Speed Up Customer Service Through Text Messaging
Speed Up Customer Service Through Text Messaging
If you’re looking to boost customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing top-notch customer service needs to be a top priority. Today’s customer expects an immediate response to their particular query or issue. As such, you want to avoid keeping them waiting at any point—or give them an excuse to move across to the competition! With text messaging, you can make customer support faster and more efficient. In addition to being a great way to connect with clients, text messaging automation can help them find the solutions they need, and quicker than ever.
In terms of modern expectations, “instant” service typically refers to responses received in under ten minutes. This window is likely to narrow further as better technology introduces ways to perform tasks even more effectively. It may seem like a tall order to keep within that ten-minute timeframe—but text messaging makes it possible. However, to get the most out of automated messaging, you’ll need a scrubber to ensure your list of contacts doesn’t contain any landline contacts. Fortunately, Landline Remover has got you covered.
The Importance of Customer Response Time
The speed of your service is integral to how clients view your overall customer experience. According to Forrester, 77% of customers consider a fast response time to be one of the most important factors in customer service.
On the one hand, this means you have a major task ahead of you—figuring out how to provide speedy service. Thankfully, on the other hand, speed is a metric that can be easily measured. As such, you can determine how you’re currently faring, and how much you improve as you implement new strategies.
Fast customer service is especially important in industries such as finance and tech. These sectors are active around the clock, and they simply can’t afford any breaks in service. Customers have plenty of other options, and if left waiting, they’re likely to take their money elsewhere.
The answer is to implement customer service communication channels that facilitate speedy response times. And while channels such as email and social media allow for faster customer service, it’s hard to beat the speed and efficiency of text messaging. Oftentimes, customers face similar problems that require identical solutions. With text messaging, you can leverage this to your advantage by creating automated responses to common questions.
Why You Should Improve Text Messaging Support
Text messaging support is a fundamental yet highly effective element of customer support in the modern business environment. Mobile phones are ubiquitous. In fact, Americans spend an average of five hours a day on their phones, according to TechCrunch. This makes text messaging one of the best ways to remain in contact with your clients. At first, the character limit may seem like a downside. That said, this actually allows you to save time and money and give you sufficient space for business branding.
Here are some benefits that should motivate you to improve your text messaging support:
Increased Customer Satisfaction
Improved text messaging support increases customer satisfaction, which is what your business requires to be competitive. Nowadays, customers are looking for more than just a product that works. They want to interact with a business that cares about them, and that they can rely on when they have problems. By providing this, businesses create loyal customers. Further, these customers are more likely to spread positive accounts of your company through word of mouth. This is one of the most powerful forms of advertising available, and one that can rapidly boost your business’s reach.
A notable benefits of text messaging is that it’s less resource-intensive than other forms of communication, including email and mobile. The fact that emails allow you to say much more than texts can be beneficial in some situations. The flipside is that emails also end up consuming a lot of time because they require images and business branding—even if the message you want to send is relatively short.
Calls are costlier, making text messaging an economical choice. A Forrester study reveals that, on average, customer support phone calls cost $16 while the average text thread costs between $1 and $5 per interaction. Because calls require a human to handle the interaction, they use more time and resources. In comparison, text messaging can be automated to provide instant canned answers and only divert to a human if absolutely necessary. As a result, you’ll also save money by employing fewer customer service agents.
Despite the vast array of communication platforms available, text messaging remains one of the most effective ways of reaching out to customers. Texts sent via a mobile phone still take top priority over other message notifications. A staggering 90% of texts are read within three minutes, with texting surpassing calling as the most-used smartphone feature.
There are multiple reasons for text messaging’s efficiency. For instance, you can answer a text message discreetly while at work or watching a movie. The fact that they’re short makes them easy to digest, and the character limit encourages a quick, succinct response. Notably, unlike calls, there’s less chance of miscommunication creeping in through factors like a bad network connection or a thick accent. This allows both the sender and recipient to get to the root of the problem and rapidly find a solution.
With text messaging, you’re much more likely to get a response from customers and be able to guide them toward a solution. Other communication channels may introduce delays and further pitfalls that lead to customers neglecting the interaction. And with their problem left unsolved, those customers could well start looking at your competitors.
