On Stage at Zendesk Showcase San Francisco

Last week the Textline team attended Zendesk Showcase, a conference focused on Zendesk products as well as customer experience trends and case studies. Zendesk introduced exciting new additions to their suite of customer experience tools. In a session titled "Make Zendesk Your Own," Textline's own AJ Chan shared the main stage with Michelle Torres from Zendesk, Allyse Brown from Atlassian, and Lindsay Schauer from Slack for a panel discussion on the topic of extending functionality with Zendesk Marketplace apps.

Zendesk CEO Mikkel Svane declared that we are only at the beginning of conversational business. We couldn't agree more! If your organization uses Zendesk for email customer service, check out Textline's powerful Zendesk add-on and let customers text your business as well as email.



Publicize your Textline number

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Congratulations—you set up your Textline account! Now make sure customers know they can text you. One instrumental step is to advertise your Textline number to ensure your customers know where to find you.  

Whether customers want to text you about a potential purchase or an issue related to your product, you need to make it easy for them. The first step after onboarding your team on Textline is to make your business texting number public. Here’s a checklist of places to post your Textline number to help you get started: 

  • Your website

  • Your social media accounts 

    • Instagram Text Button: From your business profile, select “Edit Profile.” Choose Contact Options. Add your phone number. Choose the Text option. Save it. 

    • Twitter and Facebook: Simply add your Textline number to your profile information. 

  • Google profile: Add your Textline number to your Google profile so that when someone does a quick Google search, they can easily access your text number. Here’s a link with instructions. 

  • Mobile widget: Add a prompt to text that pops up from your mobile site every time a user goes to your website using their phone. Here are the steps.

  • Signatures and email receipts: Let customers know they can text you at any point in the customer journey. Share your texting number on email receipts or signatures, or hyperlink it to make it easier to text. See instructions here


Customers want to text you. 

According to SimilarWeb, half of your customers are browsing your website on their mobile phone rather than their desktop computer. Texting is the most natural thing for them to do when they’re on the go and want to quickly connect. Let them text you from where they are—their cell phone. 


Your team will love it. 

Not only is texting faster when you want to communicate with multiple customers at the same time, but it also helps accomplish your business goals. Customers who can text companies about their products feel more connected to the brand and are more likely to stay engaged.

Getting help with Apple Card

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Today Apple customers in the U.S. can apply for Apple Card, a new credit card designed for iPhone. As Apple fans surely expect, Apple Card introduces many innovations compared to traditional credit cards, from the application process to the cash back rewards. Apple also announced their innovative approach to customer service. During Apple's March 2019 special event, Apple Pay Vice President Jennifer Bailey said:

"We've also made it really easy to get help. With Apple Card, if you have a question, just text us right from Messages: everything from getting details on a transaction to letting us know your new address. It's as easy as messaging a friend!"

Your business can also offer help "as easy as messaging a friend" like Apple! Just sign up for a Textline account to get a textable phone number for your business, or add text messaging capabilities to your company's existing support line. Start a free trial today or text +1 (415) 849-4349 for more information.

7 things that happened at Twilio Signal 2019

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Last week the Textline team attended Signal 2019, Twilio's annual user and developer conference in San Francisco. Here are 7 notable things that happened, in no particular order 😉

1. Twilio's CEO Jeff Lawson said “Conversations are eating apps.” Further, he declared that while the 2000s were the decade of web sites, and the 2010s were defined by apps, the 2020s will be ruled by conversations. We agree! From the start, Textline has been encouraging businesses to upgrade from one-way SMS notifications to personal two-way conversations.

2. Macklemore got sucked into The Game Grid. The Grammy Award-winning artist appeared live on stage during the Day 2 keynote presentation, only to get zapped into the cloud, requiring the attending developers to help him hack his way out later.

3. We learned that it is against the law to play hold music when a caller is on hold in Germany. It's important for our team to stay up-to-date on the laws and guidelines that govern business text messaging. The Textline team attended conference sessions on topics like call center security and regulatory compliance in the US and elsewhere.

4. Textline's Chief Creative Officer, Jordan Gadapee, won a pair of Bose headphones from the Bitly booth giveaway. What luck! Jordan lost his favorite pair of headphones shortly before the conference. Thanks, Bitly!

5. Twilio announced a new initiative to combat robocalls called Verified by Twilio. Starting in 2020, when you receive a phone call, your phone could show the name and logo of the company calling you, along with a brief message describing the reason for the call.

6. Twilio's social impact arm, Twilio.org, announced that it will provide a total of $5 million in grants by the end of 2019 to nonprofits that help people get support in a moment of crisis. Nonprofit organizations can apply for discounts and other benefits from Twilio.org. Contact us to learn how Twilio.org discounts can be applied to your nonprofit organization's Textline account.

7. Twilio launched TwilioQuest 3, a game for developers. Download the game to learn how to code and use Twilio.

If your company wants to add text messaging to your customer service or sales software stack, test out a free trial or just text us at +1 (415) 849-4349. Textline can provide your organization with a new textable phone number or add text messaging to your company's existing phone number. Or connect your company's existing Twilio account and phone numbers to Textline.

Two essential auto-responses to streamline engagement

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Textline's automations feature can do many things, but it's most often used to set up auto-responses. There are two categories of auto-responses almost every organization can use to keep customers satisfied:

  1. a welcome message that's automatically sent in response to a customer's very first inbound text, and

  2. an after-hours message that's automatically sent to customers who text outside of business hours.

Read on to learn how to configure these auto-responses. (Note that Textline users must have admin privileges to do so.)

Setting up a welcome message auto-response

A welcome message assures your customers that they've texted the right number and can also set expectations. For example:

Thanks for texting Nightingale Security. Someone will be with you shortly. (Typical response time is 5 minutes during business hours.)

To configure a welcome message, go to Messaging Tools > Automations. If your Textline account has multiple departments, choose the department associated with your main phone number. (You can repeat this process for each department as needed.)

Create a new automation with the following settings:

  • Title: Welcome message auto-response (The title is only visible to you and your team.)

  • Automation type: Message Received

  • Department: Choose one if your Textline account has multiple departments, as mentioned earlier.

  • Meet ALL of the following conditions: First message ever received

  • Meet AT LEAST ONE of the following conditions: No conditions set (You can use this to configure more complicated automation logic.)

  • Actions: Send a message (Type your welcome message here. Texting etiquette suggests that your message length should be 160 characters or less, although you can go over 160 if you must.)

Checkbox settings:

  • Prevent lower priority automations from sending messages: Check this box to prevent other automations in the same department from sending messages immediately after this message.

  • Suppress agent notifications and wait time warnings: Check this box if your team does not plan to respond to the customer after this auto-response is sent.

  • This message counts towards metrics calculations: Check this box if you want your auto-response to be counted along with responses by your agents when calculating metrics, such as your team's average time to respond to customers. Otherwise, Textline will consider this customer still waiting for a response until someone on your team sends a response. (Our recommendation: leave this unchecked for your welcome message, and checked for your after-hours message.)

Setting up an after-hours auto-response

An after-hours auto-response tells your customers that someone will get back to them during business hours. For example:

Thanks for texting Nightingale Security. We're out of the office right now. We'll get back to you during normal business hours, M-F, 9am to 5pm Pacific Time.

Configuring a basic after-hours auto-response is similar to the welcome message we configured above. (We'll visit some more advanced settings later.)

Create a new automation with the following settings:

  • Title: After-hours auto-response (only visible to your team)

  • Automation type: Message Received

  • Department: Choose one.

  • Meet ALL of the following conditions: Current time is not within 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday (select your business hours and local timezone)

  • Meet AT LEAST ONE of the following conditions: No conditions set

  • Actions: Send a message (Type your after-hours message here.)

