Because of this, many organizations’ customer support departments are starting to make use of messaging channels like SMS and IM. The fact that social media sites like Facebook and WhatsApp provide companies with free messaging capabilities to utilize in their interactions with clients further adds to the appeal of these channels. Read on for an overview of the benefits of using various channels for customer support. Then, look at some easy methods to implement and improve the quality of support messaging in your organization.
Why Do We Need an SMS Help Desk?
The term “SMS customer support” refers to every time a corporation communicates with a client by text message. There is no need for actual human contact or verbal exchange; everything takes place online. The average open rate for text messages is 98%, whereas the open rate for emails is merely 22%. If a business is serious about being heard by its consumers. It has to go where those customers already are—on their phones.
The Advantages of Using Text Messaging for Customer Service:
People have been using messaging services like texting and “instant messaging” for years now. The messaging app WhatsApp has been around for more than a decade, and its more than two billion monthly active users have conversations on the service every day. Nonetheless, one-on-one communication is the norm in digital channels.
However, as more and more businesses learn about the advantages of employing messaging for customer support, that is beginning to change quickly. Here are a few examples.
Supply and Demand:
It’s clear that many individuals take pleasure in using messaging as a means of communication. Especially considering how widespread texting has gotten over the years. More than 5 billion individuals send and receive SMS messages every day, making it difficult to leave messages out of an omnichannel strategy. A survey found that 52% of respondents would use texting to communicate with a customer service representative if given the opportunity. And more than half (52%) would rather text a customer service professional than call.
Processing client texts instead of phone calls may save a lot of money. Forrester found that the average cost of a customer support phone call was $16, whereas the price of a customer service text thread was between $1 and $5.
An SMS service may also reduce the number of calls your staff must take by hand. As a result, your staff will experience less strain and be able to take on more cases in the same amount of time.
Having Happy Customers:
Providing assistance through text messages fosters a more personable relationship with your clientele. Instead of being official and impersonal like email or the phone, texting has a more casual tone. And compared to other communication methods, like phone calls or emails, texting is both quicker and more precise. The use of short message service (SMS) allows for faster communication between representatives, which ultimately results in faster solutions for your clients.
Below is a list of the most effective methods to use SMS customer support in your company.
How to Use SMS for Customer Support: 12 Guidelines
Be Specific About What you Want to Achieve:
To make the most of customer service communications, it’s important to be transparent about your motivations. Get the most out of the service by being specific about what you want to achieve. Here are three primary goals to consider while crafting your messages:
Savings on Expenses:
Contentment with Products and Services Provided by Business Productivity among Workers However, it’s good to consider carefully which of these three factors is the most significant to you. That way, you may highlight the parts of your message that are most pertinent to your end result.
Make Sure You’re Using the Best Possible SMS Support Channel:
Because “messaging” covers such a wide variety of activities, you may choose from many different channels when deciding on a system for your company. You may choose between standard short message service (SMS), private social network messaging, and enterprise-level messaging apps. Finding and making the most of the most effective channels is difficult. Consult your clientele to see if they would mind sharing their preferred messaging applications. Learn how to use the specific functions of various stations. As a result, you can make sure your support staff is making the most of the software they have access to.
Strike a middle ground between human intervention and automated processes.
Since many messages may be sent automatically. The cost of providing customer support through texting is reduced. AI-driven chatbots can answer many client questions without the intervention of a human person, opening up vast new opportunities for automating customer care messages. Your customer care communications should be automated. But not to the point of being ineffective. Customers appreciate individualized SMS service just as much as they do phone or social media conversations. Since texting is a more intimate form of communication, it stands to reason that consumers would prefer a one-on-one interaction with a support representative than a canned response.
As advanced as chatbots and machine learning become, they still can’t replace the kind of individualized service a human agent can provide.
Sort and Prioritize Messages as They Come in:
After your messaging support is launched, you’ll need a plan for meeting user demand. You’ll need a strict protocol for handling messages if the number of them begins to grow. You might choose to process requests in the order they were received (the FIFO method). However, a message prioritization mechanism is preferable in most circumstances.
Look for a system that will allow you to organize the messages and requests for help you get. It is common sense to divide them into different groups based on the importance of the question being asked and the worth of the client making the inquiry. Chatbots are able to respond to basic questions far more quickly than a human agent could. This may free up representatives’ time to look for high-value orders and respond to urgent inquiries.
