SMS Customer Service - Best Practices for Customer Services via SMS

According to statistics, Americans spend about five hours each day using their cell phones. Social media (92 percent), messaging (90 percent), and entertainment apps (89 percent) account for the majority of the time spent on phones, while a web browser accounts for just 8%.

Today, businesses use a variety of methods to interact with consumers. Brands strive to provide an omnichannel experience that meets their customers’ needs, from a VoIP phone system, bulk messaging system to individualized emails.

That’s why, as the popularity of social media has increased, messaging via short message service (SMS) or text message service has become a medium that many customer support teams have started to use.

If you’re new to these channels, read on for an in-depth discussion of why you should use them for customer support. Then, have a look at some quick tips to start adopting and improving your company’s support messaging.

What is SMS Customer Service?

SMS customer service is any assistance given through text messaging by a business to a consumer. It’s wholly virtual and doesn’t require face-to-face interaction or verbal communication.

Text messages, on average, are read 98 percent of the time, but emails are only opened 22 percent of the time. So if your firm wishes to be heard by its clients, it’s best to interact with them where they’re already engaged: texting on their phones.

Consider the following statistics before thinking that SMS customer service is just another channel that you have to deal with.

  • More than 42 billion text messages are sent in the United States every week.
  • 90% of text messages received are read within 3 minutes.
  • Text messages have a colossal open rate of 96%.
  • Even individuals who do not own a smartphone can use SMS to communicate.
  • Consumers mostly prefer to text over calling, emailing, or visiting a physical location.
  • Consumers are irritated by automated SMS messages when they cannot reply or act after receiving one.
  • Consumers believe that businesses should use the same phone number for texts as they do for calls.

SMS is perfect for adequate client interaction due to its popularity and convenience. Text messaging is also an excellent example of a persistent channel, demonstrating how one that is always there and accessible to pick up the conversation where they left off can be utilized effectively.

SMS has another advantage over live chat as a digital customer service channel: it’s asynchronous, which means both parties don’t have to be there simultaneously. The consumer must respond within a set amount of time, or the session expires in real-time web chat.

Customers may respond at their leisure without worrying about accidentally closing the chat window or forgetting they have it open, which is one of the advantages of asynchronous communication methods like texting. As a result, client conversations appear to be more conversational and continuous.

With all of that in mind, let’s take a closer look at getting started with text customer service.

What are the Usage Purposes of SMS for Customer Service?

Usage Purposes of SMS for Customer Service

There are various instances when SMS customer service becomes useful for a company. 

Customers may want to resolve a problem or request an update on an existing issue. They might also contact customer service for information, feedback, or clarification.

When customers are able to purchase with you either through your website or retail store, they can often pay via text with their credit card info.

Here are six reasons why you should start using SMS for customer service in your business.

1. Build personal relationships with customers

One of the most effective ways to start using SMS customer service is creating an “in case of emergency (ICE)” list. Keep this list updated at all times with your phone number or customer support number.

You may talk to your clients through SMS to have a one-on-one conversation with them. While phone calls are considered one of the most successful methods for developing personal connections with customers, telephonic conferencing has its own set of problems.

Customers can become irritated when you put them on hold or don’t provide accurate information over the phone.

On the other hand, SMS customer service reduces the chance of mistakes. Furthermore, phone calls are a considerably more expensive alternative than text messaging, especially if you provide customers with a toll-free number.

SMS is not only less expensive and more error-proof, but it also allows you to connect with the customer on a first-name basis, which can go a long way toward building your company’s customer loyalty.

2. Quick response times

SMS customer service is excellent for providing quick response times. Consumers are used to waiting several hours or even days for an email response or phone call. Even when you provide them with direct links where they can contact your company, these channels will still be slow to respond.

As we’ve already established, you can offer instant replies by text messaging because it’s speedy and efficient.

SMS is a more efficient way of communicating than emails since it has a higher response rate and serves as a faster, more effective mode of communication. It helps you achieve more conversions in less time and contributes to customer loyalty by establishing a one-to-one relationship with your consumers.

