Why You Need to Rediscover SMS for Customer Support
| Published: October 04, 2016 | Comments
The concept of customer service revolves around the idea of providing timely solutions for customers in a way that’s convenient to them. In that case, you shouldn’t miss SMS - this current platform is efficient and accessible.
SMS messages are generally read within 3 minutes of being sent and over 80% of adults text making text messaging one of the most widely used platforms currently available for customer service. If your feeling is that SMS is on its way out when it comes to providing great customer service, the following points may change your mind:
Immediacy and high open rates
One of the biggest advantages of texting for customer service is that it gets the message out quickly. You don’t have to guess if the customer got your voicemail or email. Many business texting services even allow you to see when your message has been read. And you can rest assured that it will be since 98% of texts are opened.
- Texting is ideal for businesses such as airline and travel where urgent last-minute information could make a big difference to customers when they’re on the road. Sending out a last-minute cancellation or delay message can save your client time, money and mental energy. It can also cut down on passenger calls, freeing up your staff to attend other clients.
- A last-minute change in venue, time or date can also be communicated via text so that nobody misses an important meeting or event.
- Beauty parlors, mechanics, doctor and dentist offices and other appointment-oriented businesses can send out appointment reminders the day before an appointment to decrease no-shows and prevent highly paid staff from waiting around.
- Retailers can confirm a purchase and notify customers of delivery status.
- Banks can alert account holders of any unusual activity related to their account so they can take quick action.
In this case study for Argus Radiology uses SMS to alert them about their image transfer and routing systems. IT Director Tim Leibovich says that, “We are now notified quickly when there is a problem or a potential problem, even in the middle of the night. Sometimes we are able to alert our customers to a problem now before they are even aware, and all of it is possible while saving thousands of dollars by using a lean setup with open source monitoring.”
Part of omnichannel customer support
Omnichannel customer support is becoming necessary: they allow customers to choose the platform that’s most convenient to them depending on the particular situation. SMS should definitely be the part of any omnichannel service as 78% of texters express a desire to have a text conversation with a business.
Convenience of text messaging stems from its simplicity. Clients don’t need to first log into a chat session or find a message in their email’s inbox or allow push notifications on their mobile. Texting is immediate and is useful in providing fast solutions to simple problems.
SMS has its place in the future of customer support
As technologies evolve, it’s becoming more and more possible for customer service issues to be answered and attended to by artificial intelligence. In fact, prototypes for this type of technology already exist and are up and running. The company DigitalGenius, founded by Dmitry Askenov who originally programmed a service to answer simple questions about opening hours and store locations and has evolved to be able to provide more complex answers.
SMS is the perfect platform to sync with this new technology: customers text a question and the AI uses its algorithm to search for the most appropriate answer. This invention is renewing the importance of text messaging as a customer service venue, meaning SMS is far from becoming obsolete.
Good for collecting customers’ feedback
It’s easy and fast to respond to texts, that’s why SMS is the ideal space to conduct a customer satisfaction poll. These polls are an important part of maintaining happy customers and/or discovering flaws in your business. A poll gives clients a place where they can vent their frustration if they’ve had a bad experience.
Without conducting such surveys, you run the risk of them venting their frustration with other potential customers, damaging your business’ reputation. Mobile polls also let your customers know you care about their opinions and experiences with your brand.
Don’t underestimate SMS’s effectiveness as a customer service platform. It’s the perfect channel for communicating urgent messages, it works seamlessly within omnichannel networks and it’s a great way to conduct polls. There’s nothing to lose and everything to win by giving SMS a try for your customer service.
Mobile, Multichannel Contact Center
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