reminder from their dentist office. Reminders in the form of robocalls are frequently off-putting, while texts are a down-to-earth reminder option.

With two-way texting, your office can do much more than simply send reminders. They’re also able to handle scheduling and answer other questions through our software designed to support HIPAA-compliant communication. Secretaries can have multiple conversations simultaneously by text, while juggling multiple calls at once is usually a stressful task.

2. Missed Call Auto Texts

Another feature included in Weave’s toolbox is our missed call auto texting. If customers can’t reach your office staff, they receive an auto text notifying them that they’ll be contacted as soon as possible. They also are given the option to start a text conversation with your team.

Robocalls can’t match this level of sophistication. By implementing missed call auto texts, your business lets its clients know that their concerns will be addressed quickly and also puts them in touch with your human workforce via text. While robocalls push people apart, text options open up new lines of communication.

3. Quick Fill Lists

Office teams are often frustrated by same-day cancellations. Even though they’re to be expected as a normal aspect of running a business, it’s a pain to frantically fill these time slots. Fortunately, Weave provides Quick Fill software meant to save your team time and effort in replacing cancelled appointments.

Quick Fill allows you and your employees to select up to ten clients at a time to contact with a text blast. These customers can view up to three available appointment times, and once they’ve chosen one, they’re removed from the Quick Fill list. This texting option offers a rapid solution to cancellations that avoids the pitfalls of robocalls.

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4. Text To Pay

Administrative teams spend significant amounts of time trying to reach customers regarding outstanding payments. Their messages often go ignored for long periods of time, and the businesses they represent go without some of the revenue they’ve earned as a consequence. On the other hand, our research demonstrates that businesses increase revenue by 29% by adopting a text payment option.

Weave’s Text To Pay software empowers your office team to collect payments by text. This option is simple, convenient, and secure for both employees and customers. It’s less intrusive than phone calls, especially robocalls, and gives customers the opportunity to pay for services with only a few clicks.

5. Review Texts

As previously mentioned, collecting reviews for websites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp is vital to maintaining the marketability of your business in the 21st century. The best time to collect these reviews is right after a visit to your office. However, many customers are in a hurry following a visit, and don’t have time to fill out a review at the front desk.

Our Reviews app enables your staff to send review requests to clients after appointments. By receiving these requests by texts, customers don’t have to worry about conversing with a robot. They are directed to a review site and can post their opinion of your business without any additional hassle.

Learn More About Weave’s Text Options

Robocalls are a nuisance to businesses and consumers alike. They make it difficult for businesses to contact customers with important information regarding scheduling, reminders, cancellations, payments, and reviews.

Weave gives businesses the ability to overcome the obstacles created by robocalls. Our software utilizes features like two-way texting, missed call auto texts, Quick Fill lists, Text To Pay, and review requests to improve communication with customers.

Watch a demo to learn more about how text messaging increases response rates.