Simple and fast: SMS as a customer support tool

Friday, May 6, 2016

SMS is lagging behind other customer support channels in terms of popularity, with only 7% of companies using it. One of the possible reasons behind the low adoption rate is that it’s considered intrusive. Another is that brands and call centers are wary of sending text messages either for marketing or customer service purposes, as this may drive customers away.

But if you know how to effectively use SMS to connect with your target audience, it can be a great tool for building relationships. It’s simple and requires minimal resources: just a mobile number and, of course, a message. In addition, everybody uses it, so you can reach more people at a time.

Aside from its simplicity, brands who use SMS to connect with customers benefit from the following advantages.

It's easy to set up.
To get started, you need to purchase a phone number and a software dedicated solely for customer support. Using your own mobile phone for text messaging won’t work. Instead, you need to have the right tools so that you can track your interactions and keep them in one place. An SMS software also allows for centralized management and collaboration. That way, you can distribute the workload among several agents or teams.

Customers don't need the latest smartphone.
One of the best things about SMS is that it’s independent of the phone model that your customers are using. So even if they don’t have the latest gadgets on their hands, you can still reach them without incompatibility issues. Plus, text messages take up very little space, which means that in almost all instances, they will be received by the phone owner. This instantly widens your reach and allows you to get in touch with all your customers.

All your messages will be read.
Compared with emails, SMS messages have a much higher open rate. In emails, recipients quickly judge whether the contents are relevant to them by reading just the subject line. So if they think that the email isn’t that important, they send them straight to trash and move on to the next message. On the other hand, because they're a lot shorter and therefore more easily digestible than emails, text messages are rarely ignored. This ensures that the message is read by the customer.

It's great for last-minute reminders.
All the features mentioned above make text messaging a great instrument for sending quick and urgent notifications. It can be used to remind customers of an upcoming delivery schedule or updates on a pending transaction.

It's more personal.
Mobile communication allows for a more personal approach simply because it provides brands and call centers a direct line connecting to the customer. Unlike email, however, text messages can be accessed without an internet connection, which makes the process much faster and convenient.