Advanced automation conditions

While setting up automations, you probably noticed additional conditions you can use to fine tune your auto-responses. Perhaps your team does sometimes respond to texts outside of business hours. You likely want Textline to avoid sending auto-responses to anyone engaged in an ongoing conversation regardless of the current time. You can add one or more additional conditions to your automations to prevent interruptions.

One way to determine that a conversation is active is if someone on your team has claimed that conversation in Textline. Another way is to check if someone on your team has sent a message to a particular customer within the past 15 minutes or so. You can combine these conditions so that your after-hours auto-response will only be sent when all three of these conditions are met:

  1. the current time is not within business hours,

  2. the conversation is not assigned to anyone (it hasn't been claimed by or transferred to any agents),

  3. and we last sent a message to this contact more than 15 minutes ago.

You can get even more advanced using conditions to check if any agents are available, or by checking your contacts for specific tags. If your Textline account employs an especially creative automation or auto-response, text us about it!

Further reading

If your company wants to add text messaging to your customer service or sales software stack, test out a free trial or just text us at +1 (415) 849-4349.

Announcing Smart SMS

Recently, we have been working on a feature set for our customers who want faster announcements and more control over sending text messages using specific area codes. We are excited to announce Smart SMS, a feature that does both. Smart SMS is a new way to send text messages with Textline that ensures speedy delivery of announcements and provides control over the geo-location of text messages.

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Smart SMS combines Textline's announcement feature with a collection of numbers to send the same message to many customers at one time. Announcements sent in this way can be up to 400x times faster than the traditional method. Smart SMS is ideal for customers who need to send urgent, mass messages to customers. 

Another core component of Smart SMS is the ability to automatically send messages from numbers that match the area code of the recipient. Textline customers can pick a collection of numbers with area codes for the locations they service and Smart SMS will ensure messages are sent from a matching or nearby area code. Control over geo-location is critical for Textline businesses who care about providing customer experiences from local numbers. 

The best part about Smart SMS is that it remembers the sending number used to contact a recipient. That means that Textline users can be sure that their customers have a single number to contact for all future messages. 

If you’d like to learn more about Smart SMS or to see it in action, feel free to text us at +1 (415) 849-4349, and we’ll set up a demo for you. If you’re already a Textline customer on a Pro or Enterprise, you can create a Smart SMS department and give it a try for yourself. For further details, check out the documentation.

Textline Product Updates (May 2019)

The Textline team has been busy over the last few months making significant updates to our business texting platform. Before diving into the specifics, we’d like to share some of our process around how we decide which features and updates find their way to the platform.

Textline is a customer-centric product organization. That means that we regularly talk to and solicit feedback from existing customers to better understand their pain points and problems. We also collect feedback from potential customers in the marketplace—companies who would like to use business texting with their customers but are still exploring and learning about the value of our software. Conversations with businesses who haven't yet purchased Textline help us understand the roadblocks and hesitations around adopting a new channel (the best channel) for customer communication. Finally, Textline is a business texting platform created for the customer experience and customer support market. Many of our product decisions are made intentionally to provide value to the businesses and teams who consider customer experience a top priority for success.

Textline makes regular updates and improvements to the platform. Most of these updates go unnoticed, and our customers' business texting experience improves gradually without interruption. We’ve recently made substantial changes, however, so we wanted to highlight them here.

Metrics and Stats:

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Usability and Feature Experience:

General UI and Backend:

  • We’ve also made some small interface changes to create a more consistent experience across the web and mobile applications.

  • Several updates have been released to provide a more stable, secure, and integrated app. For example, we've improved our Pipedrive integration and support for Bandwidth phone numbers.

Thanks for checking out our product updates. We have more exciting updates planned for the coming months, so we’ll be sure to let you know when new features are released.

If your company isn’t taking advantage of businesses text messaging, and you’re curious to learn more, you can always text us to get more information at +1 (415) 849-4349. Or you can read The Textline Guide to Customer Support to learn about the advantages of business texting.

