Most New Jersey businesses already use email to communicate with their customers and clients, but now a growing number of them are starting to rely on texting, as well.

“Businesses and companies are looking for new ways to connect with their clients and those who are seeking their services and technology is certainly a big part of that,” said Michele Siekerka, the president of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association.

She pointed out email is fast, but texting is faster.

“Innovation is everything and everybody is trying to one-up the competition on being more creative on how they communicate, and I think that’s what’s leading to this new trend in terms of texting,” she said. “When someone is texting there is immediate reaction, immediate response. I know that people are being more and more innovative in terms of how they find the quickest way to get in front of their customers.”

Siekerka noted the communication style used by many businesses is also changing.

“Companies are sending out messages written in a way that they look like they’re helping you with something. In fact, they look as though they’re answering to a request that you’ve already asked for,” she said.

“When in fact you stop and say to yourself did I ask this person for something? I don’t remember talking to this person, so the level of informality in the communications is significant as well because people are drawn in thinking, 'Oh, I know this person, of course I’m going to respond.”

She pointed out many people are now getting text messages from pharmacies, letting them know their prescriptions are ready.

“People find that to be very convenient, and today it’s all about convenience and immediate gratification,” she said.

But sometimes, there may also be a downside to texting.

“Businesses have to recognize customers are very savvy, you know the customer is not naïve, and so businesses have to be very careful about the way in which they’re going to communicate with their customers,” she said.

Siekerka added “sometimes, if consumers get a text they’re not expecting they can feel violated very easily. In this day and age, with the ability to get on a no-call lists and the fact that we are overwhelmed with communications, again I think businesses have to be very careful because people may be easily offended if they feel their privacy is being invaded.”

That being said, however, she expects the use of texting by business to continue to expand.

“Everything is about innovation and immediate communication and gratification, and if a company thinks texting is a way to accomplish that, they’re going to test it,” she said.

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