SEATTLE – According to a new survey from Zipwhip, a business text messaging software company, 58 percent of consumers say texting is the fastest way to reach them. Consumers also found texts about appointment reminders and shipping updates to be the most valuable.
Zipwhip surveyed more than 2,000 businesses and consumers to find out how their use of technology has changed since the pandemic. 
Here are some of the survey's notable findings:
Texting is the fastest way for a business to reach the majority of its customers.
Fifty-eight percent of consumers say texting is the fastest way to reach them, making it a strong alternative to emails and phone calls. Fifty-four percent of businesses say they have a difficult time getting a hold of customers, and 78% say they play phone tag with customers “somewhat” to “very often.”
More businesses adopted texting in 2020 as COVID-19 created a need for better communication.
Seventy percent of businesses now use texting to reach customers and employees, up 3 percent from a year ago. Thirty-four percent of businesses adopted texting because of the pandemic, and 77% of them say they’ll continue texting post-COVID.
Texts about appointment reminders and shipment updates were most valuable to consumers in 2020.
Sixty-four percent of consumers said appointment reminder texts were the most valuable, while 48% said updates on shipments and 29% said discounts on products or services. Businesses should take note of the types of texts customers want to receive to ensure they’re providing value.
Businesses lack awareness around TCPA best practices.
Forty-four percent of businesses that text are unfamiliar with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which safeguards consumers from unwanted calls and texts. Not complying with TCPA rules, like obtaining opt-in, can result in big, often expensive penalties for businesses. More than a quarter of businesses admitted to sending texts in 2020 to customers that hadn’t opted in.
Text payments may be a missed opportunity for businesses.
Nearly half of consumers say they would like the option to pay a business by text if it was done securely, yet only 29 percent of businesses say they would consider accepting payments by text. As digital, contactless payment options grow more popular, businesses should be mindful of their customers’ preferences.

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