Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

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Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

Postby Not your average framer » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:57 am

I've been thinking about contacting my customers by text messages to tell them when there framing is ready for collection, but I find texting via a mobile phone less than convenient, because the buttons are to small and you need to use multiple key strokes to choose the letters you want. I also don't much like predictive texting.

I know that doctors surgeries and dentists use SMS texting to remind customers about their appointments. Is there an easy way to do this using you normal computer keyboard and just changing the customers details using a template prepared on your desktop computer?

I was thinking about using a cheap pay as you go mobile phone to send the text messages created on the computer, but finding information about this is not easy. Does anyone else already do this?

Thanks,
Mark
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Re: Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

Postby Steve N » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:09 am

I have a templates set up on my phone, so all I have to do is type in the number, then chose > insert text> Templates> then I chose the template, then press send, all my customers are contacted this way when their work is ready

Did use this for a while https://www.mysms.com/ (the Free Version) you down load a app to your phone and login on line on the desktop, then connect the two via wifi. I then copied and pasted the message from NotePad into the desktop app, typed in the number and press send, can't remember why we stop using it and went back to just using the phone :sweating: :oops:
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Re: Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

Postby Tudor Rose » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:24 pm

We have unlimited free texts on our mobiles so use those. We've got a template set up so that we can choose the message and send. We also tend to use the speaking option on the mobile keyboard to save typing in the phone number too (we use iphones but presume most phones do this now). Sending text messages is quick and easy and most customers these days prefer a text message rather than a phone call. It is also really handy for follow up texts if they don't come in for a while and easy to change the messages to include things like Christmas opening hours or when we are closing for a holiday.

You can get some pretty cheap SIM only deals that include a lot of text messages within the monthly cost. May be cheaper than doing it on a Pay As You Go.
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Re: Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

Postby prospero » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:31 pm

Ever thought of a so-called Smart phone Mark? You don't have to spend a fortune. I've got a Nokia Lumia which was about
£80. You then have a virtual keyboard and no twiddling about with buttons.

I must say that txting is a great way of notifying customers. No leaving phone messages or faffing about. Once you send a txt
it's on their phone and they will read it eventually. :D Although there are still folks who have mobiles and have the mindset of
"I only have it for emergencies and I don't switch it on 'cos it runs the battery down". :roll:
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Re: Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

Postby featurepiece » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:41 pm

We used to use Skype - it was pretty useful, also of the benefits was they couldn't reply with questions and it didn't display any number - just the name you setup initially. Our msg unusually said something like 'your framing is ready etc etc blab blab. Any questions please call 123194893284928923', it was only about 10p per message.

Also, it kept a log of the messages send along with the delivery status. It was always good if we got someone complaining that they weren't informed, we could just say 'well, we sent a message on Thursday 10th June at 3.27 and it was read by the recipient'
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Re: Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

Postby Not your average framer » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:44 pm

Thanks Steve,

I've had a look at that, but you need to already have a mobile phone to use that and I have not had one for a while and don't really have much need for one. So I've been checking out skype and I can sent text messages using that without needed a mobile phone, which will be less bother.

The shop that I will be relocating to will no longer be next to where I live, so I have to get an extra internet connection, which is unfortunate, but that's the way it is.
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Re: Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

Postby Not your average framer » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:50 pm

Hi Peter,

These virtual keyboards are a bit of a problem for me. Being a diabetic I not only don't have the same feeling in my finger tips, but also the skin on my fingers is thicker and drier than if I was not a diabetic. Using touch screens is a bit hit and miss for me, so I find life easier without them. So far skype looks like the best option.
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Re: Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

Postby Not your average framer » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:55 pm

Thanks Featurepiece,

I had a quick look at skype's info before you mentioned this and then saw that you mentioned this too. Thanks for your confirmation. This is looking like the way to go.
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Re: Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

Postby theframer » Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:22 pm

On my I Phone i have a speaker button on the text messages just press that and speak your message dont know what phone you have but may have the same feature,
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Re: Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

Postby JohnMcafee » Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:05 pm

SMS is built into EstLite. While it is not free to use, it does save a bit of faffing about as customer and job details are already on the system, and it is easy to set up two or three templates of varying strengths (from simple notification, through gentle reminder, to something a bit stronger) that will be auto filled and dispatched at the touch of a button.
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Re: Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

Postby kuduframes » Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:01 pm

Smartphone is the way to go

There's a good choice of stylus options which get over the finger trouble.
I'd be lost without mine and apart from basic communications like phone, text, email, whatsapp etc I can place supplier orders, check supplier stock, google, play cards, check the FF and also have a home brewed excel pricing app. Camera quality is also superb and picture messages add another dimension.
I have no landline or internet access at my unit and rely purely on the mobile network.
Technology is fantastic nowadays, jump in and try it, you wont be disappointed.

