TECH BYTE: Company Helps Businesses Text Using Landline Number

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — If you’ve ever wanted to get in touch with a business, but didn’t want to wait to call during normal hours, one company has a solution.

With Text Request, you can text participating businesses anytime without having to wait hours for a response.

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“We’ve given businesses a way to easily text with their customers, and that didn’t exist before we really came along,” said Rob Reagan, Text Request.

Text Request is an online texting platform built for business.

“We provide all of the features and tools they need to text as a business professionally, and do it within a team atmosphere,” said Brian Elrod, Text Request.

About 1,300 businesses across the U.S. and Canada take advantage of the service.

The people who designed Text Request say the feature is great, because you can contact a business anytime. You don’t have to wait for regular business hours.

“We have different features that our awesome tech department has developed, so even if you’re closed, and someone texts you, it’s OK,” said Jamey Elrod, Text Request. “They’re going to get a response.”

“It’s going to give you all of these features, so you can track the information,” Brian Elrod said. “You know if it’s been answered, not who answered it. It keeps a record of the conversation, so a lot of times I’ll say we give you all the organizational structure you need to text professionally. Think about Outlook for e-mail. That’s really what Text Request is doing for texting.”

You don’t necessarily have to have a smartphone to use the service.

“You can text right from your computer, and it’s multi-user, so everyone in the office can have it up at the same time, and it’ll track the conversations, so a text comes into a company, one person can go to answer it, and everyone will know what’s happening,” Elrod said.

This service gets the business off the phone, but employees can still use the smartphone app on the go.

“There’s really three ways to access the system – through the Chrome extension, using their software through a browser, or through a mobile app,” Elrod said.

The company text-enables business numbers, or they can choose a new number altogether.

“Recently, we had a business sign up in Dallas that’s had the same number for 100 years. It’s a landline, and we’re able to add SMS and MMS to that,” Elrod said.

If you’re interested in learning more about Text Request, just go to textrequest.com.

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You can watch Emily Cassulo weeknights on News 12 Now at 6 and Prime News at 7 with John Mercer. Emily also does stories on different tech products and issues for Tech Byte, which airs Mondays on News 12 Now. She joined the WDEF news team in September 2016 from News 12’s sister station in Columbus, Mississippi, where she worked as an anchor, producer and reporter. Emily is no stranger to the Volunteer State. Before moving to Mississippi, she worked at WBBJ-TV, covering crime and severe weather throughout West Tennessee. She loves living in Chattanooga, and exploring what the Scenic City has to offer. Emily is a Florida native, graduating from the University of Central Florida with a degree in broadcast journalism and minor in political science. While in college, Emily worked part-time as a reporter/web producer at News/Talk 96.5 WDBO. She broke her first news story there, which made national headlines, and covered the 2010 Central Florida congressional elections and the high-profile Casey Anthony trial. When she’s not busy reporting, Emily enjoys shopping, reading, playing the piano, and spending time with family and friends. Feel free to e-mail her at ecassulo@wdef.com if you have any story ideas or just want to say ‘Hi.’