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Should multiple employees use the same business texting number?

When you’re one of just a few employees on a team or running a business, you might want to share the same business texting number. And this is a really important decision for small businesses. It affects everything from lead nurturing to long-term customer retention. So let’s talk about the pros and cons of sharing the same phone number – specifically one used for business texting.

The pros of sharing a business number for texting

So let’s start with 4 reasons it can be advantageous and the right decision to share a business texting number.

Cost

Let’s get this one out of the way right now. For any small business, cost is going to be a significant factor in acquiring anything, especially a SaaS product. And obviously having one business texting number will be cheaper than everyone getting their own number.

Single point of contact

When there’s only one number for people to text, there’s no confusion over how to text the business. Other numbers aren’t floating around for employees to worry about.

Increased availability

With multiple people watching the same number for messages to come in, the less likely it is that messages will be missed or go unanswered.

Having multiple people responsible for the same number could also allow you to extend availability past regular working hours. For example, you could easily assign responding hours to different team members after hours and on weekends.

No personal numbers

It’s certainly tempting to allow employees to use their personal phone numbers to text with leads and customers. But with every employee using a designated number on a chosen business texting platform, the business always maintains the conversations and contact information. If employees leave, those conversations and contacts stay with the business.

As another plus, sharing a number means every conversation will be in one place for teammates to look back on. That means greater responsibility too because people can see exactly what’s been said in the past.

The cons of sharing a business number for texting

Now let’s go through the biggest reasons you don’t want to share a number.

Not as personal

If you really want to hold conversations via text, you’ll want to use a long-code number and sharing that number between employees kind of defeats the purpose of its personableness. When sharing a number, everyone must either pretend to be the same person or everyone simply acts as the business and doesn’t give a first name.

When everyone has their own individual number, that allows them to be themselves and really build personal relationships. There will be no question that there’s a real person on the other end answering questions and taking care of customer needs. The more human and relatable a business seems, the more successful it usually turns out to be.

If your whole intention is for the number to strictly exist as a texting line for the business (and not someone communicating on behalf of the business), then maybe this isn’t a con for you. But in that case you might not even need a long-code number.

Confusing messages

No matter how organized everyone thinks they are, if multiple employees are texting from the same number, eventually multiple employees will be responding at one time to the same person.

Things will also get confusing when recipients of messages receive mixed answers if they’re talking to different people at different times. While technically everyone has visibility into past conversations, not everyone is going to go back and read past messages. Responding without full context will definitely happen.

If the person who reads a message also doesn’t know how to answer a message or a message is clearly directed at another employee, then the original reader needs to remind the other person to go check it out and answer it. That message can then easily get buried or forgotten.

And finally, there’s no way of tracking exactly who sent messages or replied. If accountability and transparency are really important to the business, this could be a real disadvantage. Even if you assign people to respond at specific times, there will certainly be situations when the “assigned” person isn’t the one responding.

Brand inconsistency

If multiple people are all pretending to be the same person or even if everyone is just communicating as “the business,” you’ll have to pay close attention to the voice and brand.

When everyone has their own number, recipients of messages will expect messages to sound different when different people text them. But when it’s supposedly the “same person,” that’s going to be tougher to maintain.

The longer everyone communicates via text on behalf of the business, the more in sync everyone will become. But that process starts over when you bring on new employees and want them to respond to texts as well. You’d better have a really solid process for training.

Lack of boundaries

While it’s generally advantageous to have more availability for people to contact you, it’s also a disadvantage at the same time. If your team is small and someone has to be available at all times to respond, this could impede their other work responsibilities as well as a healthy work-life balance.

As much as you may want to hustle and grind as a small business, you decrease the likelihood of burnout by setting distinct availability hours and communication boundaries. You can still have a very human and customer-focused business without being available 24/7.

Account limitations

Depending on the plan/account you choose from a business texting service, sharing the number could quickly lead to hitting account limits. If everyone sends messages from a single number, you’re much more likely to reach limits than if each person has their own number.

And thinking of limitations in more abstract terms, with individual business texting numbers, each employee can take individual responsibility and really perfect their communication style. They then have ownership over relationships and (hopefully) feel more invested in the company’s success.

To share or not to share?

Whether or not employees share a number for business texting is ultimately up to the business’s current needs. Here at Skipio, we have seen businesses do very well with a shared number that everyone is responsible for.

However, if you do choose for employees or teams to share a number, that is always a short-term solution. If you want the greatest impact and reach the most people in the most personal way, employees need to have their own numbers.

Skipio makes it incredibly affordable for any business to start nurturing leads and talking with customers through texting. You can even start out with our free plan — it’s a simple process to upgrade and create new accounts as you need more numbers for a growing business.