How JSK Recruiting uses Textline to place job prospects faster

Before he started using Textline, recruiter Jeff Katz used to miss a lot of text messages. The job candidates and hiring managers he works with in the supply chain and manufacturing industries often tried to text his landline.

“Most of my candidates work in manufacturing facilities with bad reception,” says Katz, founder of JSK Recruiting in Park Ridge, Illinois. Bad reception makes phone calls tricky — not to mention the fact that their boss may be nearby. Many would text to say they couldn’t talk because they were working or in a meeting. “I was missing all these text messages before.”

When he did text with clients, it was cumbersome to pull out his phone and work out a better time, or type out company or interview details, with his fingers.

Recruit using a fast and familiar process

Since Katz started using Textline for business texting earlier this year, all that has changed. Now he knows he’s receiving texts from candidates and clients, and he can respond to them quickly from his computer. He can copy and paste names, addresses, and numbers without the risk of typos.

Like 90 percent of recruiters, Katz has found that business texting speeds up his process significantly. “I was hoping it would make things quicker and easier,” he says, “and it has.”

Meanwhile, he is using a mode of communication his candidates are comfortable with. “Especially a lot of the younger generation,” he says — "they’ll have a full conversation via text." In fact, less than five percent of millennials pick up calls from unknown numbers.

Schedule texts, collaborate, use metrics

Textline, which is integrated with Katz’s existing business line, also lets him schedule texts in advance, such as reminders about interviews, including directions and interviewer names and titles. "The candidates really appreciate it," Katz says, "and since doing this I have not had any no-shows for interviews."

Textline’s software also offers auto responses, administrative controls, analytics, and historical data. And coworkers can transfer texts to each other and collaborate.

Now that he's using Textline, he says, Katz feels confident changing JSK's website to say "call or text us."

Find out how Textline can help speed up your recruiting process. Sign up for a free trial today.

Use Automations to send smart auto-responses and more

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Textline admins can use our new Automations feature to compose smart auto-responses and perform other automated actions. For example:

* Send different auto-responses to customers who text your business for the first time, or when they text you outside of business hours, or when no Textline agents are available.

* Automatically assign conversations to a specific agent when customers mention certain keywords, or based on previously applied tags.

* Add or remove tags when customers' issues are resolved.

Learn more about Automations in our help center.

How Bird uses Textline in its quest to revolutionize how you get around town

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A startup called Bird is betting that dockless electric scooters will improve transportation and lessen the need for car ownership. The concept is spreading so quickly that Bird has been deemed the "Uber of electric scooters."

Here's how it works:

* Find a scooter (or "Bird") near you with Bird's mobile app
* Scan the scooter's QR code to book a ride
* Hop on and ride (top speed is 15 miles per hour)
* Leave the scooter at your destination so the next rider can find it

Every night, people called "Chargers" collect the scooters to recharge their batteries and make any necessary repairs. Bird launched last year in Southern California and recently expanded to San Francisco, San Jose, and Washington, DC.

The team at Bird uses Textline's business text messaging to recruit and communicate with their flock of Chargers -- texting them about repairs, charging, and the location of scooters. Before last month's LA Marathon, Bird sent an SMS announcement to 1,000+ Chargers to remind them to respect the runners and make sure no scooters were blocking the course.

According to Bird's Chief Technical Officer, Justin Balthrop, "As a hard core nerd, I was tempted to build my own app for communicating with our teams out in the field. But Textline already had so many of the features that we needed. It's a great software tool and they keep adding new features all the time!"

Your business could use text messaging to recruit staffers and communicate with colleagues out in the field, too. Sign up for a Textline free trial and get a shared textable phone number for your team (or add text messaging to an existing phone number).

Further reading:

* San Francisco Chronicle: Electric scooters for grown-ups now available for rent in San Francisco and San Jose

* TechCrunch: Bird is raising $100 million to become the Uber of electric scooters

* Take a ride on a Bird, yourself: bird.co

Facebook, Data, and Trust

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As the Cambridge Analytica scandal continues to unfold, some users have deleted their Facebook accounts. Others will continue using Facebook but have tightened their privacy settings. After downloading records of personal data collected by Facebook -- to take a look under the hood -- some Android users discovered that Facebook had been logging their personal calls and text messages!

