Reduce Call Volume & Wait Times with SMS for Customer Service

by | Sep 27, 2017

According to Deloitte, 92% of organizations that view buyer experience as a differentiator offer multiple contact channels for customer service or support. Although calling will always be one way customers prefer to get issues resolved, new channels such as SMS for customer service are gaining prominence.

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 you give 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. SMS for customer service can help achieve this goal.

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 once 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 arms’ length away, SMS text messaging is gaining favor.

1. Texting shortens wait times

Texting makes it easy for your agents to get the context of an inquiry. Typing in 160 characters or less encourages customers to state their problem succinctly. Beyond that, texting conversations can be logged centrally, making it easy for other agents to respond if the agent who was first in contact with the customer is unavailable later.

This can reduce 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.

A real world example

One of our clients uses keyword based texting to allow repairmen to report that a gadget is working, even while in rural areas where internet service is spotty.

3. Texting gives choice back to customers

Offer texting as an option to customers who are waiting on hold. 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. Eway wants to see photos of the damage.

Once Joan texts the photos, Eway asks her what she wants to do.

Joan wants Eway to replace the product, but Eway doesn’t have it in stock, so it updates Joan.

Once Eway gets Joan’s TV, it notifies her and ships it.

Finally, Joan gets her TV. By keeping her informed at every stage, Eway minimizes her annoyance.

More and more customers prefer to text rather than call, so to serve the customers of the future, you should incorporate SMS for customer service into your strategy to reduce call volume and wait times.

More Insights

  • SMS Messaging / Business Texting for customer service brings benefits for agents and customers and is becoming the preferred channel for service

  • See the Magic of Converse in action along with use cases for your specific business. From single to multi-message campaigns and events, we've got you covered.