Messy desk, don’t fret?
Maybe that’s how the saying goes. However, wouldn’t you agree that it’s much easier to be productive when sitting at an organized workspace? Or, at least, in front of a clean desktop or browser window?
Many of us are fortunate to have ample products at our disposal, whether it be internal message platforms, telephones (yes, I’m talking about the ones plugged into a wall), contact files, address books, and CRM (customer relationship management) tools, to name a few.
Whether you run an accounting firm, real estate agency, or a small business, for example, streamlining your workspace is not only necessary but also advantageous.
If you’re currently running on Microsoft Teams, then you already know it’s great for talking to colleagues, sharing documents, having a quick meeting, and hopping on a call. The list goes on. However, it doesn’t solve the problem of communicating with customers and clients.
Or does it?
Although you can’t directly use Microsoft Teams to chat with customers, you do have the ability to choose a third-party tool (hint: finding one that natively integrates is key!) to send SMS, streamlining your workspace and eliminating some of the chaos on your desk(top).
Here’s how you can use Microsoft Teams to send texts.
How do you Send a Text Message in Microsoft Teams?
Step One: Choose an SMS app in Microsoft Teams
The first thing you need to do is choose the right app for your needs. We recommend checking out the Microsoft Teams app store to start your search for an app that allows you to send and receive SMS right from Microsoft Teams rather than downloading an additional app or registering for another service.
It is ideal to choose an app that provides you with:
- the ability to receive and reply to customer SMS directly from Microsoft Teams. This makes customer support easily accessible to all team members, if you choose, and provides you with a way to respond to customer requests in real-time.
- the option to BYON (bring your own number) or choose a new one. If your customers are already familiar with the phone number, that choice may be simple. If you’re considering adding a line or choosing a new number, it should be up to you!
- a convenient way to import your contacts from a system like Salesforce or Outlook. You’ve likely spent time acquiring and saving email addresses, mobile numbers, etc. There is no reason to manually add contacts already in your address book.
- tiered pricing options, including a free trial. Maybe you’re interested in an unlimited plan or a customized experience.
Definitely do the research and decide what’s most important and best for your business. This is a good opportunity to focus on the big picture. Think about, How might text messaging help my business in the long run? Will it help us connect with more customers? Can we reach a larger audience? Is it possible some of our communication efforts are a bit outdated?
After exploring and once you’ve found an app that matches your needs, you can download and begin installing your Microsoft Teams SMS integration.
Step Two: Download, Install, and Setup
Getting going should be simple. The third-party messaging app should earn extra credit if start-up takes seconds. If a goal is to consolidate software or services (to save time and energy), then the setup should live up to its expectations, especially if choosing a platform that integrates natively. Also important is the availability of an easy-to-find Help Center or support team that can guide you with installation and onboarding.
Before sending your first SMS via Microsoft Teams, you’ll need to:
- install the messaging app, Clerk SMS, for example, and add to Microsoft Teams.
- log in with your email, which may also prompt you to generate a pin and/or change settings, depending on the app you choose.
- pick a new number or activate your existing one (convenient!).
- Clerk can activate your existing Microsoft Teams phone number in seconds.
- It is important to note that in addition to using SMS, Clerk Chat makes it possible to also create and receive audio calls in Microsoft Teams within the app. This option would provide a company with advanced features, which could be an added bonus. It’s something to think about!
Step Three: Warm-Up with a Trial Run - Practice Makes Perfect!
If you wouldn’t present at a conference without practicing, then you know it’s important to be comfortable with what you’re doing before you send a message to a customer or client. Different platforms have various features. Make sure you’re familiar with Microsoft Teams, prior to sending your first SMS.
For example, if you’re using Clerk Chat:
- Click on the New Message / Plus Icon on Chat. Type a number or find a contact that doesn’t mind helping you rehearse.
- Write your message in the text box, then click on the send button.
- Once you send the SMS through Microsoft Teams, the contact will be created on the right side of the Clerk SMS panel. New SMS associated with the contact or phone number will appear on the chat panel.
If this proved to be a success, then you’re ready to start texting customers, all inside of Microsoft Teams!
5 Bonus Tips for Sending SMS through Microsoft Teams
Once you become familiar with the app, you can try out its various features. Here are a handful we recommend:
- Schedule a message in advance. Save yourself time!
- Use snippets. Sometimes you may want to reuse text instead of reinventing the wheel.
- Add attachments. Maybe you want to share a draft or plan.
- Receive and share account verification codes securely.
- Customize saved contacts with editable fields and properties.
There is always an opportunity to learn or try something new.
Customer and Client Communication, and Then Some
Think about how many open tabs, software, or applications you currently have open on your computer. Pause for a moment and look around your desk (or maybe inside your work bag). Are the multiple devices or tools distracting you?
Regardless of your answers, effective customer communication should be a priority and using SMS inside of Microsoft Teams accomplishes this instantly and seamlessly. Enhance your customer support, marketing, and team communication by enabling the ability to send a text through Microsoft Teams.
Are you considering texting customers, but don’t know where to begin? Or maybe feel overwhelmed about making the switch? Book a demo today to get started for free.