Use SMS’s fast response time to your advantage by using the channel to gather client feedback or send a pre-launch SMS poll to predict how your customers will react to a new product you’re releasing.

3. Collect direct feedback

One of the most significant advantages of SMS over other methods is that it instantaneously provides you with direct feedback. All you have to do is send out a text message asking for feedback, and the responses will come flooding in.

You can collect direct feedback from your clients through easy-to-answer questions like “Are you satisfied?” or “How can we improve?”

SMS acts as an encouragement for your customers to give direct, honest feedback in a quick and timely manner. By directly soliciting their opinions, you can gather valuable insights that will help you provide better service in the future.

4. Send Surveys

You may receive valuable customer insight by sending out surveys via text message. Many companies are not aware that their customers can provide input about company policy, promotions, etc. Still, it is relatively easy to develop an effective SMS survey for your business, and you can use it to establish a relationship with your customers.

SMS surveys help companies gather customer feedback and improve their products and services. The most significant benefit of SMS surveys is providing direct, real-time feedback from the client receiving the product or service.

This data also benefits your product management team by boosting client interaction and providing a valuable tool for them. Product developers may utilize this collected knowledge to comprehend client preferences better and improve goods to ensure consumer happiness.

5. Higher open rates

Text messages have higher response rates than emails because people tend to open texts faster, which means you’ll get faster responses to what you ask.

It is why SMS marketing campaigns are so effective.

With a 98 percent open rate, compared to 20% for emails, SMS is a considerably more dependable approach to contacting prospective consumers and interacting with current customers. SMS is an excellent channel for businesses to build a devoted customer base due to its high open rate and ease of use.

Knowing that SMS has a higher open rate, businesses should utilize text CTAs to make the engagement process as simple as possible.

6. Automation makes it easy to scale customer service

SMS customer service is highly scalable. You can use an automation tool like Twilio to build an automated system for your business that will make it easier than ever before to handle incoming messages and queue them for different departments.

Customer service solutions from various SMS marketing platforms are readily available and straightforward to connect with your existing processes, allowing you to expand your customer support. Customer service platforms will enable you to create automated replies to frequently asked questions and send communications based on different client behaviors.

In addition, you may use automation to deliver sales alerts, abandoned cart emails, new product launches, event notifications, and appointment reminders.

When should SMS be Used for Customer Services?

When to use sms for customer service

Using SMS for Customer Service can be done at any business process. You can integrate your SMS-based customer service tools with your existing support strategy.

By utilizing different options for communicating with consumers, you can streamline and personalize all interactions through a single messaging app while keeping them engaged in the most appropriate way to them.

Reviewing sales data may give you an indication of when SMS Customer Service should be used. Here are some instances when this channel is most helpful.

  • Customer On-boarding – What better way to welcome a new customer than by sending them a welcome SMS! Whether it’s to confirm an order, walk through the first steps of account creation, or show off the features of your product, SMS Onboarding is a great way to establish rapport with your customers before they even have their hands on what you’re selling.
  • Sending Timely, Personalized Messages – You can improve your communication with clients by automating relevant communication.
  • Save Time for You and Your Customers – Customers can benefit when you scale your business. Automating communication means that you can handle more in less time, saving time for clients and allowing them to receive faster service.
  • Automation of Scheduled Messages – You can automate the scheduling of SMS messages. It is helpful for sales, appointment or reminder notifications, and more. You may use the functionality of Scheduled Messages to your advantage. You and your team can be more proactive due to this feature. You can maintain a greater degree of openness with your connections and customers, and you may answer concerns before they arise.
  • Customer Follow-Up – You can use SMS to automate follow-up messages, so you’ll always have a record of what you’ve talked about. It makes it easier for business teams to manage customer relationships and meet their needs.

These are just a few situations when SMS Customer Service becomes vital in a company.

What should you do for SMS Customer Service?

What you should do for sms customer service

If you want to use SMS as part of your customer service solution, there are a few things you will need to do first. One thing that makes text-based customer service unique is that it can be done anywhere there’s mobile data, which means you don’t need to be in an office or even at a computer.