Putting People Back Into Customer Service

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Advances in technology have made the customer support process more efficient. But the focus on scaling customer service hasn’t necessarily led to better quality support. Customers complain about navigating the maze of phone trees, waiting endlessly on hold, talking to clunky bots, and sifting through lengthy support articles online—all with minimal human assistance. At times, it feels impossible to reach another person to talk to when they need help. And despite massive changes in the ways that people communicate, many companies are only reachable by phone call or email. The result is that customers feel lost and abandoned.

In the age of multinational corporations, it’s easy for customers to feel devalued. Many big companies feel impersonal, and it’s because they have forgotten the basics of good customer service. By emphasizing technology and automation rather than people, businesses have lost their human touch. Customers are tired of talking to machines, and they are nostalgic for simpler times when local business owners knew them by name and treated them like old friends.

Mediocre customer service is everywhere, but the rewards for companies who provide superior customer support are bigger than ever. If you’re finding that your customer experience is lacking, it’s not too late to add your customers back into the equation. To do this, revisit the past, rather than zooming towards a technology-focused future.

What customers want

It wasn’t that long ago that many people lived in small towns, where they shopped at the same stores their entire lives. When they went to a place like the general store, the owner was someone they had known for a long time. If they had a question, they could count on getting advice from someone that they were comfortable with and could trust, and the entire experience was highly personalized. If they had a problem with the service, they could bring it up to them directly and get an immediate response.

These days, boutique customer experiences are rare. People no longer shop at the same places their whole lives. Communities shift all the time, and businesses are larger and more complex.

But customers haven’t changed. They still want personalized shopping experiences from businesses that remember them—and remember what they want to buy.

The best customer experiences that you’ve ever had were likely in places where you felt like a regular. The benefit of being a regular is that the company knows you well enough to know what you want, even when you don’t communicate it to them. It’s easier to communicate what you want with someone that you feel comfortable with. And if you have a problem that you want to address, you are more likely to get a rapid response from a person who cares about you.

Many companies have focused on investing in technology such as artificial intelligence, chatbots, and virtual reality, rather than figuring out what their customers really want. A 2018 report by Usabilia found that despite the push to use technology in customer service, customers want more human interaction with brands, not less:

“The report revealed that, despite misconceptions of robots taking over, consumers across generations crave human interaction when engaging with brands. What’s more, they don’t expect nor want technology to replace real people. It’s true consumers are open-minded about using tech like chatbots that save time and make life easier. But they still trust humans to help solve more complex problems and make experiences—whether shopping at a retailer, filling a prescription or making a bank deposit—more enjoyable.”

Putting people back into customer service

The majority of your customers may no longer live in small towns, but you can still create close relationships with them. The way you do this is by thinking carefully about how you are delivering your customer support and treating customers as valued friends, not as order IDs and sales metrics.

A common customer complaint is that it’s hard to get ahold of a human being when they’re having an issue, and it’s even more difficult to get an immediate response. That means that companies still need to have people available at the end of the line to deal with customer service queries.

Phone and email are the most widely used customer service channels that involve corresponding with a person, but phone support is notorious for putting people on hold, and email can feel distant and require a lot of back and forth over a long period of time to resolve issues. Companies are looking for new and more effective ways to connect with customers, including texting, live chat, self-service help centers, and social media.

Modern businesses need new communication channels that reflect changing consumer behavior and preferences. In particular, texting is the new norm for people in their personal lives, and people are increasingly texting with small businesses and individual service providers, such as personal shoppers, insurance agents, real estate agents, plumbers, etc. Some younger customers are much more accustomed to sending a text than picking up the phone. But the business world has been slower to adapt, despite the convenience and efficiency of the channel for customers and businesses. A 2016 survey from Twilio found that nine out of 10 people want to text with businesses, but less than half of global companies had the technological capacity to do so.

Customers are also turning to social media for their customer service issues—both good and bad, especially when they have trouble getting ahold of a support agent on the phone or email. Social media is an effective way to reach a wider audience, but it can be a double-edged sword. It’s great when customers post on social media about their positive experiences with your brand, but your reputation suffers when they broadcast their frustrations. Customers love being able to direct message brands on platforms like Twitter and Facebook, but moving them to a channel like text message helps to build a more personal connection.