I have an old Nokia 840 (I think it's that model) in good working order apart from a temperamental micro usb charger port. I'll happily post it to you foc if you would like to have a go
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Re: Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

Postby Not your average framer » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:00 pm

Thanks Kuduframes,

It's a very kind offer and I'm not ungrateful, but I think that I will find it easiest using a desktop computer and keyboard. There's gonna be one needed in the shop, so it will be there anyway.
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Re: Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

Postby kuduframes » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:19 pm

Well I guess you are lucky if you have space for a desk top job.
My earlier reference to technology being fantastic was intended as "mobile technology"
I think "mobile" is the operative word and this is the way that the world is going, at least for the immediate time being but who knows what will come along next.
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Re: Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

Postby GeoSpectrum » Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:34 pm

Have a look at this site https://www.vyke.com, app based SMS. There are a number of web based options which you can use on a PC or iPad/tablet but the advice is dont go for the free ones as the level,of service is likely to be poor.
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Re: Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

Postby Not your average framer » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:12 pm

Thanks Alan,

Looks useful, but I think I'm going for skype.
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Re: Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

Postby kuduframes » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:20 pm

Hi Mark

Sorry if I'm repeating myself but I cannot help thinking about how you are planning your communications...

I have never been a big skype user but as I understand, and I may well be wrong, a user has to be signed in to be able to be contacted, can anyone shed any light on this please? If this is the case you are seriously limited before you even get started. I would also hazard a guess that Skype is becoming less popular in general.

I have also just realised in reading through the thread again that you will have to establish a new internet connection when you move. To me, everything seems to point towards a mobile solution provided of course that the mobile network coverage is ok at your new location. What you would save in paying for internet would cover the cost of a decent mobile phone contract with all the current popular comms platforms included and a guaranteed common base to be able to contact the majority of your customers.

Maybe the best people to ask about preferred contact methods should be your customers.

Only trying to help...

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Re: Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

Postby fusionframer » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:54 am

I would use a mobile solution too. It will depend on neywork coverage, but there is normally one provider with good coverage.

You don't necessarily need to use a smartphone. A tablet with a sim card will make it easier to type and you can text (just not call) from one of these. I have one with 10gb of data for £12 per month.

Alternatively, rather than the hastle of a broadband service, it would be cheaper to get a mobile broadband dongle.

I check with customers whether they want a call or text message. I have templates set up like others have said.

I would be lost without my smartphone. I don't have a landline, so all calls come through. This means i can block nuisance calls as well. I use it or my tablet to place orders, and also it connects to Bluetooth speakers, so my music or radio whilst working is run from my phone.

I also do and print out invoices from my smartphone. Only problem is i would be lost without it.

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Re: Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

Postby featurepiece » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:07 am

kuduframes wrote:
I have never been a big skype user but as I understand, and I may well be wrong, a user has to be signed in to be able to be contacted, can anyone shed any light on this please? If this is the case you are seriously limited before you even get started. I would also hazard a guess that Skype is becoming less popular in general.


No, Skype can send messages to mobile phones (SMS) not just Skype users - it's about 10p per message. Can't accept replies though but that isn't a problem I reckon :) The message will appear on their phone with the sender details - that will be whatever name you specify.
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Re: Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

Postby iantheframer » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:23 am

If you log onto your service providers website and register there they should have an option to send text merssage from your client area.
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Re: Contacting your customers by SMS text messages

Postby Steve N » Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:22 pm

featurepiece wrote
"Can't accept replies though but that isn't a problem"


Most of my customers often reply, telling me when they will come to collect, or say they are away ,so can't collect for a couple of weeks so I would say it is a problem, well that's my opinion :giggle:
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