Here at Textline, we are following this story carefully. We take our customers' security and privacy seriously. That's why our privacy policy is written in plain English rather than confusing legalese. We continually monitor the security of our application to ensure our customers' data stays private. Furthermore, throughout 2018 we plan to release additional security and privacy features and settings. If you have any questions about Textline and security, drop us a line by texting +1 (415) 849-4349.

Related reading:

* USA Today provides instructions for downloading your Facebook data and disabling call and text history logging. (link)

* TechCrunch breaks down the question of whether or not Facebook had permission to collect call and SMS logs. (link)

* The Electronic Frontier Foundation explains why a programmer cannot create a software tool that simply fixes your Facebook privacy settings for you. (link)

Does your business text with customers? Sign up for a Textline free trial and get started with business text messaging.

Logos Are Like Conversations

We're excited to announce a new logo for Textline. Like most corporate marks, the reasons for the changes are numerous. We're happy to share a few of those reasons with you. 

We changed the logo because we wanted an identity that would scale with us in the coming years. Textline needs a mark that is contemporary but also boasts the longevity of a classic logotype. We've ditched the outlined chat bubble for a logo that has more weight and presence to it. This weight allows it to change sizes from very small to gigantic without much effort. The filled in "T" is also more legible, holds color well, can be inverted, and has the benefit of being able to stand on its own. There are many other designerly reasons that the new mark works well for Textline, but those are reasons you'd hear about for most any logo update. The main reason for changing our logo was to represent Textline more comprehensively. 

Textline is software for business text messaging. Another way of saying that is, Textline makes conversations happen. We make these conversations happen by giving companies the opportunity to connect with their customers through the more immediate and conversational medium of texting. We wanted a logo that could represent the company name and also reflect the company's inclination toward conversation. This is a challenging goal because we want to avoid a complex solution.  After all, logos are like conversations; They should be subtle, elegant, distinguished, and approachable. 

In the new Textline logo, most people will see the representation of the name in the "T" instantly, but there is more to it than that. Like a good conversation, this merger of ideas has some mystery and subtlety to it, and when you see the chat bubble gently carved from the dense T, you can't unsee it. The result is a mark that represents the name with a "T" and conversations with a chat bubble. It is memorable and lasting. Over the next few months, we will release other aspects of the identity. The new colors, typography, and grids will find their way into our social presence, websites, and applications. We're looking forward to our future of exciting changes and good conversations. If you are like us, and conversations matter to your business, feel free to text us at +1 (415) 849-4349 to find out how Textline can help connect you with your customers.

Connect Textline to your favorite apps with Zapier

Zapier is an online automation tool that connects Textline to thousands of other online apps across the web. It's easy to create your own Zaps, which behave like small programs that follow your instructions. 

For example: If you manage a Shopify store, you might create a Zap that watches your Shopify account for new orders, and then tells your Textline account to send a "thank you" message to each buyer after they check out. In this example, your Zap is triggered by new Shopify orders, and then takes the action of sending a message via Textline. You can automate all sorts of tasks by combining triggers and actions with Zapier.

Textline triggers & actions

Textline makes a single trigger available in Zapier called New Contact Message. This trigger gets fired whenever a contact sends a message to your Textline account.

Textline also makes three actions available in Zapier:

1. Send Message: to send a message from your Textline account to a contact.
2. Import Contact Message: to import a message as if a contact sent it to your Textline account.
3. Create/Update Contact: to add or modify an entry in your Textline address book.

Sample Zap ideas

Here are three example Zaps for inspiration:

1. Get notified when someone registers for an event on Eventbrite. Using Eventbrite's New Attendee trigger, you can copy the attendee's contact info to your Textline address book (using our Create/Update Contact action), then send a notification to your Textline account using our Import Contact Message action. The next time someone buys a ticket to your event, you'll receive a text message as if your attendee texted you as soon as they registered for your event. You can send a follow-up thank you message, or broadcast an important announcement to your attendees before the event. (Make sure your Eventbrite event collects cell phone numbers on your order form.)

2. Use an Unbounce pop-up to initiate conversations with customers. If your business uses Unbounce landing pages, your customers can text you right from a form or pop-up. Create a pop-up with a form that collects name, phone number, and a message. Your Zap will be triggered by Unbounce's New Form Submission trigger, and you'll pass the message to Textline using the Import Contact Message action.

3. Post new inbound Textline messages to Yammer. Keep an eye on questions coming from customers. Create a Yammer group called Textline. Then create a Zap using Textline's New Contact Message trigger and Yammer's Create Message action.

Got any great ideas for Zaps to automate your workflow? Email textline@textline.com

Does your business text with customers? Sign up for a Textline free trial and get a textable phone number in your local area code, or add text messaging capabilities to your existing business phone number.

Related links:

Textline Organization settings: Tools & Integrations (requires admin access)
Textline Help Center: Zapier integration
Zapier blog: Use Textline to Support Your Customers and Answer Prospects via Text

Connect your Shopify store to Textline

Over 600,000 ecommerce businesses run their online stores with Shopify. With Textline's newest integration, Shopify merchants can provide exceptional customer support via text messaging.

* Share a textable phone number with your ecommerce team
* Let customers text your business using plain old text messaging
* View recent Shopify orders alongside SMS conversations
* Keep shoppers happy by resolving issues quickly

Learn more about connecting your Shopify store to your Textline account in the Textline help center.

Does your ecommerce team reply to text messages from shoppers? Sign up for a free trial to add business text messaging to your customer service toolset. Get a textable phone number in your local area code, or add text messaging capabilities to your existing business number.

 

Close deals faster with Textline and Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a sales management tool designed to help small sales teams manage intricate or lengthy sales processes. Pipedrive's interface lets you view your company's sales pipeline to understand which deals are on track to close.

Textline's new Pipedrive integration lets you see text message conversations associated with deals in your sales pipeline. Your Textline admin can connect your Pipedrive account by visiting Organization Settings > Tools & Integrations.

Does your sales team text with customers and prospects? Sign up for a free trial to add business text messaging to your sales toolbox. Get a textable phone number in your local area code, or add text messaging capabilities to your existing business number.

Related links:

Try Pipedrive for free
Textline's app in Pipedrive's Marketplace
- Upcoming webinar: A guided tour of Textline

Introducing Textline for Talkdesk users

If your business uses Talkdesk's call center software, you can now add business text messaging to your Talkdesk account with Textline's AppConnect app. Your team can share a textable phone number to text with customers. In addition to standard text messaging, Textline provides features like auto-responses, broadcast announcements, scheduled messages, shortcuts for FAQs, response time metrics, and more. Learn more on Talkdesk's blog.

Refer a friend to Textline: They get something & you get something

Got a friend who could use Textline's business text messaging? Textline users can score Amazon gift cards (up to $50) for spreading the word. Here's how it works:

1. Tell a friend: Spread the word about Textline and share your unique invitation link, found on your profile settings page.

2. Give something: When your friends sign up for Textline, they'll get an extra week added to their free trial, as long as they use your invitation link.

3. Get something: If your friend continues using Textline after their trial period, you'll get an Amazon gift card worth up to $50. (Gift card value depends on the pricing plan chosen by your friend's organization.)

Full details on Textline's customer referral program can be found in our Help Center.

Does your business text with customers? Sign up for a Textline free trial and get a textable phone number in your local area code, or add text messaging capabilities to your existing business phone number.

Boost your productivity with power user features

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Looking to supercharge your productivity? Here are a few tips for Textline power users that might help.

1. Search by tag

If you use tags to group your Textline contacts, you can search your address book for all entries matching a specific tag. You can also search for conversations with contacts matching a tag. Just search for tag:query and replace the word query with one of your tags. See the example pictured below. Learn more about using tags in the Textline Help Center.

One way to tag your address book is to import a spreadsheet full of contacts with tags. Learn more about importing contacts.

2. Share links to specific conversations

You can copy and paste links to specific Textline conversations for your own notes, to-do list, or to share with teammates. You can copy links from the message input box. See the screen shot pictured below. Links to conversations are only usable by people who have access to your Textline account and are signed in. Learn more in the Textline Help Center.

