Today, beyond traditional phone support, many companies are turning to email and social media to provide seamless customer service and support. But has your business ever thought about instituting customer service via text message? Most businesses haven’t and they’re missing out on a big opportunity.
Of course, virtually every smartphone and flip phone on the market can send and receive text messages, meaning you can communicate with more of your customers by pressing a few buttons. Still not convinced this medium makes good business sense? The following are just a few of the benefits of using SMS as a customer support channel:
Customer service via SMS is efficient for both your business and your customers. To that end, your customer support team can send and receive texts in a quick, efficient manner, and most people receive texts in less than seven seconds, according to Betaout. Thus, this quick, easy means of communication can provide your support staff with a more immediate way to reach customers.
Unlike email, your customers don’t need to be connected to the Internet or use a ton of data to receive texts, so you can reach them virtually anytime and from anywhere. This method of communication is also convenient, as people tend to have their smartphones on them seemingly at all times.
Email Open Rates
Of course, ensuring your customers actually take the time to read the communications you send to them is another animal altogether. Only 20 percent of consumers open marketing emails — even from brands they view positively — whereas 98 percent of text messages are opened within three seconds of people receiving them, according to Clickatell.
Furthermore, while it’s easy to put off emails until later, people are often more compelled to respond to text messages right away, creating a huge benefit for marketers and customer support staff. If you add in the speed and convenience of texting, then this method of communication can provide you with countless opportunities to reach and respond to your target audience.
Even the most basic cellphones are capable of receiving text messages, which can help you reach a variety of customers. So whether your target market is old or young, or live in more urban or rural areas, you can reach them quickly and easily with an SMS customer service or marketing messages. This just goes to show you don’t have to rely on fancy technology and always be looking for the next best thing; rather, sometimes it’s best to use technology of which your customers are already accustomed.
Ultimately, having an SMS support channel should be part of your customer service strategy. Just like you use a cloud contact center to provide a more seamless, omni-channel experience for your customers, an SMS system can provide your customers with a fail-safe written transaction.
Even though you may record phone calls with your cloud contact center to ensure better quality control, your customers won’t have a record of the communication unless they request a copy. In comparison, with text messages, both parties have a record of the conversation and can look back at it as a future point of reference. This empowers your customers to look back at the high-quality support they received or, if need be, call your business for more information without having to repeat the same steps.
While it’s great to chase the next big technology trend, don’t forget to take advantage of the systems that are already in place. By personally connecting with your customers in a way that’s useful to them, you’ll see your customer service and marketing efforts improve exponentially. Oh, and your bottom line is sure to experience a similar uptick as well.