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The Role of SMS Customer Service in Modern Business Communication

Use text messages to provide effective customer support. Learn the benefits of SMS customer service and deliver better experiences to clients.

Delivering quality customer service is crucial to any business. After all, if you can’t communicate effectively with your customers, you won’t be able to sell your products or services. There's no business without your clients, so ensuring you provide a good experience should be one of your top priorities.

Quality customer service can improve satisfaction and boost sales, encouraging more clients to become repeat buyers. On the other hand, poor service can affect your company’s reputation and success.

You probably already have a customer service strategy implemented, but are you doing everything you can to delight customers when they have inquiries, concerns, or complaints? SMS customer service can help you communicate more effectively with your clients by adding convenience.

Keep reading to learn more about SMS customer service and how to use it to increase satisfaction.

What is SMS customer service?

SMS customer service is the use of text messages to communicate directly with customers. Most companies already use email, phone calls, or support tickets for customer service. However, SMS allows clients to conveniently voice their opinions and concerns wherever they are.

Texting customer support is a more modern approach to customer service, which allows consumers to contact your support team without making a phone call or sending an email.

Ways to use SMS customer service messages

SMS customer service can be used to:

  • Collect customer feedback. Are your customers enjoying your products or services? You can use SMS campaigns to solicit feedback about your business, including customer service experiences and product satisfaction.
  • Send appointment reminders. Customer support text messaging is much more convenient than emails for sending appointment reminders because everyone texts but not everyone checks their email regularly. With SMS, you can send appointment reminders and links to virtual meetings to ensure your customers are always in the loop.
  • Send order and delivery updates. If you’re an e-commerce business, you can use customer service messaging to send order and delivery updates to keep your customers updated on the purchases.
  • Resolve issues. If customers have an issue with a product or service, they want it resolved quickly. Text messaging is immediate and allows your customers to contact you wherever. Additionally, since SMS customer service software integrates directly with customer service automation tools, your support team can resolve issues faster than ever.
  • Answer questions. Sometimes, customers have simple questions about a product or service and don’t want to wait for a response. Texting customer service allows them to message your team, whether in a crowded public space or at the office, making it more convenient.

Benefits of SMS customer support

SMS customer support is crucial. Text message marketing is becoming as popular as email marketing because it’s convenient and encourages people to click links to websites on their mobile devices to view products and complete the checkout process.

In addition, SMS support can increase your customer success metrics, helping you improve satisfaction and encourage loyalty.

Here are a few of the benefits of SMS customer service:

  • Lower costs. Managing and responding to inquiries is much more cost-effective via text than any other method because it’s faster and SMS customer service software plans are inexpensive. Customer service calls cost money, but providing support via texting can reduce your expenses and allow your team to resolve more support tickets.
  • Increased convenience. Text messaging is one of the most popular forms of communication because it’s convenient. Calling a customer support number and waiting on hold is time-consuming and can interrupt your customers’ daily lives. However, allowing them to send a text message and wait for a response is more convenient and helps them avoid long wait times via phone calls.
  • Faster response times. Text customer service allows businesses to increase their response times. A phone call can take several minutes or more, depending on the customer's needs. However, clients can provide the information you need with SMS messages without staying on the line. Instead, you can resolve issues faster and move on to the next one to accomplish more in a single day.
  • Better engagement. SMS support can increase engagement because it’s a more personal method of communication. Additionally, with faster response times and better convenience, customers are more satisfied with the business and its support.
  • Greater efficiency. Customer service text messaging offers better efficiency when handling multiple inquiries. By using texts, emails, phone calls, and online portals, customers can choose how they communicate with your business, enabling your support team to respond to more clients throughout the day.
How to implement SMS customer service

How to implement customer service text messaging

Now that you understand the importance of customer service and how SMS support can improve your business, it’s time to learn how to implement it.

Implementing a new process can be challenging, but you may already have a support workflow with other channels. Ultimately, you must decide how you want text messaging to fit into your overall customer service strategy.

Here are a few tips to help you implement customer service text messaging:

1. Choose your SMS customer service solution

There are several SMS customer service solutions available, and they all have similar features.

Features to look for in a robust SMS customer service platform include:

  • Two-way messaging
  • Multimedia messaging
  • Automation and workflows
  • Templates
  • Metrics and analytics
  • Integrations with marketing and other customer service tools

2. Determine your workflow

You should determine various workflows for customer service representatives. For example, if you have agents for different regions, you can create automated workflows to ensure the right person in your organization receives the proper inquiries.

3. Train SMS customer support staff

You probably already use a customer service platform to manage and reply to inquiries. However, learning a new tool can take time and effort. Teaching support teams how to use SMS for business customer service is crucial to ensure a consistent experience across all channels.

Communicating via text is often much different from engaging with clients via phone and email. As such, you may have to create a new standard operating procedure (SOP) for how your team should respond. This may include guidelines on using abbreviations, slang, and emojis.

4. Monitor and analyze your performance

Analyzing your performance regularly can help you find bottlenecks preventing your team from reaching its goals. Text message customer service platforms provide key insights into your customer service success. The types of metrics will vary by provider, but you should look for stats like average response times, time to ticket resolution, and the number of customers responded to every day.

Best practices for SMS customer service

Implementing an SMS customer service platform is only half the battle. Using it effectively can increase your support team’s efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity. Here are a few best practices to help you maximize your SMS customer service strategy:

Automate the process

Automation is crucial when working with an SMS customer service platform because it will allow you to create workflows and send automated replies to increase efficiency.

For example, instead of manually responding to every inquiry, you can leverage text messaging chat bots or set up automatic responses and templates to answer common questions.

It’s important to remember that automation can help you save time, but it shouldn’t replace human interactions. Some inquiries require a human customer service agent, while other consumers may prefer it. Therefore, you should always have an option for customers to communicate with a live representative.

Personalize messages

Personalization is crucial when communicating with your customers because it shows you’ve taken the time to listen to them. For example, if a customer has a complaint, always refer to them by their first name and address any issues from previous text messages to ensure that you deliver top-notch service.

Use the right tools

Your customer service platform must integrate with your other tools to keep everything in one place. Whether clients call, email, or text, these interactions should be kept in the same place.

Additionally, it's best to use tools to organize inquiries under the customer’s name. For example, your clients may likely use all forms of communication to contact your business throughout the relationship, so your service tools should keep detailed records of all interactions.

60% of consumers want to be able to text businesses back

Communicate in real time

Some companies already use SMS to market products and services to their customers. However, the tools they use might not always permit clients to respond. Consumers want to communicate with your business in real time, so you should ensure that any platform you use allows them to respond directly to you.

Obtain feedback

Getting feedback about your service efforts is crucial because it provides insight into how customers feel. For example, after each SMS interaction with a customer, you should send them an automated text asking them to rate their experience. Soliciting feedback will allow you to learn from any mistakes you’ve made and take corrective action to ensure your support team continues to delight clients by solving their problems.

Promote your SMS support system

Your customers won’t text you if they don’t know they can. You should promote your SMS support system to ensure customers know they can use text messaging to communicate with your business. Include information on how to text your support team on your website, social media, and other marketing materials to help clients get started.

Use SMS to boost your customer service

SMS customer service can help you improve your customer service strategy and satisfaction rates by offering clients a convenient method for contacting your business. Mailchimp offers SMS text messaging to help customers connect with you, book an appointment, make purchases, and receive order confirmations and notifications.

Use Mailchimp SMS to start communicating with your customers today.

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