1. Set up an SMS customer service number.

You will need to set up a number that customers can text your business for support. It should be different from any phone numbers on the website.

You can take advantage of the scalability that comes with using this tool by setting up a text contact number for your business to use anytime there’s an incoming message from a customer. Think about how many interactions your team could manage if they could answer more of your messages without having to pick up the phone.

2. Customers can text your business for support.

Once you have your custom number set up, customers will text your number with questions about the product or service you offer. It is easier for customers to inquire about products or services if they know your SMS customer service numbers.

It would be best to start this communication by offering a quick solution that doesn’t require more back and forth communication. This way, customers know that you’re there to help them, and they won’t be bothered by future inquiries.

However, if the issue requires additional communication from the seller, you can make a ticket to your help desk.

Here is an example or template acknowledging your customers when they text your SMS customer support number:

Hi {First Name}, Thanks for heading our way with your {product or service} inquiry. We will address this by {action they are taking}. We appreciate you reaching out to us, and we will send an update to solve this concern.

This acknowledgment helps keep customers informed about the status of their issue without requiring back and forth communication. If a customer reaches out to your business about a product or service, you can be assured that they are interested in what you have to offer.

3. A customer service ticket is created.

It is where the customer service ticket comes in. You will be able to see all of the previous text interactions before this one. You can prioritize their requests based on what problem they are having, and when the issue began, so you don’t waste time solving something already resolved.

You will need to answer the text message and create a ticket for this specific issue when they text in and ask for help with a problem that requires more back and forth communication. You should always follow up with any additional questions that may come through.

You can use this sample template informing customers about a service ticket creation for an issue that needs to be resolved:

Hi {First Name}, we have created Ticket No 5585 for this. You may use this as a reference if you have further inquiries regarding the matter. We will resolve the issue and send you an update in 24 hours.

Creating a service request ticket creates more transparency in your business-customer relationship. It doesn’t require the customer to call in or email when they have a question about their order or product.

4. Text the customer to help solve their issue

After you have created a ticket for this specific question, you can begin an SMS conversation with the customer to help resolve their problem. Starting a conversation over text will take less time than a phone call, and it’s easier for customers who aren’t able to talk on the phone.

It will make it easier for you to help resolve any issues through your customer service line. Customers often feel ignored when they are passed over in favor of people who can talk on the phone, so this is why SMS Customer Service has become a more popular solution.

Here is an example of a text message that should help resolve your customer concerns:

Hello, {{First Name}}! I’m sorry to hear that you’re having difficulties. Could you please describe the problem you’re having in further detail? What measures did you take before it happened? Thank you!

5. Close the ticket after the solution.

Once the customer has had their issue solved, you should close out the ticket.

This way, you will always have a complete picture of the customer’s needs and what steps were taken to solve them. You can also use this information to help train new staff members or for research purposes if a similar problem arises in the future.

Here is an example of a text message to close the ticket after an issue has been resolved:

Hello, {{First Name}}, We’d like to inform you that the problem you previously reported has been fixed. Please try it again and let us know how it goes.

What are the Best Practices for SMS Customer Service?

SMS Customer Service best practices

Customer support might become a struggle when your team has more than 1,000 clients for each member. SMS Customer Service can solve this problem by efficiently routing incoming texts to the right staff member.

Customers should know that they can text your business for support at any time and that there will always be someone ready to help them even when other resources become overwhelmed. Here are some SMS Marketing Best Practices for customer services that you can apply in your business.

1. Use automation to answer common queries.

One of the best practices for SMS Customer Service is the use of SMS Marketing Automation to answer common queries. It will save time and allow you to scale your customer service team.

You can answer routine questions like “How many items are in my order?” or “Did my payment go through?” with automated responses that make it easier on your customer service agents.

You can use different services to create automated SMS customer support responses, such as the services provided by JookSMS. Once you have the service, you’ll need to enter your keywords so that your app can generate answers for common questions. You may also want to automate the follow-up for specific requests as well.

2. Reply Quick

Another critical rule in business texting etiquette is never waiting more than 24 hours to respond. While most customers aren’t waiting up at 3 a.m. for you to respond, lengthy response times might make your clients feel ignored.

