SMS customer service is one of the many ways your business can use text messages. When prospective customers reach out to you for help through this medium, you might get some leads as a side benefit.
What is Short Message Service (SMS), and why should you care? With our advice and clarifications, you should be able to quickly and efficiently please your customers.
What is SMS Customer Service?
SMS customer service is responding to customer inquiries via text message. Just another way for customers to get in touch with your service department!
The sooner you implement an SMS platform for customer service, the better. Customers will appreciate your efforts to accommodate their preferred method of contact if you offer to text, as multiple studies have shown that consumers prefer this method over other channels.
Benefits of Using SMS for customer service and support
1. Faster Responses
Texting allows for instant communication on both ends. Almost all texts are read in less than three minutes.
As a bonus, many people who ask for help have straightforward questions that can be answered in a few seconds via text, making them perfect for a bot to handle.
2. Happier Customers
69% of respondents said they prefer texting to emailing or calling for support. Contacting customers through their preferred method demonstrates that you value their input. This results in happier, more satisfied customers.
It should go without saying that satisfied customers are more likely to continue doing business with you, to spread the word about your company, and to make additional purchases.
3. Building Relationships
When compared to email or a frequently asked questions page, texting feels more personal and interactive, which is great for fostering relationships with customers.
If customers have a positive relationship with your business and believe they are being treated fairly, they are more likely to buy from you again and recommend you to others.
4. Minimal Technical Skills
If you want to help people out via text, you don’t need to know how to code. Whatever needs to be done, your platform of choice can handle it.
5. Stand Out From Competitors
Text-based customer service is a great way to stand out from the crowd and grab people’s attention.
This relates to the earlier discussion of satisfied clients. Their positive customer service experience is likely to be shared with others.
6. Trackable via analytics
Integration with your other platforms allows you to gain access to insightful analytics when using text message support. Detailed reports reveal areas of opportunity for your support staff and your business’s overall growth.
9 Best Practices for Customer Service Texting
1. Strike a balance between automated and human responses
One of the keys to efficiency is automation. Text response programming allows you to serve your customers when they are most in need while freeing up your time to focus on other tasks.
Use preexisting SMS marketing templates and efficiently process many text message requests.
However, you should rely on more than just programmed responses. Customers must get in touch with a real person quickly and easily.
Customer service representatives should be available for those who would rather not interact with chatbots or for issues that cannot be handled automatically.
2. Sort incoming messages and assign priorities
You should develop a system to prioritize and categorize incoming messages to make the best use of your agents’ time and guarantee that your customers can immediately respond to their questions.
Using automation will make it easy to sort things and set priorities. Provide an automated response to the first text message, perhaps asking the customer to select the topic area in which they are experiencing difficulty before giving them the option to speak with a live person.
3. Don’t stop at just customer service
Though it is most commonly used for SMS customer service, texting has many other potential uses. You can also send out texts to your staff to keep them in the loop.
Using short message service (SMS) marketing, you can inform customers of sales, encourage them to make purchases, and keep them informed of your business’s hours, shipping status, and upcoming events.
4. Leverage SMS to collect customer feedback
Include a method for customers to provide feedback in your text-based customer support and service, and make sure they know about it.
Make it clear to your customers that their feedback is appreciated, and you’ll see a rise in customer retention.
5. Personalize your texts
SMS is more intimate than email simply because of how it works. To take this level of customization to the next level, you should integrate your SMS platform with your customer service platform.
This will allow you to segment your audience via SMS based on the information you already have about your users.
Put another way, make it simple for your representatives to access information about callers. There will be plenty of room for customization once you have access to their name, purchase history, and location.
6. Be careful with the message tone
When communicating with customers, it’s essential to strike the right note, whether you’re a human or a chatbot.
There should be less formality in a text message than in an email, web form, or phone call. Always aim for a balance between friendliness and professionalism.
7. Be proactive
Don’t view SMS as a passive form of customer service. You should also adopt a proactive approach. It’s essential to keep customers updated on the status of their orders and answer their questions as soon as possible.
This is yet another application of SMS to improve service quality for the end user. Make sure that customers respond to your text messages.
8. Liven up your messages with media
MMS is the standard because it allows you to send text and media, while SMS is limited to text only. Incorporate supporting media like videos, GIFs, images, and links.
Allow customers also to upload images when communicating with you. This is especially useful when assisting with support and troubleshooting.
9. Choose the most appropriate mobile app or channel for texting.
Regarding business-related texting, current and prospective customers will likely have their favorite apps. To provide the best possible customer service, you should give SMS support through the other apps your customers use the most.
You could provide support through various messaging platforms, including but not limited to the likes of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Line, and others. The target audience’s needs should be considered when deciding on additional distribution methods.
As previously mentioned, it is preferable to provide support via SMS as soon as possible. Customers will value the time saved and the attention they receive from this conversational approach.
The good news is that you can initiate daily texting with consumers quickly and easily. Selecting suitable software is all that is required. OtterText is an excellent choice because it can manage your SMS campaigns and other forms of communication, boost your review counts, and more.