Client Texting Etiquette

Texting shows significantly higher open and conversion rates than other forms of communication, and as a result many companies are considering adding business texting so that they can effectively communicate while offering the best customer experience possible.

by Jessi Burg

Texting has become an increasingly popular method of communication between businesses and their clients. There are a many pros and cons to communicating with your clients via text, and it’s up to you to determine you want to incorporate it into your business. When you text with clients, it can be easy to forget that you aren’t talking to a friend, and slip into your regular texting habits. Not all clients appreciate this, so we’ll start with some of the key “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of client texting etiquette. 

Do: Text from Your Work Phone Number

Many small businesses use their personal cell phones for communication. You want to make sure clients know who you are, and that you’re communicating on behalf of your business. The best way to do this is to use the same number phone number for phone calls and texts. Using separate phone numbers is a great way to keep boundaries between your work and home life. (Google voice and Grasshopper both have starter phone plans for small businesses that can be used via an app on your regular phone.)

Do: Respond Quickly and Set Expectations

Just like when you call a client, you want to be prepared with all the information you need. Many people read incoming text messages within three minutes, so your clients may expect you to respond more quickly than if they had send an email. Have their project information handy so you can reference it during the conversation.

Responsiveness is important, but so are boundaries. If you don’t want to text outside of business hours, communicate your business hours clearly. You can also use an automated texting platform to send out texts notifying the client that their text has been received, and will be responded to within operating hours. This is equivalent to a “vacation responder” on your email. 

Boundaries go both ways, so it’s important to remember not to respond to texts outside of work hours. The more you disregard work hours, the more you train your clients to expect quick responses at all times. This also helps build a system that won’t allow a text to slip through the cracks. It’s easy to read a text and forget to respond, so only responding during work hours helps avoid this pitfall.

Do: Include Clear, Actionable Directions

If you’re asking customers to follow a link, take a survey, or respond within a certain timeframe, make sure you include clear directions. 

Instead of saying something vague such as “Let us know how we did” without any clear instructions, try saying “Click the link below to fill out a survey to let us know how we did!” which points them exactly where you want them to go.

With proper text message etiquette, you set the stage for the customer to be willing to complete a call to action. This can be a great way to collect feedback or drive sales. For example:

Hi Sam! At Great Growers, we appreciate your business. Can you help us continue to provide great customer service by filling out this survey about your experience?

Don’t: Text and Drive

“But speech recognition was invented to be able to text hands free.” Just because you don’t technically have to look at your screen with voice recognition doesn’t mean that you should do so while driving. Distracted driving is distracted driving! 

If you are running late, text or call the client before you start driving.

Do: Proofread & Spell Check – Especially with Voice to Text

Some of us have big thumbs and little screens. There’s no way around that, but the wonderful and forgiving thing about texting is that we have the ability to proofread each text before sending it to a client. 

Use this to your advantage, and double check that you have added the proper punctuation, grammar, and spelling –  especially their name! The biggest offender of this common mistake is voice text. Always proofread any voice to text message you are about to send. They are often riddled with mistakes, especially for words that sound similar. A quick proofread avoids miscommunication and helps you maintain clarity.

Don’t: Send Wordy Text Messages

Keep your texts brief. For those who have short attention spans, seeing a giant block of text on the screen is a one way ticket to feeling overwhelmed, which can lead to them ignoring your message. Voice to text doesn’t automatically create sentence breaks, so proofread them carefully.

Avoid rambling, run on sentences, and requesting too many things in one text. Prioritize what you need done, and focus on one thing at a time. You can always proofread and take out unnecessary words or sentences to shorten the length of the text. 

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind: if it takes a lot of words to explain what you need to say, then you’re probably better off calling or emailing them instead.

Bonus tips!


  • Get consent from your clients before texting them.
  • Transition difficult conversations elsewhere.
  • Be personal and conversational (you don’t want to sound like a chatbot), and throw in a relevant emoji if you want to, but don’t overdo it.
  • Give them an option to opt out.


  • Use texting abbreviations (lol, brb, tysm)
  • Text confidential or sensitive information.
  • Rely on autocorrect.
  • Send super long URLs over text.

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