Business texting makes it easy to be personal at scale while modernizing customer service operations. The personal attention that customers receive make them feel special and like they belong to a community. When you can text a business, it’s like having a friendly personal shopper that you can reach by phone. If something negative happens, you know you can communicate with a human being. Texting helps businesses become more customer focused and build meaningful personal relationships with customers. So it may be that texting is how modern companies can provide “small-town” customer service—even as the size and complexity of businesses have changed.

The benefits of texting for customer support

The most obvious benefit of texting may be that it is more convenient and efficient for both customers and businesses. Customer response times are shorter compared to phone or email, and problems are resolved faster. Customer support agents who use texting are able to converse with multiple people at the same time, meaning that businesses save money on support. Teams that use texting to communicate with internal teams are able to build better relationships with employees by sending timely updates and easily receiving feedback.

Texting can be a vehicle for small and thoughtful actions that build trust in your brand and increase loyalty and engagement. For example, e-commerce companies can send texts right after making a sale to check in and follow up with customers, and after they send the product, they can check that it arrived. Clothing companies can check in to see if the product is the right fit. For products like furniture, you can see if the customer needs help setting up the product.

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Texting is also appropriate for more complex situations that require more than one interaction. Say that a customer asks a question and your company needs more information for clarification. Customers can text their answer whenever it’s convenient for them, whether it’s a few minutes later, or after half an hour.

How to use texting to improve your customer experience

There are many things to consider when it comes to texting with customers, but the most important place to start is with basic communication and customer service fundamentals. Be thoughtful, focus on building long-term relationships, and make your customers feel like you value them and your time. The goal is to make your brand feel inviting so that customers want to engage with you.

Consider how texting fits into your entire customer experience. Think about the words that you use, the timing of your communications, and setting appropriate expectations. The way that you communicate should feel authentic to your brand. For example, for a younger audience, you may want to use more informal language, emojis, and other images. If your brand is more serious or professional, you may want to use a more serious/formal tone.

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Texting also works in situations that may require businesses to send or receive images and links in real-time for reference. For example, a customer can send you a photo of a damaged product, rather than having to describe the issue over the phone or write it out in an email. A company can also send links to a customer directing them to resources such as help center articles and specific products they may want to purchase. The result is that issues are resolved faster.

The unique versatility of texting means that it can be used as both a primary and supporting channel. Not only can you conduct most of your customer support through text, but if you have a phone conversation with a customer or send them an important email, you can use texting to follow up.

Texting is just one part of creating a special customer experience. Think holistically. Every detail matters, from your direct marketing campaigns to promo codes on your website to the way you respond to your customer the first time that they contact you and need help with an issue. Make it as easy as possible for customers to visit your website and communicate when they need help. Modern engagement is about being available when your customers need you and allowing them to reach you in the fastest and most convenient way possible. Once they do reach out, your job is to make them feel welcome and valued, like they are talking to an old friend.


Tips for Using Texting to Improve Your Customer Experience

  • Remember basic communication and customer service fundamentals

  • Focus on building long-term relationships

  • Value your customers and their time

  • Make your brand feel inviting

  • Set appropriate expectations

  • Communicate in a way that is authentic to your brand; use appropriate images and words

  • Use images and links in real-time to speed up communication and resolve issues faster

  • Use text to follow up on important phone calls and emails

  • Think holistically, but also pay attention to detail


Interested in learning more about business texting? Schedule some time with a Textline consultant today!

Live Webinar: Growing Success Through Proactive Communication

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Don’t miss the next live webinar in our webinar series on Thursday, April 4 at 10 am PDT on Growing Success Through Proactive Communication.

Both customer support and sales teams need to proactively communicate with customers to provide better support and build stronger relationships. Other benefits include:

  • Increase customer loyalty: Show customers that you care.

  • Improve productivity: Control the volume of incoming messages and fill in hours of downtime.

