For a growing number of clients, email is simply too inconvenient and too slow. Their preference is to communicate with you using a text conversation. Agencies need to be able to respond to this customer preference by embracing text conversations as a viable communication option.
And, policies and procedures need to be put in place to make sure these conversations can be consistently and accurately documented. Capturing these conversations is not easy.
While a few agency management system platforms are incorporating outbound and inbound text messaging functionality, you still have the problem of clients texting individual producers’ mobile phones. These messages are outside of the current documentation capture process.
Putting a procedure together, and training each producer on how to manage text messages consistently, is an ongoing problem for agencies.
One possible solution is iExplorer — a software program from MacroPlant. iExplorer is a multipurpose tool that allows you to manage your iPhone and iPad better.
One of its capabilities that could be helpful to manage text messages is the ability to export any text conversation on your phone to an external file.
Capture a Text Conversation to PDF
iExplorer can transfer iPhone text messages to a Mac or Windows PC for archiving or sharing and is quick and easy to use. It can export any SMS, MMS, and iMessages to your computer as PDF, TXT, or CSV files. The PDF format is the most popular since it looks very similar to the way the text messages appear on your device with the text bubbles on each side and with the shared photos in place. All formats will include the original time stamps.
You can also export any photos and other attachments separately in their original size and format.
How to Capture a Text Conversation
- Open iExplorer and connect your iPhone, iPad or iPod.
- Click on the Data tab in the Device Overview screen and click on Messages.
- If you have not created an iTunes backup yet on this computer, you will be asked whether to make one (choose Yes). If you did already have an iTunes backup, and it is more than 24 hours old, iExplorer will ask whether you would like to Use Latest Backup or Back Up Now to create a new one.
- Make your backup selection, and iExplorer will load your text messages.
- Browse your Messages and choose an Export option. You can transfer an entire conversation or selected parts of a conversation or export all text messages in a single transfer. You can also just export the shared photos and files from a conversation separately.
If you need to find a particular part of a conversation, iExplorer lets you search your text messages by keyword via the Search field in the upper-right corner. The PC version will search all conversations, and the Mac version will search the conversation you have selected.
Once you have exported your text messages to your computer, you can then view the PDF, TXT, or CSV files in any desktop application that can read those file types. The PDF file option probably will be the most common, and it is a simple matter of attaching the PDF with the text conversation to the client file as your documentation.
I do realize there are some options available for capturing a text conversation from your phone to a more permanent storage solution. Because iExplorer is easy to use it might be a good option for you to explore.
What are the methods you are currently using to capture a text conversation for client documentation?