The PSAI Com Portal is designed to be your team's single source for lead communication. Follow the instructions below to learn how to send text messages to any lead—without ever having to leave your Com Portal.
What to Know About SMS Messaging in the Com Portal
Before you start a text message conversation with a lead, here are some key points to know:
1. You can send and receive SMS messages
Within the Com Portal, you can both send and receive text messages. You won't have to use your personal phone number or work cell phone to send SMS messages; SMS messages go through the Com Portal—and it'll all be tracked there for easy monitoring by anyone on your team.
2. From your end, SMS looks like a website chat
As you can see from the screenshot above, SMS conversations look basically like a normal website chat—at least from the Com Portal side. You'll type your messages into the field marked "Type your message," and you'll receive responses from the lead within the Com Portal.
The key difference is that from the lead's side, the conversation is being done through SMS. The lead is receiving your messages as text messages and is responding by phone, just like a normal text message conversation. It's seamless and easy for the lead!
3. SMS conversations are marked in orange
Although SMS conversations look a lot like chat, you can still easily differentiate the two types of engagement in the Com Portal. SMS conversations are marked with a orangish-yellow banner at the top of the Com Portal, as well as a orangeish-yellow icon in the lead queue.
4. Leads can opt out of SMS messaging at any time
Whenever you initiate a text message with a lead, he or she will first receive an automated message informing them that you're now connected by SMS. The message will look something like the one below.
As you can see in the instructions, the lead can send "STOP" to opt out of the SMS conversation. If this happens, you will no longer be able to send SMS messages to that cell phone number, and you will receive a message in the Com Portal informing you that the lead has opted out.
Just because a lead has opted out of SMS messaging does not necessarily mean that they are completely uninterested in your services. You can continue to nurture the relationship by phone or email.
5. You can use the Com Portal from a mobile device
While your leads respond by SMS on their phone, you and your team members can use your phones, too! The Com Portal is mobile-friendly, so you can save a PSAI shortcut to your phone or tablet and communicate on the go.
Once you've logged in, your mobile dashboard will look like this.
Then simply click on the icon for the Com Portal at the bottom to open up your Com Portal. As you can see in the screenshot below, the mobile view shows your entire lead queue.
Then click on any lead to open the detailed view of that lead. The main screen will show the lead's dialogue box—including weather reports, SMS or email transcripts, and any attachments sent. (All other lead information can be found by clicking the "Options" menu at the upper right.)
6. You can send more than just text
You can use the SMS feature to send basic lines of text to a lead, but you can do a lot more, too! Use the icons at the bottom of the dialogue box for additional options.
On the mobile view, these icons are located in the same spot, at the bottom of the dialogue box.
Here's what these three icons mean:
- Paperclip: Add an attachment, like an image of a relevant project or a PDF with pricing and details.
- Star: Request a review by sending a link to your review sites. (You can set up your review sites under your Account settings—more information coming soon!)
- Storm: Generate a weather return and send it to the lead instantly.
7. You can limit your team's SMS access
SMS is a very powerful and convenient communication tool, but you may want to limit which team members can actually use this feature. Restricting access can help ensure that only qualified staff members are able to reach out to homeowners in this way.
Two possible ways to restrict a PSAI user's access to SMS would be to prevent them from seeing the Com Portal at all or to limit them to only seeing leads assigned to them.
Head over to our article on creating custom PSAI user roles for more information.
How to Send SMS Messages in the Com Portal
Now that we've gotten the key facts and information out of the way, you might be wondering how to actually use the SMS feature. How do you send a text message from the Com Portal?
There are two main ways that you can use SMS messaging within the Com Portal: with existing leads (i.e. leads who have entered your Com Portal automatically through your PSAI marketing sources) or with new leads (i.e. leads that you have created manually). Both SMS options are very easy to initiate and take just a few seconds.
Follow our instructions here:
SMS Messaging Next Steps: Monitor and Respond in the Com Portal
Regardless of whether you're messaging an existing lead or a new one, sending your SMS is just the first step. Once your lead responds, that message will flow into the Com Portal, where you can continue receiving SMS messages and responding to them. Your SMS conversation can continue indefinitely until the lead opts out or you officially mark the conversation as closed.
For the best results with any text conversation, be sure to:
- Respond to messages promptly and professionally
- Take advantage of our helpful tools like image attachments and weather reports
- Maintain a friendly, low-pressure tone throughout the conversation
- Always give the lead a clear, actionable next step to take—such as scheduling an in-person appointment, applying for financing, or setting up a virtual appointment