  • Anticipate customers’ needs: Get ahead of potential issues by letting customers know how they can get in touch with you.

This is a great opportunity to learn how to grow customer success by adding a personal touch to your customer experience. Hope to see you there!

Live webinar: Introduction to business texting with Textline

Join us for a guided tour of Textline features and best practices, starting Tuesday January 29, and every other Tuesday after that.

This free one-hour webinar is ideal for anyone who is new to Textline or would like a refresher. The Introduction to Textline webinar covers the following topics:

  • How to set up your Textline account

  • Working as a team in Textline

  • Getting the most out of SMS-based customer communication

  • An overview of Textline's many features

Five New Year's Resolutions for your Customer Success Team

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Many of our customers at Textline work in the Customer Success space, and we wanted to do something special for them at the end of the year. We decided to share five New Year’s Resolutions that will help companies empathize and connect with their customers.

1) Resolve to eat healthier

Resolutions two through five won't be as effective unless you're able to truly relate to your customers. Why not start with the resolution that tops the chart year after year: to eat healthier? After all, it's easier to connect and help people if you can relate with them across a shared experience.  If you're a healthy eater already consider these common alternatives: get more exercise and save more money.

2) Resolve to treat your customers like teammates

If you treat your customer like a teammate, you'll find yourself in situations where you work together to solve problems. Otherwise, you’re simply the “expert” providing one-off solutions to the “inept.”  If you think of customers like teammates, you're more likely to be helpful, patient, and kind. This is a sure-fire way to improve the quality of your conversations.

3) Resolve to learn more about your customers

Another way to connect with your customers and improve the quality of your conversations is to get to know the people you are helping. If you can't know them individually, try creating personas for different markets and buyers (a simple persona guide from buffer). If you're supporting businesses, get to know the companies by knowing what they sell, who they sell to, and why they sell it in the first place. This process of understanding the customer will give you the insight you need to ensure that you're providing the best possible experience.

4) Resolve to enable conversations, not notifications

Your customers are busier than ever, and if you want to have successful conversations, it's important to accommodate their communications needs. Using the wrong channel is as bad as poorly-timed outreach. Sometimes the right channel is email, other times it's the phone. More than likely texting is the best way to get in touch. You can use texting as the primary channel — it’s personal, fast, and easy (because it's asynchronous). You can also use text messaging to schedule more formal conversations on other channels.

5) Resolve to welcome opportunities to talk with customers

Piggybacking off of resolution 3, you need to keep in mind that sometimes your customers want to connect with you. Show your customers that you want to talk with them by setting up channels and systems that encourage two-way communication. This invitational attitude will go a long way to reduce communication friction and increase satisfaction.

Let us hear from you if you decide to adopt any of these New Year’s Resolutions. We'd love to hear how they're working out. Or, just maybe, you have some resolutions of your own that you want to share with us. Happy New Year, everyone! We hope 2019 is a great year for your Customer Success team.

How to schedule an auto-response for holiday hours

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The holidays are here. Whether your business is bustling or sleepy this time of year, you may want to schedule an auto-response for folks who contact your Textline number during the holidays. Follow along to learn how to use Textline's automations feature to configure your own holiday auto-response (or even an after-hours auto-response that works any time of year).

Let's assume our normal business hours are 9am to 5pm on weekdays, and that we're closed on weekends. When someone texts our Textline phone number outside business hours, we'll send back this auto-response:

Thanks for contacting Textline. We try to respond promptly during business hours here in California, but we're away from our screens at the moment. We'll get back to you as soon as we can. (PS. We're taking off Xmas & New Year's Day)

As you can see from our auto-response message, we'll be out of the office on Xmas Day and New Year's Day. Those holidays both fall on Tuesdays this winter. How do we configure our auto-response to trigger on holidays, even during business hours? To do that, we won't specifically schedule our auto-response to take effect on those holidays. Rather, we'll make sure all our Textline agents set their status to unavailable on those days, and we'll put our auto-response to work whenever we have no agents available or when someone texts us outside business hours.

