According to TechCrunch, Americans use their phones for approximately five hours per day. 92% of that time is spent on apps such as social media, messaging, and entertainment. Only 8% are spent on a website browser. in this article, we read the top practices for providing SMS customer support.
Businesses today use many different methods to communicate with their customers. Brands aim to provide an omnichannel experience for their customers, using everything from personalized emails to a VoIP telephone system.
Many customer service departments are now adopting messaging via short message service or instant message service. Particularly when platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp provide free messaging tools for businesses to communicate with their customers.
These channels are important for text messaging customer service. Next, learn how to optimize your SMS customer support in your company.
What Is SMS Customer Support?
SMS Customer support is any assistance provided by a company through text messaging. It is completely virtual and does not require any face-to-face communication.
Gigaom shows that text messages are opened 98% of the time and emails only 22%. If your company wants to be heard, it is a good idea to meet your customers where they are, by texting on their phones.
Benefits of SMS Customer Support
As people have communicated by text and “instant messaging” for many years, messaging is not new. WhatsApp has been around for more than a decade. It has more than 2 billion active users, who communicate on the platform every day.
However, the majority of digital messaging is still done on a one-to-one basis. While we use SMS and IM to communicate with our friends and family, there isn’t as much B2C communication. Use SMS call center as a customer-led solution.
This is changing quickly as more companies realize the potential benefits of messaging for customer service. These are just a few.
It’s easy to see why text messaging is so popular over the years. More than 5 Billion people send and receive SMS messages every day, making it hard to ignore text messaging if you want to create an Omnichannel experience.
eWeek also reports that 52% would text a customer service rep if they had the opportunity. 52% said they would rather customer service text messaging reps than their preferred method of communication.
It is much more cost-effective to answer customer questions by text than by calling. Forrester’s study shows that the average customer service call costs $16 while the average text thread cost between $1 and $5 per interaction.
A text messaging service can help you divert high volumes of calls that your agents might otherwise have to deal with. This helps reduce stress and allows you to handle more cases with fewer reps.
SMS customer service connects you with your customers on an even more personal level. Texting can be more personal than phone calls or emails, and it is less formal.
Texting is faster than email and phone calls, and it’s more accurate. You can send SMS messages to your reps faster, which allows them to exchange information more quickly and provides quick solutions for customers.
We have listed the top ways to integrate SMS customer support into your company.
12 Tips and Best Practices for Using SMS Customer Support
1. Clarify your goals.
Clear communication is key to customer service messaging. Customers should understand why you are offering this option. To get the best out of your service, clarify your goals. Here are three things you should think about when it comes to messaging objectives:
- Cost Reduction
- Productivity of employees
- Customer satisfaction
However, it’s worth focusing on which one of these is most important to your needs. This will allow you to prioritize elements of your messaging that most relate to the goal.
2. Select the right SMS support channel.
The term messaging is broad and there are many channels you can choose from when choosing a platform to support your business. There are many options available, including SMS, direct messaging via Social Media, and specialized commercial messaging platforms.
It is important to choose the right channels and get the best results. Find out which messaging apps your customers prefer. Next, learn about the unique features of these channels. This will ensure that your customer service agents get the most out of the platform.
3. Balance automation with human input.
Automation is one reason why messaging is cheaper than other customer service options. It’s much easier to automate customer support messaging because AI-driven chatbots can resolve many customer queries without the need to involve an agent.
However, your customer service messages shouldn’t be automated. Customers love SMS support that is as personal as a phone conversation or a chat on social media. Because text messaging is an intimate form of communication, it makes sense that customers want to have the same experience with your support representatives as when they talk directly with you.
No matter how advanced chatbots service or machine learning become, technology cannot provide the same personal assistance that a professional text messaging can that a human agent can.
4. Categorize and prioritize incoming messages.
After your messaging service is up and running, you need to think about how to manage the demand. You will need a system to manage the messages if you get a lot of them. Text messaging customer service platform improves support options for your customers.
One option is to choose the first-in, first-out (FIFO), which means that you answer queries in the order they are submitted. In most cases, however, a system to prioritize messages is better.
You should find a way of categorizing the support messages and requests you get. It is common to segment them by customer values and their urgency.
Chatbots can be used to answer simple questions. This allows reps to scan high-value orders quickly and begin fielding these cases immediately.
5. Leverage SMS to collect customer feedback.
Groove says that only 1 in 26 customers complain about or provide feedback regarding a bad customer experience. 91% of 26 remaining customers will switch to a competitor.
This gap can be avoided by providing customer feedback via SMS customer service. Customers can easily give feedback by simply sending one-word or a number of responses. Customers are encouraged to provide negative feedback in a neutral channel, where they may not feel embarrassed.
Your company will benefit from honest feedback if text messages help.. It will be less hostile and frustrated than online reviews or social media. Your customers will appreciate that you listen to their opinions and give them a chance to speak up.
6. Familiarize your agents with SMS customer support.
Most likely, your customer service representatives will be familiar with SMS/IM channels. Because they will use them daily in their everyday lives, training customer service agents for SMS and IM messaging is not about teaching them how to use it. It’s all about using the channel professionally to benefit your business. Customer texting provides a way for customers to interact with your company.
Your brand must be represented in every message your agents send. Some texting rules, such as emojis and shorthand, may not be appropriate depending on your brand. It is important to inform staff about the message features and language you don’t want them using.
7. Integrate SMS with other support channels.
If you work in customer service, the Omnichannel Support concept might be familiar to you. It is designed to provide seamless customer service regardless of which channel the customer uses. Integrating and unifying all channels, including SMS, is essential for omnichannel support.
When implementing customer service messaging, this is something you should keep in mind. As much as possible, you will want to integrate messaging in your help desk or ticketing platform. This will make it easier for your team delivers consistent service.
8. Go above and beyond by following up with customers.
When a customer asks you a question, it’s simple to answer them. You just need to find an answer within a reasonable time. It’s much easier to show your care later by following up.
This is how a fictional spa would show they care by reaching out to customers who haven’t been in a while. To show their appreciation, they offer a discount for customers who haven’t visited in a while. This text message is simple to reply to and shows customers your business is ready to go beyond for them.
9. Send reminders about upcoming appointments.
You can quickly remind customers about appointments with SMS support. This can be done at any time, and customers can confirm their appointments by sending a simple one-word or one-letter response.
Your customers may be busy so reminding them via SMS is a better option than interrupting their lives by calling or sending an email.
10. Avoid unnecessary case transfers.
SMS customer service is the best because you can do all your troubleshooting on one platform.
Live chats can be redirected to phones, while social media support can lead directly to email conversations. Harvard Business Review shows that 57% of customers need to switch to phone support from web support. This is a common complaint with customer service.
SMS customer service allows you to have a complete conversation in one channel. Customers can be contacted instantly by representatives who can send them images and videos. They can also confirm or correct any errors. If they wish to use different communication tools/mediums, neither side must jump between channels nor switch devices.
11. Be clear and get straight to the point.
It’s all about being clear when you text. For email, leave lengthy explanations and fancy language. You should write a short summary of the message you are trying to send in SMS customer service.
This is a fictional car company trying to tell its customers it has a new model. The text is well-written and highlights the main points in a concise message. Customers can click this link for more information.
You don’t want customers to be bored by boring essays when providing outbound SMS customer service. The channel is not designed to allow you to read long messages. It’s important to keep it short and engaging. This will make your message more memorable and encourage customers to read the whole message.
12. Promote your SMS customer support service.
Once you have established a great support text messages service, be sure to let customers know that they can reach you via SMS or IM. These channels will show your dedication to customer service.
These are some effective ways to spread the word about customer service messaging and SMS help desk.
Include details about your messaging service in recordings that customers hear when they call your company.
In-App or On-Site
Add links to details about how customers can get support on your web pages or in your apps.
Social media bios can include information about customer service messages. This is especially useful if you are using a specific channel for SMS customer support.
These tips will help you to effectively use an SMS support channel and create a text customer service that will delight customers.