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:
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.
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:
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 Rs.250 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:
By integrating SMS into your customer service strategies, you are not only providing more convenient solutions but also building stronger relationships with your customers. As technology continues to advance, SMS will remain a vital tool in the arsenal of customer service professionals, ensuring that customers feel heard, valued, and appreciated.
The power of SMS lies in its simplicity and accessibility, making it a potent weapon for businesses aiming to excel in customer service in this increasingly competitive world. So, if you haven't already, it might be time to give SMS a try and revolutionize the way you engage with your customers.
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 APIs like ValueFirst’s, offer user-friendly customer support features for businesses in any industry. ValueFirst supports two-way text messaging 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? Get in touch with our experts today!