SMS: How to Use Text Messaging for Customer Experience

One of the most effective ways that SMS can be of use to a business is for customer service purposes. Consumers expect to be able to reach out for customer support easily, and text messaging is by far the easiest way for the vast majority of consumers to do so. Or cut down on high-frequency questions by anticipating them and sending the answer straight to your customer’s handset.

Did you know?

consumers would like the option to send sms to companies

More than 78% of consumers would like the option to send text messages to businesses. With consumers increasingly expecting the immediacy of customer solutions, adding live chat is a no-brainer.

But how can you provide stellar customer support via text message? We’re glad you asked. Check out some of the ways you can elevate your business’ customer service experience using SMS.

Reminders and Alerts

This one is a no-brainer. People respond well to transactional customer service messaging to remind them of imminent appointments. Sending out reminders not only benefits your customers; it also benefits your business by reducing the incidence of no-shows, which cost you valuable time and money. Businesses which benefit most from this include healthcare, service, events and sales. With 98% average open rates for SMS you can be sure you’ve maximised the reach of your last-minute reminders or reminders sent a week prior to appointments.

Automated Messages

Take your customer support SMS messaging to a new level with automated customer service messages. Create automated responses for specific keywords to solve issues fast, link to websites for more information, and troubleshoot in a simple and cost-effective way. You may not be able to anticipate all the questions your customers will ask, but if you can predict the majority not only will you shave expensive human resources hours, your customers will be happier with faster responses to their enquiries.

Order and Transaction Updates

Keeping customers informed during a transaction journey helps to ensure that customers are satisfied and also cuts down on questions like “when will my order arrive?” or “where is my tracking number?”. Send automated messages to customers when they place an order, when an item has been shipped with their tracking details, or to advise of imminent or completed delivery. It’s more convenient and timely than sending emails and more discreet than calling.

Two-Way Communication Facility

Make it easier for customers to send messages to you, to make enquiries and communicate in real-time. Keywords can be sent by customers to your number for automated responses to resolve issues. Most consumers prefer to deal with customer service in this way as opposed to voice calls. Let your customers choose a time in your calendar through an online scheduling tool like Appointlet. We like Appointlet because you can easily integrate them with ClickSend to automate SMS meeting reminders (read on for more about integrations).

live chat and sms

Live Chat and SMS a perfect match

Do you offer live chat customer support on your website? Live chat allows customers to have their concerns answered almost immediately while affording you the opportunity to remove barriers to sale and keep potential customers engaged. Win-win!

“92 per cent of customers feel most satisfied when using a live chat feature, thus outperforming such popular customer support options such as social media messaging (84% for Facebook), and email (85%). The fact that a real person is behind live chat plays an important role for customers because they expect detailed explanations to their questions.”

Marie Fincher, Chatra Blog.

Already set up with live chat? Brilliant. Take your live chat conversation from web browser to the mobile handset using one of our live chat integrations and give your customers the personalised buying experience that they are increasingly coming to expect.

Integrating Live Chat with SMS

Here we’ll run through integrating Live Chat with SMS using the Chatra platform, but you’ll find it a similar process with most live chat applications.

Be present wherever your customers prefer, while keeping all your customer support messaging in one place, through integrating your preferred chat platform and the ClickSend SMS gateway. You can integrate directly through an integration created by your developer, but why waste hours of coding when we have ready-made integrations through Zapier?

Integration through Zapier

Have your live chat and SMS integration up and running in under half an hour with Zapier.

Once you’ve logged in to your account, go to your dashboard and choose which apps you want to integrate.

If you’d like to send a message once a live chat conversation has closed, choose to connect Chatra with ClickSend SMS and selected Conversation Closed for ‘when this happens’. Then to send a text message, choose to send text for the ‘then do this!’ field.

From there you can choose to add a time delay, or even choose to send a letter, postcard, fax or text-to-speech voice call.

For more information on how to set up ClickSend in Zapier, check out their help article here.

Best Practice for Sending Text Messages

As SMS is viewed as a relatively flexible communication platform by customers, they are likely to expect 24/7 support, day or night. If you don’t have the staffing resources for 24/7 support, set up an automated message to let people know that you’ll respond to their message first thing the next working day. Conversely, be mindful of the time you’re sending SMS reminders. Most customers won’t appreciate receiving a text message at 2 am on a Sunday.

As with all customer service, you want to exceed the expectations of your customers to ensure maximum customer satisfaction. Get into your target customer mindset: think like a consumer to offer what they actually want. Make using the platform simple, and provide value with concise messages that are on point. Most importantly, remain professional at all times and maintain your brand’s identity and voice.

Integrate transactional SMS across all channels with the help of ClickSend. Open our live chat in the lower right corner to talk to a real human or call us to find out how we can help you take your business to the next level.

Or jump straight in and open a free account here.

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