Provide Support at the Push of a Button with SMS Messaging
What would your customer think if she got an SMS message telling her that complimentary bowls of mango ice cream with toppings of fresh mangoes were being served at Herby’s ice cream parlor closest to her current location? She’d think you knew just what she wanted. Customers love that.

As aptly put by Simon Mulcahy, CMO, Salesforce at the World Tour London –

“Your competition is no longer the people in your industry. It is anyone who is speaking to your customers and giving them an amazing experience.”

Use SMS messaging for customer service to build loyalty

Customer service teams across industries are no longer merely responding to customers’ requests. They are acting as an additional growth engine – generating new sales opportunities and improving brand experience.

What better way to do this than via a medium your customers prefer most – SMS messaging. Yes, 44% of your customers prefer to press a button to initiate a text conversation immediately rather than wait on hold via a phone call to the contact center.

Here are a few ways in which Support teams are serving customers in near real-time with SMS Messaging

Bi-directional Messaging

Texting today can be used for both inbound and outbound communications. On Thanksgiving, Butterball [1], the largest producer of turkey in the US, took its support to the next level by inviting cooking queries via texts. Customers conversed with experts for personalized support in near real-time. From how-to tips and cooking support to any other turkey-related queries, Butterball provided all the information to cook the bird properly.

“It’s been more than 35 years and cooks still have the same turkey questions – where to buy, how to thaw- but what has changed is the way they want to get the information. So, we took our support one step further by offering 24/7 texting for the first time,” said Sue Smith, co-director of the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line.

Consistent Customer Text Conversations from CRM

Seventy-nine percent [2] of service teams agree that a shared, single view of the customer empowers agents to provide consistency and continuity in every customer interaction. Let’s say Jake, a customer service agent in a software company is coordinating with his product team to resolve customer issues. With intelligent text messaging, the entire service team has access to complete conversational history for each customer. If Jake happens to be on leave, it becomes easy for another rep to quickly scan both the conversation threads, including texts exchanged with the internal product team and texts exchanged with the customer. The new rep can easily respond to any customer questions or needs, while the customer feels known and cared about by your service organization.

Make Your Service Team Responsive with Push and Pull Texts

Text messaging is a two-way communication channel. It can either be used for pushing information like marketing offers, discounts, etc. or for fetching important communication. For example, A hospital can send appointment reminder texts to its patients, who can text back to reschedule their appointments, if necessary. Reducing no shows and inviting patients to reschedule appointments increases their ability to serve more patients and helps grow revenues by using physicians’ time more efficiently.

Sixty-four percent of all consumers now prefer texting to phone. Surveys sent to customers via text messaging get a 20% response rate. The click-through rate for URLs sent via text message is over 19%, compared to just 4.2% for those sent by emails. Our clients are increasingly using texting to respond to product queries. As soon as a deal is closed, they run customer satisfaction surveys via text and share links to the testimonial/ review page on their websites to invite customers to share about their experience with the client’s products.

Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) for Customer Support

MMS is a standard way to send text messages that include multimedia content. MMS extends the core SMS capability & helps businesses to share more complex content like scannable coupon codes, product images, videos, and other information. Your customer’s time zone may not match that of your support team. For tickets that come in after office hours, MMS enables your company to provide support through keyword-based, automated texts. You can also send MMS with screenshots of relevant pages from product manuals along with links to user guides. The customer can make use of these documents until the support rep is available. Offering support via such instant channels reassures the customer that you are on top of their issues and will resolve them promptly.

Use texting as a service channel to expedite issue resolution

A Case in point

Take a look at how a water purifier company uses messaging to support both its customers and field service agents.

Send real-time updates to reassure customers:

Customers register installation, warranty, service or annual maintenance contract requests on the website. A message is sent to the customer that his request has been logged. Name and contact details of the field agent who will look into the ticket are also shared.

Example of real-time updates via SMS

Use parallel messaging to increase agent productivity:

As an internal process, the company’s CRM simultaneously creates a ticket and messages the assigned field agent with the customer request details and contact information.

Once the field service agent has completed the work, he sends a text back to the company. The CRM then automatically closes the ticket. This helps the company in monitoring the time the field agent takes to resolve the service issue and identify areas for productivity improvements.

Immediate surveys help improve the cycle:

After closing the ticket, a short survey is messaged to the customer, giving her a chance to share feedback while the service experience is still top of mind.

By using text messages to address customer needs, your business keeps end-user satisfaction high.The more specific and targeted your messages are, the more results you’ll get. Customers feel that you’re paying attention to them and that you care about their satisfaction.

Seventy percent of businesses stated that they consider text messaging to be the most important mobile technology due to its broad reach and high return on investment.

Are you still considering text messaging for your business? It’s time to act.

[1] Butterball Goes On Demand To Launch 24/7 Holiday Test Help
http://www.firstlinemedia.com/mnr/butterball_2016/

[2] Salesforce Releases Second Annual State of Service Report, Uncovering Insights for The Future of Customer Service
http://investor.salesforce.com/about-us/investor/investor-news/investor-news-details/2017/Salesforce-Releases-Second-Annual-State-of-Service-Report-Uncovering-Insights-for-The-Future-of-Customer-Service/default.aspx

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