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5 Reasons You Should Already Be Using SMS in Your Customer Support Strategy

SMS (Short Message Service) offers a dynamic solution for businesses looking to enhance their customer support. Don’t get thrown if you’re not familiar with the term. You text, right? Well, SMS is just text messaging. But what most business owners don’t understand is that you can now text enable your landline. Now imagine if at the top of your website or in the footer of your email signature you tweaked a few critical words that made your customers feel empowered to interact with your business with a choice of communication channels. Something like this: “Call or Text to Speak with an Expert: 855-680-0008”.

This may seem like a small thing, but providing your customers choice allows them to interact with your business in a manner that they might consider more discreet, or might make it possible for them to communicate what they need with more accuracy when they are in a chaotic or noisy environment that would make placing a telephone call an impossibility.

Still have your attention? Excellent! Here are five compelling reasons why SMS should be an integral part of your customer support strategy:

1. Immediate and Direct Communication

  • SMS is unmatched in its ability to provide immediate communication. Customers no longer need to wait on hold or navigate through tedious automated phone menus. Text messaging delivers instant connectivity, which is crucial for addressing urgent customer queries or issues. This real-time interaction not only boosts customer satisfaction but also streamlines the resolution process.

2. Exceptionally High Engagement Rates

  • With an open rate of 98%, text messages are significantly more effective than emails, which have an average open rate of around 20%. This high level of engagement ensures that your communications are not just sent but also seen. For customer support, this means being able to reliably deliver important messages like appointment reminders, service updates, and real-time support directly to your customer’s most personal device—their mobile phone.

3. Personalization at Scale

  • Personalization is key to winning customer hearts and minds. SMS allows for high levels of personalization, from addressing customers by their names to tailoring messages based on previous interactions or preferences. This personal touch not only enhances the customer experience but also fosters a deeper connection between the customer and your brand.

4. Cost-Effectiveness

  • SMS is a cost-effective option compared to traditional customer support channels. It reduces the need for extensive call center operations, lowering overhead costs while still maintaining high levels of customer interaction. The efficiency of SMS not only saves money but also optimizes your customer service resources, allowing your team to handle more queries in less time.

5. Strengthening Customer Relationships

  • Regular and thoughtful communication via SMS can help strengthen relationships with your customers. By keeping customers informed and responding promptly to their needs, you reinforce their importance to your business. Enhanced communication through SMS leads to increased trust and loyalty, which are critical components of a successful customer relationship.

Implementing SMS in Your Customer Support

Incorporating SMS into your customer support framework involves strategic planning and execution. Here are some tips to get started:

  • Craft Savvy Replies to Common Requests: Platforms like TextMyBusiness.com now make it easy to organize an easy-to-navigate (and edit) response text library to efficiently handle frequently asked questions or common service requests. This allows your team to focus on more complex queries, improving overall efficiency, message/tone consistency, and the quality of your service delivery.
  • Integration with Existing CRM Systems: Seamlessly integrate SMS services with your current CRM systems. This ensures that all customer interactions are logged and accessible, providing a holistic view of the customer journey and enabling more personalized service. Not ready to code APIs? No problem. The TMB platform includes a customer contact list with text message history that can be leveraged to pick up a conversation at a later date without losing context (yes – TextMyBusiness.com has customer journey capabilities as well!).
  • Training and Etiquette: Equip your customer support team with the necessary training to handle SMS interactions professionally. This includes understanding the nuances of SMS etiquette, such as tone and timing, to maintain professionalism in text-based communications. Simple rules like, “DON’T TYPE IN ALL CAPS” or “It’s ok to not text complete sentences as long as you are communicating complete and coherent thoughts” apply to most businesses and there are likely other best practices specific to your customers and brand you will wish to teach to your team.
  • Feedback and Continuous Improvement: Encourage feedback through SMS, allowing customers to easily share their experiences. Use this feedback to continually refine and improve your SMS strategies and customer service practices. And remember, SMS is a channel and just like voice, it requires ongoing refinement to ensure your brand resonates in the way you intend.
By leveraging SMS as a part of your customer support strategy, your business can not only meet but exceed customer expectations. And with this still being a technology many businesses have not adopted at scale, you’ll set yourself apart from your competition.  Embrace the simplicity and immediacy of SMS to transform your customer service operations and enhance customer satisfaction.

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