Sometimes a member of our team will chat with a customer outside of normal business hours. In that case, we don't want our auto-response to interrupt the conversation. So we'll watch out for these two conditions, and configure our auto-response to remain silent if (a) someone from our team has claimed the conversation, or (b) someone from our team has sent a message to this contact within the past 30 minutes. Here's what it looks like in Textline:

Step 1: Create a new automation.

Step 2: Configure the conditions that will trigger the auto-response.

Step 3: Compose the auto-response text message.

Now our holiday auto-response is up and running. After January 1st, we'll edit this automation to remove the postscript regarding Xmas and New Year's Day. This will function perfectly fine as our standard after-hours auto-response for the rest of the year.

Questions or comments? Text us at +1 (415) 849-4349

Scheduled maintenance planned for December 29, 2018

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Textline will undergo scheduled maintenance starting Saturday, December 29, 2018 at 11pm Pacific Time and lasting two and a half hours. Users will not be able to use Textline during this maintenance window. Inbound text messages will still be received by your account during maintenance, and will appear on Textline after the maintenance is complete. Feel free to contact us with questions or comments by texting +1 (415) 849-4349 or email us at support@textline.com

Your guide to lesser-known holiday emoji

This December your text message conversations with family and friends will likely feature popular holiday emoji like the gift-wrapped present 🎁, Santa and Mrs. Claus 🎅🤶, and the Christmas tree 🎄. But Textline is here to help you decipher seasonal communications with this guide to the less obvious -- but arguably more useful -- emoji you'll send and receive this winter.

🤮 Officially known as the vomiting face, keep this emoji handy for the day after your office holiday party. Popularity wanes after January 1st. (Pairs well with 🍸 and 🚽)

📣 Speaking of office holiday parties, you'll want to quickly summon a megaphone in case a hostage situation erupts high atop your corporate tower. Keep this emoji in your favorites through New Year's Eve -- it could save your life! (See also 🚁 and 💣)

💩 Often mistaken for dog poop, religious scholars know the smiling face is the unmistakable signature of flying reindeer waste. Look out below! (Related: 🦌)

🍝 During a 1923 radio address, US President Calvin Coolidge mistakenly spread the false rumor that Santa likes milk and cookies. In truth, Santa fuels his all-night delivery run with a high-carb diet like a marathon runner. Help out Santa this year with a large portion of spaghetti (followed by 🍺).

🎃 Did you promise to dispose of that orange squash rotting on your front porch? It's only been there for 6 or 7 weeks! Most Christmas trees remain standing in the front window til mid-April. Stick to your guns this year! As long as there is still uneaten candy corn on top of the fridge, the Halloween pumpkin stays 🤪

If your company wants to add text messaging to your customer service or sales software stack, test out a free trial or just text us at +1 (415) 849-4349.

Our five favorite things from Zendesk Relate 2018

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Last week Zendesk hosted its Relate 2018 conference at the historic Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. Here were our 5 favorite things about Zendesk Relate 2018.

1. First of all, what was comedian Mindy Kaling doing on the main stage at Zendesk Relate? Why, her Kelly Kapoor character from the US television series The Office was a customer service representative at fictitious paper distributor Dunder Mifflin, of course!

2. Omar Johnson, Former CMO at Beats by Dre, inspired the crowd with a keynote presentation about powerful storytelling. One particularly salient point he made: with so many people purchasing goods from Amazon, the last remaining connection between consumers and your brand will be a customer support channel.

3. Zendesk put their logo on a pegboard that acted as a self-serve bagel wall in the morning, and a donut wall between breakfast and lunch.

4. In September Zendesk acquired the software company behind Base, the sales force automation platform. Now that Base has been rebranded as Zendesk Sell, Base's annual Forecast conference took place at Zendesk Relate. We were happy to see Textline users from Dorm Room Movers presenting on the Zendesk Relate main stage as well as the Forecast at Relate side stage.

5. The overall production value of the conference was quite impressive, with fully animated presentation slides and other finely tuned details. We'll definitely see you there next year!

