Best Practices for Providing Effective SMS Customer Service
Delivering quality customer service is one of the most important functions of any business. With more customers using text messaging to get in touch with companies, providing a reliable and effective SMS customer service system is now essential.
What is SMS customer service?
SMS customer service is a customer communication option offered by a business over SMS / text messaging. It is completely textual conversation between business and customers without requiring a face-to-face or verbal interaction. Text messages could be initiated by the business (e.g. By sending appointment notifications) or by the customer (e.g. From click to chat by text widget on the business website).
How is it helpful?
- SMS app comes already installed on all the phones.
- It helps keep the conversations short and up to the point.
- It saves time for the employees, especially the ones spending a lot of time on incoming phone calls while doing multi-tasking.
- Neither side has to spend 100% of their time on the conversation until it’s over.
Here are some tips on how to provide excellent customer support through text messaging.
Respond quickly to messages
The key to providing effective SMS customer service is to respond quickly and efficiently. Customers want prompt responses when they reach out to a company, so make sure you prioritize customer messages, ensuring that your team responds in a timely fashion. This not only keeps customers satisfied and loyal, but it also shows them that you value their time and have their best interests at heart.
Personalize your responses whenever possible
Personalize your responses whenever possible to show customers you are taking the time to understand their issue. Greeting them by name or including an empathetic statement in your message can make a big difference in building lasting customer relationships. Attention to detail shows customers that you are committed to going above and beyond, which can increase customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Be precise in your response
A lot of the large sized companies have switched to automated customer service (i.e. chatbots, automated IVR etc.) While bots are great at answering repeat questions and AI is making them better, small businesses can have an upper-hand by providing precise human driven customer service initially. This should attract customers looking for straight-to-the-point answers, which if you think about it, who is not. Once your business reaches a volume requiring automation, you can always introduce chatbots.
Take customer’s permission before sending messages
Nobody likes to receive unsolicited text messages. There might be regulations in your region prohibiting sending unsolicited SMS messages too. If you have a physical location with visiting customers, it can be a simple paper form mentioning type of messages you might send and have them fill out their mobile number. If you have a website, a similar online form would work too.
Allow customers to opt-out easily via text message or keywords
Giving customers the ability to opt out of text messages can go a long way in preserving customer relationships. Allow customers to text back a keyword like “STOP” or “UNSUBSCRIBE” if they do not wish to receive current or future messages from your business. This also ensures that you are following legal regulations and best practices for SMS marketing. It might be useful to pick an SMS providers that already offers this feature as part of their service.
10DLC compliance for US recipients
US carriers have introduced 10DLC compliance to identify spams and give priority to genuine text messages. It’s applicable for SMS sent from local 10-digit numbers, which are quickly becoming the primary source numbers for Application to Person (A2P) messaging. Complete 10DLC verification for your business for better delivery of your text messages.
Sociocs is a shared SMS Inbox for Twilio’s powerful SMS API. Check out our related articles: