Do you message with your customers?

In our merchant interviews this past year, we often opened with just one question, “Do you message with your customers?” Not too infrequently, the conversation would go something like this:

"Yes, I do text message with my customers."

"Great, can we ask how you do that?"

"Uh… well, I give them my personal number."

"Ah, and how is that working?"

Generally most people shrugged and accepted the arrangement as the price of being in business. But with just a little prodding and reflection, folks would invariably share drawbacks to the arrangement.

"I get calls and messages at all hours. Dinnertime, evenings, weekends...and I do stop everything to answer them."

"It’s all mixed in with my personal calls and messages."

"I’m one fat thumb away from sending a customer the wrong message."

"My staff give out their cell phone numbers, but when they quit, they take all those contacts and relationships with them."

"I have no visibility into the conversations they’re having with our customers."

"It’s a pain handling voicemail, email, and text messages."

On the one hand, we applaud any merchant who is willing to give out his or her personal cell phone number. On the other hand, we think there’s a better way to do it.

Separate work and play with HeyNearby and relax.

  • Customers can still message you but now all messages are in one place.
  • All conversations handled by staff are still visible to everyone in your business.
  • Every message comes with customer identity. No unknown phone numbers on your screen.
  • Most customers don’t expect you to answer messages after hours, but they still would like to send them whenever they feel like it. Many people do shop at 10pm.
  • You and your staff can check messages on any device if you really want to answer them at 10pm from your couch. (Trust us, your customers will be amazed.)
  • Best of all, you can relax. Those messages will be there waiting for you.

We think it’s healthy to take a break from work and unplug. Have dinner with the family, get outside, and create some time for self-care. Just because it’s messaging doesn’t mean you need to always be on it. And when you are messaging with customers, we hope it can be as easy and productive as possible.

Better messaging tools for local business.