One of the ways in which to increase engagement is through personalization. Simple details—such as including a customer’s name in a text—can do wonders. It creates a bond with the customer, making them feel that your business cares about them. In our highly commercialized world, it’s easy for consumers to feel like they’re constantly being subjected to shake-downs from big corporations. Here, a personalized touch may be just the thing to make your business stand out.
4 Ways to Use Text Messaging to Speed Up Customer Service
Text messaging is a versatile tool that can be implemented in a variety of ways to improve customer response time. Selecting the best approach to adopt depends on factors such as your organization’s particular industry and what your customers need. Ultimately, while text messaging is highly effective, it shouldn’t be implemented in isolation. Instead, use it in conjunction with other communication channels to cast as wide a net as possible.
1. Automated Responses and Chatbots
Try integrating chatbots and push notifications alongside text messages. With chatbots, customers can quickly get assistance without leaving your business’s webpage or app. These tools can also be automated to give set responses to frequently asked questions. They’ll only direct customers to an agent if the issue cannot be resolved any other way.
Push notifications are simply pop-ups that appear in browsers or apps—even if the app isn’t open. These notifications are opt-in, so be sure to use them moderately … or else customers will opt-out! Push notifications are great for supplying answers to questions before they’re even been asked. Have new stock in? A brand new product launch this week? A quick push notification will let your customers know.
2. Personalized Messaging and Segmentation
We’ve already touched on how personalizing your messaging can make customers feel valued. Here, the personalized language you choose is vital. In addition to using the customer’s name, opt for first-person pronouns. For instance, use words like “I” and “we.” As a result, your text will be less formal and your customers will feel like they’re being spoken to directly.
Another way to avoid seeming like a faceless corporation is by sprinkling a few emojis into your texts. As these are typically used during personal, one-on-one conversations, using them in your business texts can help to foster similar feelings of familiarity. That said, using emojis won’t be suitable for all industries. For example, a medical practice is probably better off keeping things professional. Conversely, a pizza parlor could benefit greatly from a few emojis.
Text messaging also opens up the possibility of segmentation, allowing you to group your contacts according to their interests or factors such as age or location. Then, you can send these groups personalized texts that cater to their specific needs. For instance, a clothing store that has recently received new suits could direct messages at their adult male customers only.
3. Providing Quick and Efficient Updates
Sometimes, customers will arrive with complicated problems that require complex solutions. However, the bulk of customer queries will likely be quick questions—such as checking the status of an order. With text messaging, customers no longer have to make a phone call or send an email and wait hours for a response. A simple text can give them the answers they need instantly.
Another function of text messaging is to send out timely reminders—perhaps to confirm an appointment or to pick up an order. Customers appreciate this service, as it helps them avoid issues such as missing an important delivery or a dentist’s visit. By providing reminders, you give customers the kind of convenience that will keep them loyal.
4. Using Text Messaging for Customer Feedback and Surveys
Text messaging is about staying in contact with your customers—but that’s not the only consideration. It also provides the opportunity to better understand your customer base and their needs and expectations. Armed with this information, you can make better and more customer-centric business decisions.
However, this data can oftentimes be difficult to access. Thanks to their short length, text messages are ideal for getting customer feedback. This may come in the form of surveys or links to longer forms. This information can also be used to train your customer service agents to engage more effectively with clients.
Best Practices for Implementing Text Messaging Customer Service
Implementing text messaging customer service can be a gamechanger for your business. That’s because it has a wide reach while at the same time remaining cost-effective. Nonetheless, if done incorrectly, it can cause more harm than good. To avoid such pitfalls, ensure you follow these best practices:
Ensuring Compliance With Regulations (such as TCPA and CAN-SPAM Act)
There are a few laws and regulations to be aware of when using text messaging. These will depend on your jurisdiction and the location of your customer base. For instance, businesses in the USA must comply with the U.S. Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), while Canadian companies fall under the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL), and those in Europe are subject to the EU Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications (the ePrivacy Directive).
Failure to observe your country’s regulations may result in your business gaining a bad reputation. Moreover, you could face legal consequences and your business may end up being served hefty fines. Ensuring constant compliance can be difficult. Thankfully, scrubbers like Landline Remover are compliant with the US Do-Not-Call (DNC) registry, giving you peace of mind.
Providing Opt-in and Opt-out for Customers
Abiding by the regulations of your jurisdiction helps your business as well as your budget. And although the rules will differ depending on where your business is located, some common practices can stand you in good stead, regardless of where you’re based.