Use a Short Message Service (SMS) to Get Comments from your Clients:
Only one in every twenty-six consumers files a formal complaint or offers constructive criticism after having an unpleasant service encounter, according to data compiled by Groove. In the end, 25 of the remaining 26 clients (or 91%) will defect to a rival.
A solution to this problem is to provide channels for client input through SMS customer assistance. Customers may easily provide feedback by responding with a single word or a numeric rating. It also encourages people to provide constructive criticism in a non-threatening method. For the company’s benefit, you’ll get candid responses, but in a more civil manner than is typical of internet reviews and social media. Your patrons will value the fact that you listen to and act on their feedback.
Train your Staff to Provide Customer Service through Text Messaging:
Those working in your customer care department will likely be savvy with instant messaging and short message service. Training for customer service messages isn’t about teaching individuals how to utilize the technology since they’ll use them routinely in daily life. Learning how to utilize the channel in a businesslike manner is the focus here.
Your representatives’ communications should always reflect well on your company. Some common texting practices, such as the use of emoticons or abbreviations, may not mesh well with the tone you want to set for your company. You’ll have to train employees on the acceptable and unacceptable uses of language and messaging tools.
Combine SMS with Other Forms of Customer Service:
The term “omnichannel assistance” may seem familiar if you work in customer service. The idea behind it is to provide continuity of service over the duration of the customer’s journey, regardless of the channel they choose to interact with the business. If you want to provide true omnichannel assistance, all of your channels, including SMS, must be unified and integrated.
The implementation of customer service messages should take this in mind. You should include instant messaging into your ticketing system or support desk as much as feasible. As a result, your staff will have an easier time providing constant service.
To Go Above the Call of Duty, you Must Follow up with Consumers:
When a consumer has a question, it’s simple to answer it. Ultimately, all that’s required is that you locate a solution within a fair time frame. What’s more challenging is really following up with them afterward to prove that you care.
Here, a made-up spa demonstrates it still values its patrons even though they haven’t been back in a while. As a token of their regret, they provide a price cut. Not only does this sort of text message demonstrate your company’s dedication to its clientele by going the extra mile, but it also allows recipients to quickly and easily react.
Send out Reminders for Scheduled Events:
Customers may be reminded of upcoming appointments with the use of SMS alerts. This may be done ahead of time at any moment. And all the consumer has to do to confirm is type in a single letter or word, as shown above. Since your consumers are likely to have full schedules, sending a quick text message might be far more effective than calling them or sending an email that can go unread.
The Transferring of Cases Should be Avoided if at all Possible:
The most useful feature of SMS customer service is that all communication and problem solving take place on the same channel. Live chats, for instance, often transfer customers to phone assistance, while social media inquiries may lead to email exchanges. One persistent criticism leveled at customer service is the frequency with which consumers must transition from online assistance to phone support (57%, according to Harvard Business Review).
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However, with SMS customer support, you may have the whole chat via a single medium. Customers may rapidly respond to photos and videos sent by sales reps to verify or amend data. If both parties choose to use various means of communication, they need not switch channels or devices.
Get to the Point and Make Yourself Understood:
One must always be brief while texting. Send that lengthy explanation in an email instead. For use in SMS-based customer service, it is best practice to condense your message into a concise summary. To demonstrate, let’s pretend a made-up automaker is attempting to get the word out about a brand-new model. They’ve worded their message brilliantly, hitting all the high notes in a compact format. Customers may follow the link for more details.
Avoid the temptation to write an essay while providing outbound SMS customer service. Long messages are often difficult to read across the channel.
Promote your Company’s Ability to Assist Customers by Text Message:
Promote the availability of an excellent messaging support service after it has been established so that clients know they may contact you by short message service (SMS) or instant message (IM). Having the resources to provide assistance in these areas demonstrates your dedication to first-rate customer service.
Here are some efficient methods of spreading the news about customer service messages:
If your organization has an on-hold recording, it would be a good idea to explain your message service to consumers.
Either Online or Within the App:
Add customer support links and information to your website and mobile applications.
Incorporate customer service-related information into your social media profiles. If you send support-related communications over a channel connected with a certain network, this makes a lot of sense.
With these guidelines in mind, you’ll be able to successfully integrate an SMS support channel and create a message service that your clientele will love.