No matter your business, if you haven’t got a handle on customer service and support, don’t expect to keep your customers. Around 93% of customer service professionals believe customers have higher expectations than in years prior, which is why it’s more important than ever to get it right.
One way to stand out in a competitor-loaden world is to deliver outstanding customer support. At MessageMedia, we pride ourselves on providing premium support for all customers. It’s why we have over 65,000 customers globally — and we’re still growing.
Delivering consistent customer satisfaction is critical, and picking the right channels plays a considerable part in its success. So let’s look at why sending and receiving SMS messages to customers can give you a time, productivity, and consumer advantage.
Why SMS customer support tool will vastly improve your service
After price, most customers look for convenience and reliability in brands. If an issue arises, customers should be able to get it attended to quickly. Unfortunately, most businesses do not have an easy or helpful support system through social media, mobile apps, website hubs, or other messaging apps. Only 10% of customer support experiences found to be convenient to consumers, Netomi found.
Text messaging provides consumers with a convenient support channel that meets them where they’re already at — on their mobile device using a ubiquitous messaging system. Customers are demanding more mobile-first experiences as our proximity to our mobile phones increases. Conversing via two-way text SMS support is universally accessible to everyone without internet connectivity. No need to keep open your browser tab or download an app.
Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, communications coming from our phone numbers are self-paced. The customer can return to a query they initiated and reply when they’re not so busy. Conversely, customer representatives can do the same – without either losing track of the issue or log.
Forget chatbots, automated responses, and website FAQs. One of the most significant advantages SMS customer service brings is almost immediate access to a helpful human being. A 2017 Retail World study found that 58% of consumers want humans dealing with their queries. Not only does this help a consumer feel valued, it breeds trust and familiarity with the brand.
SMS cannot deliver the help we expect from face-to-face interactions, but consider the intimate nature of texting itself: we send a text to our friends, families, and colleagues all the time. The informal, conversational nature of text messaging makes seeking customer support through such channels easy and familiar. Having a quality conversation that delivers meaningful value to the customer is easy for everyone when using two-way SMS.
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One of the worst parts about seeking support is the wait. 82% of people want their issues resolved quickly, yet online queues, a lack of response, and poor communication will fast track you to severe customer dissatisfaction.
Most text messages are delivered within one to two seconds, meaning conversations between your support representative and customer can carry on without delay. As mentioned previously, conversations do not require customers to be online, only connected via cellular networks.
For the support representative, the benefits are even more remarkable. Unlike phone calls which demand undivided attention, reps can instead be far more productive handling 3-5 text message queries and customer texts at a time.
Finally, adding a text messaging channel as a support vehicle can help you create a seamless mobile experience from end to end. For example, imagine that your customer has an issue with your product. Instead of jumping on your website and making an enquiry, they simply text a mobile number.
With this mobile number, they can take a picture or video of the product to show the issue. Your customer rep sees the query and immediately replies, asking for more detail. Once that’s received, the agent simply tells them that a replacement is on the way. Now, the customer can relax.
Instead of forcing the customer through multiple hoops, text messaging:
- Keeps them communicating on the same platform
- Issue is resolved in mere minutes
- Customer appreciates the human conversation and touch
- Allows for customisable queries (e.g. sending in videos and pics or even getting a personalised call if need be)
All in all, a seamless service with minor frictions and a delighted customer!
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Example of SMS customer support in action
This all sounds great, but how will it work for your business? We learn by example, so let’s look at one.
Port Networks is a boutique US telecommunications provider wanting to stand out from its larger rivals. However, while they pride themselves on their excellent phone customer support, they found it challenging to handle increasing customer queries. To resolve this issue, they turned to our text messaging integration: SMS for NetSuite.
Not only did this plug into their existing systems seamlessly, but it also allowed them to initiate text message conversations with customers instead of calls. Using text messaging, customer representatives could handle multiple queries, saving them between 8-10 hours of call time per week. More importantly (and of great benefit to their customers), they also cut support queue time in half.
That’s when I realised that a significant portion of our customers would prefer to communicate with us via SMS. And I realised it was easier, cheaper, and much faster than using phone or email.Hugh Bethell, Founder, Port Networks
Additionally, Port Networks uses scheduled texts to alert customers to proactive issues such as downtime or emergency notifications.
Final thoughts, further info
Building a better support system for your customers shouldn’t be tedious or difficult, but is an absolute must. Text messaging is not new, and yet it is still unused by most businesses to more conveniently fulfil support questions and queries in a way that is easy and accessible for most customers.
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