While traditional phone calls are falling out of fashion, the need for customer support is not. It should come as no surprise that the generation that grew up texting would rather avoid calling a support line. If your business isn’t using SMS customer support, it’s time to adapt.
Having an SMS customer support option is convenient, customer-centric, and time-saving. Here are eight tips for providing excellent SMS customer support for your business.
Put the Right Platform in Place
When opening up the option to offer support via text, having the right provider is essential. For effective call center text marketing, you’ll need a centralized platform that can be accessed by various users. It needs to allow for easy two-way conversations while capturing data and creating a paper trail.
Choosing the right platform will ultimately depend on your overarching business needs. It makes sense to choose something that allows for an omnichannel approach and integrates with other marketing tools.
Put a Response Protocol in Place
One of the biggest challenges when getting started in SMS support is prioritization. You’ll need to have a response protocol put in place to manage incoming requests. The simplest approach, and the default for many businesses, is first-come-first-served. This method ensures that everyone gets handled quickly and efficiently.
Another option is to have segmentation based on the request and prioritize them based on urgency. This approach gets a little more complex.
Whatever approach you take, be sure to manage expectations with the customer. Notify them that their request has been received and that they will be contacted ASAP.
Create Communication Standards
It’s important to manage how your customer service representatives interact with customers. Set up some standards that say what communication points are encouraged and what should be avoided.
For example, many companies that use SMS support opt for shorthand, abbreviations, and emoji use. If those communication methods don’t fit your brand, make that clear to your call center employees.
Offer Proactive Customer Service
Customer service is a two-way street. Once you have someone’s number, you can use that to reach out and offer support. For example, sending a simple text a few days after they make a purchase and asking if they need any guidance. This interaction is also a great opportunity to ask for feedback. The conversational approach makes it easier for customers to be honest and responsive.
Another way to offer proactive customer service is to schedule SMS campaigns based on previous purchases and customer data. For example, a spa might schedule a text asking a client if they’d like to book their next eyebrow appointment. The scheduling could then take place through text.
The last thing consumers want is to talk to another robot. Adding a human touch to text interactions is a great way to build customer engagement and loyalty. Rather than sending out a canned-sounding, robotic message, add a human touch.
Be Clear and Concise
Being clear and concise is always important when engaging in customer service. However, when SMS is the medium, clarity and conciseness become integral. Try to keep texts below 160 characters to avoid gaps in communication.
Use an Autoresponder
While having a human touch is essential, an autoresponder does have a place in SMS customer support. Using an autoresponder can tell customers that their inquiry has been received so that they know what to expect. It can also be used to screen requests and deal with simple inquiries, keeping the queue moving along.
Market Your SMS Options
Finally, tell your customers about your SMS support options. This feature is still novel and largely underutilized by small businesses. Letting your audience know that SMS support is an option might be the trigger they need to reach out comfortably and conveniently.
With these eight tips, you can provide excellent SMS customer service and get an edge on the competition.