The Ultimate Guide for Using SMS for Customer Support

The Ultimate Guide for Using SMS for Customer Support

Today’s business environment is nothing if not competitive. To be successful and stand out from the competition, your company needs to provide its customers with the proper care and support that they deserve. As it so happens, communication is the best example when it comes to this kind of support.

If your customers have urgent questions or various technical issues with your products or services, immediate support is not only required but expected. High-quality customer support will increase overall satisfaction, which, in turn, can result in nine referrals per one happy customer. Besides, it will also avoid the adverse effects of angry customers who, on average, give sixteen negative responses.

SMS messages, or more commonly known as text messages, are an effective way to take your customer support to a whole new level. Texts have a 99% open rate, with 95% read within the first 3 minutes from being sent. What’s more, 89% of consumers would like to communicate with businesses via messaging, but, unfortunately, only 48% of companies support this sort of connection. Messaging also ranks as the number one preferred customer service channel in the United States and among the top three in the rest of the world.

In short, SMS messages are a powerful tool for customer support and here is how to use them effectively.

Business-to-Customer Communication

When it comes to customer support, 64% of all consumers are likely to have a positive perception of a company that offers texting as a service channel. This form of communication will allow customers to resolve any issues they may have with a company quickly and efficiently, all the while being convenient for all parties involved.

SMS Appointment Reminders

Text messages can make great appointment reminders. This job was traditionally voicemail, but as it turns out only 33% of people will listen to them. Sending appointment reminders via SMS will not only reduce the incidence of no-shows, but it will also increase your overall customer experience.

24/7 Availability

As we’ve mentioned before, customers generally view SMS as a more flexible alternative to direct phone calls or emails. However, it means that they also expect a quick response, regardless of the time of day or night. As a consequence, it would be a good idea to have around the clock support as a means of keeping your customers happy.

Now, if you do not have the time or resources to have someone answering your clients after hours, you can set up automated responses that will tell your customers when they will be contacted during business hours. For instance, a 2 AM message could receive an automatic reply along the lines of: “Thank you for contacting us, John! We will send you a message at 10:00 AM tomorrow morning to fix any issues that you may have encountered.”

While this may not be the exact response your customer was expecting, it is a far better alternative than having them wait for eight hours before receiving any sort of reply.

Real-Time Updates/Announcements

Since people check their text messages more than emails or voicemails, SMSs also make for a great portal to announce updates and announcements. If, for instance, you are running an auxiliary service on a college campus, you can always alert students and faculty members about various changes or upcoming events.

Requesting Customer Satisfaction Feedback

It is always important to remember that for every complaint you receive, there are 26 other angry customers that haven’t even bothered to give you their opinion. And since feedback is an excellent way to improve your services, asking for it via text message is an excellent example of forward thinking. Get ahead of any significant issues that may arise by asking for customer satisfaction feedback through SMS. Just remember to keep it short and easy to understand and answer.

Conclusion

Statistics show that 77% of millennials (18 to 34 year-olds) have a positive perception about companies that offer messaging capabilities. Also, 81% of customers find it incredibly frustrating having to wait on the line before getting to talk to a customer support operator. By integrating text messages, however, you will be able to distinguish yourself from your competition and keep your customers happy and engaged.

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About the author

Johann Leitner is the founder and president of Touchwork, a marketing management software company.