SMS marketing should always be an opt-in feature. As much as text messaging is a useful means of communication, for customers who don’t want it, it’s nothing but spam. In these situations, your texts won’t help your business. Instead, they’ll give the public a negative perception of your organization as being overly invasive.
Just because a customer has agreed to receive texts, it doesn’t mean you have their permission forever. Customers who have opted-in should be given the choice to opt-out just as easily. This can be done by making opting out a one-word process. For example, if the customer texts the word “stop,” all SMS marketing should cease.
Maintain Privacy and Security of Customers
As valuable as text messaging may be, it’s not without its downsides. Most notably, it’s not the most secure communication platform around. This is in large part due to how primitive texting is compared with other communication platforms that implement data encryption and additional forms of security. The network carrier stores data from SMSes. As such, it can be intercepted by the government or even stolen by malicious hackers.
SMS texting isn’t always the best choice for gathering customer data due to security weaknesses. Rather request that the customer moves to a safer communication platform such as Signal or Telegram, which both use encryption. Alternatively, use text to send a link to a safer webpage. At the same time, when using such webpages, remember to implement SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption. This will secure the connection between your business and its customers, preventing third parties from stealing data, eavesdropping, or forging messages.
Moving to a new communication platform can be annoying. However, it’s a mild inconvenience compared with the disaster of a customer’s data being stolen and used by bad actors. This would not only negatively affect the customer but also harm your business’s reputation. Customers need to trust that when they do business with you they won’t become the victims of financial crimes or a cyber attack.
Training Support Representatives to Use Text Messaging Effectively
Though text messaging has been around for decades, your agents will need training before using it effectively for customer support. For instance, they need to know that while SMS slang may be fine in personal communications, that doesn’t mean it’s suitable in a business context. Agents should also understand the specifics of SMS texts, including character limits and which characters are allowed.
Despite how short texts typically are, they still need to maintain the brand’s image. If your brand generally presents a professional face, it can’t suddenly take on a casual tone in texts. Similarly, a business projecting a friendly persona shouldn’t use too much technical jargon in its texts. Train your agents to use the appropriate tone—and to keep it consistent.
Text Messaging Is a Communication Platform You Cannot Afford to Ignore
If you aren’t already using text messaging for marketing and customer service, you’re doing your business a huge disservice. Texting provides your customers with quick answers and solutions. This is more important than ever in the modern world, where instant service has become the norm. And if you don’t keep up, you’re liable to be left behind by the competition.
Alternatively, you might already be using text messaging. Even then, there are always ways to improve your approach and equip your agents with tools to optimize success. Automate as much as possible, train your service agents, and personalize your messages to achieve maximum return.
As you reap the benefits of text messaging, it’s crucial to minimize any potential downsides. One of the biggest of these is that a huge chunk of your texting budget can end up wasted if your contact list contains landline numbers. Texts sent to such contacts are useless—primarily because the recipient cannot reply.
Moreover, there are strict regulations for any business using telemarketing. In the USA, these are enforced by the Federal Trade Commission through the National DNC registry. The registry is regularly updated, and the onus is on businesses to ensure their contact lists are also updated. Failure to do so can result in your organization incurring massive fines.
With Landline Remover, you can kill two birds with one stone, scrubbing your contact list of landline numbers while ensuring you remain compliant with the DNC registry.
Landline Remover Is the Scrubber You Need
With text messaging, you’ll never keep your customers waiting. Landline Remover won’t keep you waiting either. All you need to do is upload your list of contacts in a CSV file, and in seconds you’ll have your mobile numbers sorted from the landline ones.
Landline Remover also gives you peace of mind, as it removes all numbers on the DNC registry from your contact list. Other contact list checkers promise to achieve this but use outdated data, which is ineffective. We do things differently. Our DNC checking and known litigators use data that’s within 72 hours fresh from the Federal and State levels.
In addition, Landline Remover offers a no-frills payment system that’ll save you time and a headache. With our flat-rate pricing, you only pay for what you use. At $0.002 per number checked—or $2 for 1,000 numbers—this is a tool that pays for itself many times over.
Sign up with Landline Remover today and receive 1,000 credits free! It’s the efficient way to ensure you reap the full benefits of your business text messaging.