This is because email often takes time and Web chat is still a viable option, but today’s consumers spend more time on their mobile phones. Combining SMS/texting with calling can help your agents provide high-touch customer service. Prompt resolution of a support issue is the most important element of a satisfying customer experience, according to 63% of respondents in a recent CFI group survey. So, your goal should be resolving issues as quickly as possible.
4 ways using SMS for customer service improves efficiency
It’s no longer a given that a customer will want to call you as soon as an issue arises. With the variety of channels available, customers are gravitating to those within easy reach. Considering that their smartphones are seldom more than an arm’s length away, SMS text messaging is gaining favor. The fact that we text more than we call and seek convenience and speed makes texting a natural choice.
1. Texting shortens wait times
Texting makes it easy for your agents to understand the context of an inquiry. Typing in 160 characters or less encourages customers to state their problem succinctly. Beyond that, texting conversations are automatically logged in your CRM, making it easy for other agents to respond if the agent who was first in contact with the customer is unavailable later.
This conversational history reduces a customer’s call hell, where he has to repeatedly explain the issue every time he calls, to a different agent each time. Agents can also deal with many incoming texts simultaneously, reducing their average handling time and serving your customers promptly.
2. Texting is convenient for both customers and service agents
With toll-free texting, customers don’t have to pay to text your contact center. This encourages them to freely text in, no matter where they are. Texting is something customers can do on-the-go or while multitasking.
Contact center employees will also find it easy to keep in touch with remote agents using texting, since texting does not require internet service.
3. Texting gives choice back to customers
Offer texting as an option to customers who are waiting on hold, stuck in your IVR. This will give them a choice, putting them back in the driver’s seat. However, a word of caution—make sure you’re equipped to offer a quick resolution to text queries, otherwise your customer will just be swapping out one frustrating experience for another. Another solution is to send automated texts as answers to common questions, routing more complex queries to agents.
4. Beyond texting: MMS speeds up issue resolution
Many say we live in a mobile-only world. MMS is a technology unique to mobile which can help your contact center agents understand customer issues faster. For example, if a customer can click a photo of a damaged product, it will be easier for you to process a refund or a return.
You can also use gamification in product return texts to get quick responses from customers about their preferred option. Let’s say a customer, Joan, of a shopping site, Eway, wants to return a damaged TV. She uses the text option to contact Eway. The customer service agent at Eway needs to see photos of the damage to process the claim.
Once Joan texts the photos, Eway asks her what she wants to do.
Joan wants Eway to replace the product and replies with 2, but Eway doesn’t have it in stock, so it updates Joan.
Once Eway gets Joan’s TV, it notifies her and ships the replacement product.
Finally, Joan gets her TV. By keeping her informed at every stage, Eway minimizes her annoyance.
Consumers are showing a growing preference to text rather than call. Offering SMS for customer service will help you serve the customers of today and tomorrow while helping you gain speed to resolution.