When customers text your business, they expect a quick response. It also means that you should always reply within twenty minutes during the day and forty minutes at night. You can schedule time on your calendars to be able to respond quickly if there is an unexpected influx of texts.

When you are doing SMS customer service, it is essential to always reply quickly because waiting too long can bring up issues with your customers regarding the efficiency and effectiveness of your customer support.

As a result, make yourself available to quickly conclude your discussions to provide a higher level of customer service.

3. Make use of integrations.

You can talk to your customers for hours, but it won’t do any good if they do not provide the information you need. That is why it is crucial to use integrations to help gather this data.

Integrations allow you to connect your business data to provide better service.

For example, if a customer wants to return an item, they should be directed to the page to start this process. Then, you will have more information about them and their order because of this integration.

In addition to integrations, you can use automation to help gather information about your customers. For example, if a customer texts, “I want my order canceled,” you’ll be able to use this automation to withdraw their payment.

An example of an SMS Customer service platform that gathers customer details through text messaging is JookSMS which can automatically collect customer details such as name and email.

Once you collect these details, you can personalize the customer experience and ensure that your customers are getting the help they need each time they contact your business via SMS.

4. Collect Feedback

Another best practice when implementing SMS customer service is to use it to collect feedback.

You can use text messaging to ask for customer feedback, and you’ll be surprised by how happy they are when their opinions matter.

Feedback allows your business to serve your customers better and improve the overall customer experience.

Moreover, if you are experiencing issues with your business, this can be resolved if you know the problem. However, if you don’t know about the case, it might never get resolved.

Ensure that all of your staff members have access to information about your customers.

It allows them to provide the best possible customer experience every time customers contact you via text messaging.

When your business implements SMS Customer Service, these interactions will be much more efficient because there is no need to transfer messages from one department to another over the phone before a solution can be reached.

What are the Best SMS Customer Service Platforms?

At this point, we’ve shown you how text messaging works for customer service.

So now it’s time to understand what to look for when choosing the best SMS Customer Service Platforms.

You have a lot of alternatives if you’re looking for an app or system to handle customer service (including JookSMS). But what you need is a method for determining which is the best SMS Marketing tool that will suit your needs.

There are a lot of factors to consider when selecting the best SMS marketing platform, but generally speaking, the best texting software have these characteristics:

  • It’s simple to use and get started.
  • It’s accessible on desktop, tablet, and smartphone devices.
  • It can be used to support the addition of many users.
  • Instead of a shortcode, use a local 10-digit phone number.
  • It supports sending messages with a maximum length of 160 characters.
  • Call forwarding tools are available.
  • Text messages can be saved as templates.
  • Create lists of contacts and clients based on different criteria.
  • Send numerous text messages to multiple people without having them respond.
  • Text messages can be delayed and delivered later via this tool.
  • Has an opt-in, opt-out, and consent management capability.
  • It links to other programs and apps.
  • It is crucial to have good customer service and support.

If you want an excellent SMS customer service platform with all these features, JookSMS is the top choice.

JookSMS can be a great platform to use for communication with your customers. It’s simple, quick, and efficient. All you need to do is sign up for JookSMS, and it will send instant text messages from a local ten-digit phone number that replaces the need for a shortcode used by other texting software.

Other SMS Customer Service platforms that you can consider are the following:

  • Aircall – has a voice, video chat, and text messaging platform.
  • Callyo – is an automated customer service solution that’s ideal for small businesses.
  • SMSFire – can be used with Twilio to send messages via email or phone numbers.
  • TextUs – works on Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone devices.
  • Messente – allows you to send and receive SMS messages.
  • SMS Glide – sends bulk text messages via API.
  • Converse – offers automated customer service in real-time.

Customer service via text messaging is more than just a trend–it’s here to stay. Thanks to mobile devices, customers can reach businesses anytime and anywhere they want, which means customer service via text messaging is more important than ever. By implementing an SMS customer service platform, you’ll be able to provide your customers with the support they need, making it much easier for them to conduct business with you.

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