Does your team use Zendesk? Add a powerful text messaging channel to your Zendesk account with Textline. Sign up for a free trial today.

Talkdesk Opentalk 2018 recap

Textline’s Alan Braverman and Talkdesk’s Patrick Russell discuss business text messaging.

Textline’s Alan Braverman and Talkdesk’s Patrick Russell discuss business text messaging.

The Textline team just returned from Talkdesk's Opentalk18 conference in San Francisco. Here's a recap of two days full of demos, coffee, SWAG, and the best conference food we've ever had.

Opentalk attendees flocked to our booth for demos of Textline's business text messaging and features like announcements and automations. People were particularly interested in Textline's integrations with Zendesk, Salesforce, Shopify, and of course, Talkdesk. (Hey, did we mention that Textline can add powerful text messaging capabilities to your Talkdesk phone numbers? 😉)

Textline CEO Alan Braverman shared his thoughts on the power of business texting to build and nurture more personal relationships between brands and their customers. (Thanks to Patrick Russell at Talkdesk for moderating our fireside chat session.)

We happily gave away lots of Textline SWAG: t-shirts, stickers, sunglasses, and PopSockets.

We had a blast at Opentalk18 and can't wait til next year. If your company wants to add text messaging to your customer service or sales software stack, test out a free trial or just text us at +1 (415) 849-4349.

Textline's new design

Today Textline launched a major update to its platform. In the coming months, we will look back at this milestone and see it as a pivotal launching point of growth. Not just growth for the Textline business or the application, but for our customers. Textline is a customer-first company. That means the decisions we make about features, design, integrations, and so forth are done with our customers’ goals in mind.  Those goals are as varied as our customers who range from the Fortune 500 to the Garage Startup. Big or small, all of our customers have one thing in common; they want to have meaningful and engaging conversations with their customers through text messages. Today's launch helps ensure that those conversations can happen quickly and effectively. If you're a Textline customer there are a couple things that you might notice after logging in.

The first thing you will notice is that the design elements of the interface have been updated. This design change brings the application more in-line with the rest of the identity to create consistency across all Textline experiences. Your experience; from clicking on an advertisement,  getting your textable phone number, and sending your first shortcut message should be consistent. Consistency helps to improve adoption and discovery of features by creating predictability across interactions with Textline. It also has the long-term benefit of making it easier to create new features and integrations in the future.

Speaking of features, the second change you may notice is that some features, objects, and actions have moved. This new design does a better job at organizing the components and sections of the interface. Now, like-minded elements are grouped together and easier to find. Additionally, in the future, this structure will allow us to build more efficiently on top of Textline. Additionally, some rearrangement has been done for the sake of space, while other changes are for clarity. Creating more space in the interface means that we can share more information with our customers without it looking and feeling cramped. In other instances, we can make elements like the global navigation more clear and accessible.

The update today builds on an excellent foundation and sets new standards for moving forward. We can't wait to develop Textline on top of this redesign, and we are excited about the new features and integrations planned for the coming months. Thanks to all of the customers who have provided (and continue to provide) valuable feedback.

Happy Customer Service Week 2018

Customer Service Week.jpg

The first week of October is Customer Service Week. Thanks to all the hard workers out there who make their customers happy. Here at Textline, we encourage all companies to embrace (rather than deflect) human-to-human conversations with their customers. That's why Textline never sends messages from a "no reply” email address. And we encourage Textline customers to reach out any time by texting us at +1 (415) 849-4349. After all, messaging apps are the most used apps on smartphones today. Why not let your customers text your business? Sign up for a Textline free trial today.

Integrating Salesforce with Textline's business SMS

Salesforce's annual Dreamforce conference has taken over downtown San Francisco, just outside Textline headquarters. Naturally, this is the perfect time to announce that Textline's Salesforce integration is currently in beta release. Textline users interested in connecting your Salesforce account can request early access by texting us at +1 (415) 849-4349. We look forward to hearing your feedback as you try out this new integration.