3. Use URL parameters to initiate outbound messages

Have you ever wished you could initiate a Textline conversation by tapping a link or button in another application or your own internal software tools? You can, if you understand how to construct URLs and how to encode URL parameters. For example, the URL below will initiate a message from your Textline account to the phone number +1 (415) 969-4136 with the message "Tell me more about how real estate professionals use Textline."

https://application.textline.com/conversations?phone_number=%2B14159694136&name=Textline%20for%20Real%20Estate&message=Tell%20me%20more%20about%20how%20real%20estate%20professionals%20use%20Textline.

The three parameters appended to this URL are: 

phone_number: The recipient's phone number will be added to your Textline address book if it is not already there. Note that we encoded the "+" before the full 10-digit phone number in this example.

name: The recipient's name will also be added to your Textline address book, and needs to be encoded just like any other URL parameter.

message: The message will populate Textline's text input box, but you can edit the message before you tap Send. See the example pictured below.

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You can streamline your workflow by strategically placing Textline URLs where and when you need them. (You may need help from an HTML or web pro.) We'd love to hear how your organization uses any of these features. Send an email to textline@textline.com or text us at +1 (415) 849-4349.

Does your business respond to text messages from customers? Sign up for a Textline free trial and get a textable phone number in your local area code, or add text messaging capabilities to your existing business phone number.

New feature: custom address book fields

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Organizations can now expand the Textline address book by adding whatever custom fields are relevant to a particular business use case. There are 5 different custom field types:

1. Single-line text fields can be used for just about any data you can imagine. Examples: company name, job title, birthday, nickname, maiden name, salesperson, account manager's name, user ID.

2. Use links to store URLs associated with a contact, such as a personal or business web page. Links can also be used for contacts' social media profiles on Facebook or Twitter. You may also want to store links to your organization's internal admin tools.

3. Email fields are for email addresses, naturally. Textline displays email addresses as clickable links.

4. Multi-line text fields can be used for longer entries such as customer preferences or special delivery instructions.

5. Use a checkbox for boolean values. For example, if new customers need to be approved or verified in some way, a Textline agent can mark a checkbox to indicate that.

Once you've added custom fields to your Textline address book, you can use the field names as column headers when importing contacts, too. For instructions with screen shots, see Textline's help center.

Note: Textline users must have admin access to add or edit custom address book fields. This feature is not available on the limited pricing plan.

Does your business respond to text messages from customers? Sign up for a Textline free trial and get a textable phone number in your local area code, or add text messaging capabilities to your existing business phone number.

5 tips for handling customer support during the holidays

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday are coming up, which means your company's customer support team will likely be dealing with a heavy load for the next few weeks. Customers appreciate speedy customer service during the holiday season. Your team can ramp up for the holiday rush with a textable phone number from Textline. Read on for tips on dealing with increased customer support requests:

1. Set up auto-responses

Use auto-responses to let your customers know if response times will be longer than usual during the holiday season. Set up an after-hours auto-response if your customer support team does not work around the clock. You might also link to your FAQ in your auto-responses.

2. Save shortcuts for your top FAQs

Are customers asking the same 3 questions over and over again? Save the answers to FAQs in shortcuts so you can answer quickly. For example, you may get a lot of questions about your refund/exchange policy. Have that information handy and save it in a shortcut.

3. Use Slack as an internal help line

Need assistance to answer a complicated customer support question? If your company uses Slack for internal communication, consider adding a Slack channel where customer service agents can post questions and get quick replies from co-workers. Be sure to check out Textline's Slack integration, too. 

4. Track your Net Promoter Score

Do your customer support interactions inspire loyalty? Find out for sure by sending Net Promoter Score surveys to your customers after resolving their issues. Start tracking NPS today so you can compare how your team performs during the holidays to the rest of the year. (Start now so you'll have metrics to beat next year!)

5. Relax

Remember that your customers are often stressed out during the holidays. Be prepared to deal with angry shoppers, and consider using positive language to offset their negativity. Try taking a meditation break with an app like Headspace or Calm.

Does your business respond to text messages from customers? Sign up for a Textline free trial and get a textable phone number in your local area code, or add text messaging capabilities to your existing business phone number.

