SMS Messaging Elevates Customer Support Offerings in the Digital Transformation Journey
In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, CX needs to be seamless and easy, accessible to customers when and where they want. Consumers want to engage with brands in real-time through authentic interactions across omnichannel platforms, staying connected and on-the-go. To this end, customers often prefer conversational SMS messaging to address their customer service needs.
Short message service (SMS) text messaging is a fast and convenient way to provide helpful customer service. In this post, we explore the role of SMS text messaging in customer support delivery. It is part of broader intelligent channel optimization strategies that a business process outsourcing (BPO) partner like iQor can design to ensure customer support channels are perfectly aligned with customers’ needs.
What Is SMS Customer Support?
Simply put, SMS customer support service refers to the omnichannel support a brand provides its consumers through text messaging. The service doesn’t demand any physical interaction and is entirely virtual.
According to GigaOm, 98% of text messages are successfully opened on average. In the case of emails, however, the rate is only 22%. Moreover, the SMS engagement rate is three to five times higher than with emails.
In fact, 90% of SMS messages are read within three minutes of receipt.
This means that if you want to interact with your customers, one of the best ways is to give them the opportunity to communicate with your brand through SMS text messaging.
Benefits of Using SMS Messaging in Customer Support
As a managed services provider of customer engagement and technology-enabled BPO solutions, iQor has experience creating SMS channels for customer support that produce numerous benefits for businesses.
With SMS messaging, customers can communicate with brands more conveniently. The interactive nature of SMS can create a stronger connection at the moment of customer contact.
Additionally, according to recent statistics, the chances of customers replying to a text message are four times higher than responding to a call. Thus, SMS can prove to be quite beneficial when it comes to customer service excellence.
There is no doubt that it is more cost-efficient to support customer service inquiries via text rather than over the phone, while simultaneously enabling the customer to access that support through their preferred channel. Indeed, a service agent can support more than one customer at a time with fast response times through SMS messaging. Further, with the integration of AI-powered chatbots, SMS messaging provides efficient and reliable service.
SMS texting provides the flexibility to curate different customer experience strategies. For instance, scripts can be created specifically for SMS messaging and can be tailored to boost awareness about key offerings.
In addition, videos, links, and images can be shared via text to promote specific customer support messages, goods, and services.
SMS messaging helps provide the end user on-demand support in real-time, 24/7/365. Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered bots can respond to a high volume of inquiries through SMS, reducing the need for customers to speak with live agents.
A customer may not open Facebook Messenger regularly, but they will almost never miss a text message on their mobile phone. SMS messaging offers instant access to customers and facilitates simple and rewarding interactions with your brand.
Building an Effective SMS Strategy for Customer Support
Given the undeniable benefits of SMS messaging, BPOs like iQor can create custom solutions to integrate SMS messaging capabilities into the digital customer experience to create smiles throughout a streamlined customer journey with your brand.
An effective SMS customer support strategy includes various features, such as the following:
Instead of using live agents to repeatedly answer the same common questions, chatbots can respond to FAQs quickly and consistently, freeing up agents to focus on addressing more complex issues. This creates more rewarding experiences with higher levels of customer satisfaction.
SMS messaging offers a direct and immediate channel to encourage customers to share feedback on their customer experience, your product, and/or your service.
Collecting feedback as part of the SMS customer strategy helps achieve two things. First, it provides an understanding of areas that might require improvements. Second, customers will feel that their words carry value and are important for the brand’s business goals.
Keep Customers Informed
An SMS messaging campaign should be consumer-centric and must be designed to keep customers informed about promotions, updates, and orders. Such a strategy helps increase customer retention and brand loyalty.
For SMS messaging, the text must be straightforward. Flashy language and long-winded explanations only work for emails, sometimes. Texts should be short and to the point at all times.
Use Different Support Channels With SMS
An omnichannel strategy allows customers to choose the medium of communication that suits them best. So, for instance, if a certain service issue is complex, customers should be able to transition seamlessly from SMS to email or voice with live agents to effortlessly receive the customer support they need.
Best Practices for SMS Customer Support Delivery
An effective SMS text messaging strategy encompasses certain best practices:
Establish Clear Goals
When implementing SMS customer service strategies, BPOs like iQor work with brands to develop clear objectives.
Whether the goal is customer satisfaction, cost-efficiency, or digital transformation, it is important to prioritize goals in order to develop an effective SMS messaging game plan.
Categorize Incoming Messages
Establishing a clear SMS messaging management system facilitates the efficient handling of bulk messages. BPOs like iQor can categorize SMS messages according to the time they are received, their value, or their urgency, among other filters. In addition, integrating chatbots into the SMS system can further facilitate the handling of large numbers of queries.
Train Customer Support Agents
Customer support agents must be trained not only on how to use the technology but also on how to communicate professionally in ways that align with the brand while maintaining the human touch in communication.
The language and tone of agents on live chat, texts, or even social media platforms reflect the identity and values of the brand. Utilizing data analytics and regular social media monitoring to inform coaching and ongoing employee development can help ensure timely and effective customer service through SMS that makes people smile.
Promote Customer Support SMS Offerings
In order to use SMS messaging for support, customers must know about it.
As part of a comprehensive digital customer experience strategy, the availability of SMS support can be promoted through channels like social media, on-site apps, and phone calls. Providing links and details on the company website, app, and social media pages will let customers know about this customer service option. Additionally, advertising SMS messaging to a captive audience of customers when they call in for support can direct them to choose the messaging channel in the moment, thereby reducing calls in the queue for live agents.
Experience the iQor Difference
iQor is ideally suited to help brands create amazing customer experiences. iQor provides a comprehensive suite of full-service and self-service scalable offerings that are purpose-built to deliver enterprise-quality CX.
Our award-winning CX services include:
- A global presence with 40+ contact centers across 10 countries.
- A CX private cloud that maximizes performance and scales rapidly across multiple geographies on short notice.
- A partnership approach where we deploy agents and C-level executives to help maximize your ROI.
- The perfect blend of intelligent automation for scale and performance coupled with an irresistible culture comprised of people who love to delight your customers.
- Virtual and hybrid customer support options to connect with customers seamlessly, when and where they want.
- The ability to launch a customer support program quickly, even when you need thousands of agents ready to support your customers.
- A best-in-class workforce management team and supporting technology to create a centralized organization that can better serve your entire business.
iQor helps brands deliver the world’s most sought-after customer experiences. Interested in learning more about the iQor difference? If you’re ready to start a conversation with a customer experience expert, contact us to learn about how we can help you create more smiles.
Anupam Verma is director of digital solutions at iQor.