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March 3, 2022 | Doug Marinaro

3-Way Text Messaging for Marketplaces: The Key to Increasing Conversions and Reducing Churn


Service marketplaces are meant to save consumers time when purchasing a service. However, consumers often have questions or concerns they can’t get answered by the information on the marketplace website, or they don’t want to be bothered trying to hunt down answers. After purchase, the consumers may have questions or issues with the delivery of the service that they need help with right away.

Helping a consumer connect with someone who can answer their questions before and after purchase is key to a positive customer experience. That’s what real-time messaging is for. The best marketplaces include some live messaging components to ensure these questions or concerns get addressed.

For service marketplaces, the relationship between key success metrics and responsiveness is relatively straightforward. Your conversion rate is directly related to how responsive your marketplace is before purchase, and your churn rate is directly related to how responsive your marketplace is after purchase. 

With Riptide, we’ve perfected a 3-way messaging solution for marketplaces and other multiplayer businesses that’s built around responsiveness to increase conversions and minimize customer churn.

Marketplace Messaging Must-Haves

To be responsive, marketplace messaging systems must correctly answer the following three questions:

  1. Who should respond?
  2. How fast should we respond?
  3. How should we respond?

#1 Who Should Respond?

The Service Provider  

Questions and concerns consumers have about the service they’re buying through a marketplace are often best answered by the service provider themselves. 

This is the nature of services. Unlike a product, a service is co-created by the consumer and the service provider collaboratively. The consumer has a unique situation and needs, and the service provider has particular capabilities and availability. They work together to define the service that satisfies those needs. 

As a marketplace, you may want to be in the middle to provide help and to avoid disintermediation. But, the consumer is buying the provider’s service and wants to hear directly from them. The provider’s responsiveness is part of their measure of the provider’s quality. And, the provider usually wants to talk directly to the consumer. 

Riptide’s 3-way text messaging for marketplaces connects your providers directly to consumers while letting your support team orchestrate and monitor the conversations.

#2 How Fast Should We Respond?

< 5 Minutes

Respond to inquiries within five minutes to maximize conversion. 

When an inquiry comes into your marketplace, you have five minutes to respond if you want to win the opportunity. Studies show that 78% of consumers choose the business that responds first. 

Remember that the consumer visiting your website is a mere click away from other places to acquire similar services. Businesses that respond within the first five minutes are 8X more likely to convert the visitor to a customer.

But it’s not you that has to respond in five minutes. It’s your service provider. 

Your service provider is probably not spending all day staring at your marketplace dashboard waiting for that lead from you. First, they’re busy providing services to existing customers. Second, you’re probably not the only source of new inquiries. If you can’t get your service provider’s attention, your customer is left waiting, and the five minutes can turn into 24 to 48 hours before they see a response. Your service provider is annoyed because they missed the opportunity, and your potential customer has already taken their business to someone else. 

Moreover, when consumers ping your marketplace and get no response, your marketplace appears dead.

When an inquiry comes in, Riptide replies to the consumer and messages the provider to join the conversation, launching a 3-way text conversation. Riptide then continues to keep the consumer engaged and get the provider's attention, including drawing in your support team if needed. Communication becomes live, in real-time.

#3 How Should We Respond?


Use text messaging to improve your response time and ensure messages are received. 

There is one universal messaging application that everyone uses and knows - text. Research shows that 90% of people read text messages within three minutes

Sure, it’d be great if every consumer downloaded your app, and you could message them there. But they don’t. And they won’t. And see point #2 above - consumers need a response within five minutes if you’re going to win their business. Today’s average consumer doesn’t have the time or patience to deal with the hassle of downloading a proprietary app, learning to use it, and then reading your message. 

Meanwhile, your service providers are also too busy to spend all day in your app, because they are busy businesses serving other customers. But your service providers all have their phone with them, and they all know how to text. Text is the best way to get their attention.

Riptide uses 3-way text conversations to let your providers and your support team communicate reliably with consumers. Riptide ensures your text communications follow privacy and telecommunication regulations while giving you the data and process oversight you need to control the customer experience.

How Riptide Works

Riptide connects consumers with the service providers they want to talk to, giving providers the ability to respond within five minutes to win the business, all via text - the universal messaging app everyone already has.

Riptide plugs into your marketplace platform to let consumers start text conversations with your providers. Your service providers are notified directly by text themselves, and you can also alert them via email or through your platform. Providers get a ConversationLink™ that opens up a mobile web page to communicate with the consumer. You control which service provider gets sent the link and whether the provider can see the consumer’s contact information. You initiate these conversations, and your support team can monitor and step in as needed.

With Riptide, you orchestrate collaborations between consumers and providers that are reliable, responsive, and reflective of your brand. As a result, your marketplace comes alive. 

How Marketplaces Use Riptide  

RepairPal, the largest, trusted auto repair network, recently launched Riptide for their 3,000+ Certified shops. RepairPal Certified shops now have a new and efficient way to communicate with consumers instantly via text. Marketplaces like RepairPal that leverage 3-way text messaging with Riptide improve customer loyalty and conversion of leads to new business. Read the full RepairPal announcement here.

Check out how it works:

HubSpot Video


Learn More About Riptide for Marketplaces

Ready to learn more about how Riptide’s 3-way text messaging app empowers marketplaces to increase conversions and minimize customer churn? We’d love to chat with you! Click the button below to book a meeting now. 

Book a Meeting with Riptide