Text messaging is a unique form of short message service (SMS) that helps businesses improve customer service and drive profits. How does it work? With better customer service, you have satisfied customers. Satisfied customers stick around. Satisfied customers buy products from your business over many years. Satisfied customers refer friends and family. Satisfied customers buy more expensive products and services. If your goal is to create satisfied customers every time they reach out—and it should be one of your business’ top priorities—then text messaging should be in your arsenal of customer service tools.
Plain and Simple Customer Communication
Text messaging isn’t complicated. In fact, it’s one of the easiest communications mediums businesses can employ. In part, that’s because 90 percent of Americans actively use a cell phone. Businesses that offer SMS as a means of communication instantly connect with these users. Text messaging offers a few other significant benefits, including:
- A secure mode of communication.
- It allows consumers to communicate in real time.
- Consumers tend to read and respond to texts quickly, within about 15 minutes.
- A private way to communicate with consumers.
- Great performance when it comes to open rates: 100 percent of consumers open their text messages. Better yet, 90 percent read text messages.
Once you’re convinced you should offer text messaging as a means for your customers to communicate with you, consider how to best integrate SMS.
Less is More
For most businesses, it’s best to offer text messaging in a format that already calls for shorter communications. So, if your company gets a lot of requests for IT help, text messaging isn’t the best avenue to provide longer, detailed solutions or answer questions. But these instances are ripe for benefiting from text messaging:
Make the Connection
If your business needs a go-between the customer service rep who discovers problems, and connecting them to the right team or department, then text messaging is a great solution. Instead of answering a phone call, customers can text message your business with inquiries, and the connector can put customers in touch with the right people. In this “discovery” phase, the use of text messaging allows you to easily avoid customer frustration. In order to quickly discover the customer’s problem or needs, offer text messaging to handle product defects, refund issues, invoicing mistakes, and so forth.
Retail and Restaurants
Quick messages are also ideally suited for restaurant and retail settings, and any businesses where customers place easy orders. Businesses in these industries are employing text messaging so customers can:
- Order pizza or take out.
- Make a reservation at a restaurant.
- Ask about store hours or a return policy
- Order room service in hotels.
Businesses can also use text messaging to follow up and solicit reviews. For example, if a customer made a reservation via text, you could follow up with a text, thank the customer for the visit and ask her to write up a quick review on Yelp.
An Alternative to Voicemail
Just like cable is becoming a thing of a past, a relic in the minds of younger generations, voicemail is destined to become a substandard form of communication. While you shouldn’t abandon voicemail entirely, more and more, consumers are looking for quick ways, like text messaging, to enhance customer service. Still need another reason to use text messaging? 80 percent of people who call for help and reach voicemail abandon the call. They don’t leave a voicemail and they move on.
Here’s an example of one business that optimized customer service with text messaging—and they got a glowing social media review to boot.
Surprisingly, setting up a text messaging service is as simple as using it to communicate with customers. There’s not a long onboarding process or learning curve—for employees or customers. Here are just a few ways to get started:
- Manual response. Have your customer service team use their phones to manually reply to customers waiting on hold.
- Advertise. On your website, and every form of communication, let customers know they have the option to text in their question or issue, and that a customer rep will call back shortly.
Good customer service just makes sense, and it should be the foundation of every business’ strategy for success. CallProof helps businesses with text messaging services by using a local number that gets forwarded to their main number. Contact us today for more information or to set up your text messaging program.