Customer service can make or break a business. Today’s consumers expect fast responses to questions and speedy support ticket resolutions — and they’re not afraid to take their business elsewhere (and spread the word about their experience) if they receive less-than-stellar service.
Recent studies have shown:
- 96% of consumers rank customer service as a top factor in their choice of brand loyalty.
- 69% of consumers say they’ll spend more with a company that has good customer service.
- Companies generate 40% more revenue from personalized marketing tactics.
So how do you gain a competitive edge and provide personalized, on-demand customer support without breaking the bank? In this blog, we’ll show you how to leverage SMS for customer service to delight your users and save time and money for your business.
Table of Contents
- The Best Opportunities for Customer Service Text Messaging
- 6 Tips for Integrating Customer Service SMS
Where are the Best Opportunities for Customer Service Text Messaging?
SMS marketing allows businesses to send promotions, transactional messages and notifications to consumers via targeted text messages.
Additional Reading: A Comprehensive Guide to SMS Marketing For Business
Companies can use SMS to engage in customer service activities that would traditionally take place over the phone or email, such as:
- Sending order confirmations
- Providing shipment tracking information
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Responding to FAQs
- Managing support tickets
SMS for business customer service has some significant benefits over more traditional communication methods:
Customer Service Text Messaging Promotes Engagement
SMS allows you to meet customers where they’re already spending their time. 46% of Americans believe they spend 4 to 5 hours on their smartphones daily — up from 3 hours 45 minutes in 2019 — and this upward trend is expected to continue.
Source: Exploding Topics
SMS Is Convenient
SMS allows for more efficient, convenient communication – essential in an age where attention spans are rapidly shortening and consumers have little patience for time-consuming resolutions. Unlike a phone call, SMS allows consumers to respond when it’s convenient, putting them in the driver’s seat.
Text Messages are Easy to Personalize
SMS scores a win for personalization, too. As a communication format, texting is naturally less formal and allows for flexibility that a phone call or email can’t beat (Pro-tip: consumers love emojis!). Good options for personalizing your SMS interactions include providing your agent with:
- The customer’s contact information
- Previous support interactions, including those from other channels
- The customer’s account type, purchase history and preferences
SMS Customer Service Saves Time
Did you know that brands that use text messaging for customer service are more likely to experience faster resolution times and higher customer satisfaction scores? Businesses can set up automated responses to common questions, freeing up support reps to focus on more complex requests.
SMS Customer Service Saves Money
SMS is one of the most affordable customer support channels. One study found that a customer service phone call can cost around $16, whereas a text interaction can cost as little as $1.
6 Tips for Integrating Customer Service SMS In Your Business
Customer service is a worthy investment. But like any new business strategy, SMS for customer service should be deployed with some best practices in mind. Here are our top tips for providing top-notch customer service via SMS:
1. Automate FAQs
Automating FAQs alleviates the need for your customer support agents to answer the same questions repeatedly. Instead, customers can get fast answers to their most pressing questions, and reps can focus on more complex support tickets.
For example, you can give customers the option to text a keyword to your business number to obtain your store hours or return policy.
Just remember to provide an easy way to connect with a live customer service rep if needed.
Pro-tip: Automation doesn’t have to stop with FAQs. Depending on your type of business, you can automate appointment reminders, order notifications, product refills or re-orders, invoices and more via SMS.
2. Collect Frequent Feedback
Only 1 in 26 customers will tell a business about their negative experience; the rest simply leave.
When someone has a negative experience with a business, they’re far more likely to switch to a different brand than provide constructive feedback.
Businesses can break the cycle by offering a fast, easy method of leaving feedback via SMS.
Periodically send a brief feedback request to your opted-in contact list to encourage users to leave a review. You can automate texts to go out after a customer makes a purchase or interacts with your brand so they have a chance to leave feedback when it’s fresh in their mind.
By allowing customers to send feedback via SMS, brands accomplish two things:
- They gain visibility into areas for improvement
- They earn a chance to make things right and win back unhappy customers
And, for customers, offering feedback via SMS can be as painless and easy as submitting a one-word answer.
Pro-tip: To boost your response rate, offer customers a small incentive like a $5 gift card if they respond or fill out your survey.
3. Keep Your Customers Informed
Customer service shouldn’t be strictly reactional. With SMS for customer service, you can proactively keep customers informed on upcoming appointments, orders, promotions and updates.
Most consumers appreciate upfront communications from brands – it keeps them informed on products and services they may be interested in, which increases their average order value and retention.
Texting is an effective way to keep customers in the loop without interrupting their day with an intrusive phone call or email that gets buried in their inbox.
4. Mix SMS With Other Support Channels
Research shows that brands that offer high-quality customer service through multiple communication channels will retain 91% of their customers.
In other words, SMS shouldn’t be your only customer service support outlet. Deploying an integrated, omnichannel strategy using SMS, voice, chat and email allows consumers to communicate with your brand in whatever format suits them best.
5. Keep SMS Customer Service Messages Short and Sweet
Texting is meant for short, concise communications, not long-winded novels. Even though some text message services, like Textedly, don’t cap you at 160 characters, it’s important to get your message across quickly and clearly to capture and hold your reader’s attention.
As a rule of thumb, any outbound customer service SMS should:
- Highlight 1-2 key points
- Include a call to action
- Include a link or phone number customers can call for more information
6. Select the Right SMS Platform
On top of keeping your customers happy and building brand loyalty, the right SMS platform can make integrating texting with your existing customer support channels a breeze.
SMS marketing platforms like Textedly offer user-friendly customer support features for businesses in any industry. Textedly supports two-way text messaging, extra-long messages (300+ characters) and unlimited users, so your entire customer support team can manage SMS conversations in one place with ease.
Ready to level up your customer service strategy to retain more customers and increase profits? Sign up for a free Textedly trial now!
- Exploding Topics. Time Spent Using Smartphones (2023 Statistics)
- Forrester Research. The Total Economic Impact™ Of Click to Call And Click to Chat
- Help Scout. 107 Customer Service Statistics and Facts You Shouldn't Ignore
- Inc. 5000. Science Proves Again That Peoples' Attention Spans are Declining
- MnKinsey & Company. The value of getting personalization right—or wrong—is multiplying
- Premier Contact Point. 96% of consumers say Customer Service influences their brand choice and loyalty
- Reve Chat. Top Customer Communication Channels for Businesses
- Template Lab. American Express Study
- Wedevs. 8 Effective Ways to Increase Your Average Order Value
- Zendesk Blog. Personalized customer service: what it is and how to provide it