How STYLEBEE uses Textline to connect stylists with clients

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Working late but need to get ready for an evening gala? Have an early morning meeting you want to look just right for? Need to prep for a sunrise engagement photo shoot? Bring a hair or makeup stylist to your office, home, or hotel with STYLEBEE, a platform that connects beauty professionals with clients in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas.

Two lines of communication

As a connector, STYLEBEE relies on two lines of communication: one with clients requesting services and another with the professional stylists it calls upon to provide those services. STYLEBEE uses Textline's business text messaging to communicate with customers “if they have questions the day of, if we need to ask what their room number is, or to let them know their stylist is there and ready for them,” says Natasha Koroleva, STYLEBEE's operations manager.

Textline makes that communication easy and fast, says Koroleva. She prefers texting over calling clients, she says, because “we know they’re busy women.” And texting is “a little easier yet still more personal than email. We can respond quicker, especially if you get a lot of junk mail.”

Personal connections

Most importantly, Koroleva feels the ability to text easily has helped STYLEBEE form strong relationships with its clients. “You don’t get a text from just any business,” she says. “The clients feel a personal connection to the company because of the way they are receiving the communication. Some clients even save the number and know our names.”

Textline has helped STYLEBEE conduct the vital communications at the heart of its success. Sign up for a Textline free trial so customers can text your business today.

Meet us at the 2017 Los Angeles Real Estate Tech Conference

Meet the Textline team at Tech Estate Today's 2017 Los Angeles Real Estate Tech Conference on Thursday, November 16, 2017. If you are a real estate professional in Southern California, come to learn, network, and have some fun. And enjoy 15% off your conference ticket care of Textline by using promo code textline-tet when you sign up.

Textline's business text messaging isn't just for real estate pros, but our cloud-based software is especially popular with real estate brokers and agents, property managers, and others in the real estate ecosystem like title companies. Leasing agents use Textline to communicate with prospective tenants, and building managers use Textline to field maintenance requests from residents.

Read our recap of the 2017 Inaugural Silicon Valley Real Estate Tech Conference, also hosted by Tech Estate Today.

Are you a real estate professional whose clients or tenants prefer texting to old fashioned phone calls or email? If so, sign up for a Textline free trial and get a textable phone number in your local area code, or add text messaging to your existing business line.

How Gametime uses Textline to keep fans happy

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This year Inc. magazine named Gametime, a mobile ticketing app for sports, concerts, and theater, the third fastest-growing private company in America. Gametime, founded in 2013, prides itself as a leader in the experience economy, offering last-minute tickets to people who spend their money on experiences rather than things. The company also distinguishes itself with its customer service, responding to customers quickly to meet their needs.

The problem: clunky texting

Yet in its early days, responding to customers wasn’t as efficient as it could have been. And when customers are trying to get into an event and their tickets are delayed, or they need an update on their order status, communication is critical, says Zach Moore, Gametime’s Fan Happiness Manager. While Gametime has always used texting, email, and phone calls to communicate, its staff prefers text—email can be cumbersome for back-and-forth conversation, and phone calls require customers to pull away or even hang up to use the app.

Texting keeps everything mobile. “If you’re texting you can go back into the app or shoot us a quick response and stay within the app,” Moore says. But Gametime’s original system, a Google Voice number, had a clunky interface and made it difficult to send important announcements to groups or for multiple co-workers to participate in a single conversation. So the company used it infrequently, for last-minute and one-way communications.

The solution: smooth communication

When Textline came along in 2015, Gametime became one of its early users and found it solved those problems. “Once we started using Textline,” Moore says, “it was a two-way conversation, which is more helpful for the customers and for our team.” Now Gametime uses Textline to send updates on customers’ order status or to get more information to complete an order. The company also uses Textline as a tool to combat fraudsters.

With Textline, Gametime can respond to customers’ needs in a matter of seconds. “One of the things our team focuses on is our response-time metric, and Textline has been a big player in that,” Moore says. “Text messaging is mobile focused and Gametime is mobile focused, so the two really go hand in hand.”

Gametime’s ability to text its customers has helped it become one of the country’s fastest-growing private companies. Sign up for a Textline free trial so customers can text your business today.