What is SMS customer service?

SMS customer service can be defined as any support your business provides customers via SMS text messaging. SMS customer service communications are exchanged via text message and are exclusively text based. This approach is often used as one part of an omnichannel customer support strategy.

As customers demand more real-time, personalized, and conversational experiences, SMS customer service can be a key part of a conversational messaging strategy. Plus, engaging with brands over text message, right on their mobile device, tends to be much more convenient for individuals who tend to communicate when they’re on the go, in between other activities.

What are the benefits of SMS customer service?

Across industries, businesses are listening to their customers and adopting business SMS for a variety of functions – from marketing and sales to customer support. When it comes to SMS customer service, these are some of the drivers behind its adoption:

  • Americans use SMS more frequently than any other messaging app, making it easy to reach customers with timely customer service messages.
  • SMS interactions allow for more personalized and conversational experiences for your customers, helping brands to build trust and engagement.
  • These communications are also more convenient, as customers can be reached in real-time via their mobile phones – and they can have two-way SMS interactions to get the answers they need quickly.
  • Customer service teams can provide real-time support, reducing the time to completion for their tickets.
  • Adopting a SMS customer service platform and strategy is often cheaper and more scalable than making phone calls – especially if you choose a platform that automates certain customer support texts.

These internal and external drivers are prompting ongoing adoption of this approach, with consumers increasingly expecting real-time 1:1 communications with the brands they buy from on their phones.

Methods to make the most out of SMS customer service

While adopting an SMS customer service offering is a good first step, savvy teams are taking this approach further by optimizing their strategy. This includes using some of the following tactics:

  • Send timely, personalized messages. The perfect customer service SMS should arrive at the right time, be unobtrusive, and put brands on a first-name basis with your customers.
  • Have real-time conversations where possible. Texting is faster than most other communication channels, so customer service teams should leverage that feature. If a customer reaches out or answers a question, the response should be as close to immediate as possible to ensure a speedy resolution.
  • Automate certain conversations with scheduled messages, where appropriate. Using SMS customer service software that schedules and sends messages automatically is a great way to save time for a busy team.
  • Use bots to immediately answer certain questions. Automated bots work similar to an FAQ page – they allow customers to get the answers they need, when they need them.
  • Use SMS customer service to send appointment reminders and other alerts. Customer service teams can use text messages to be proactive in their support efforts. Sending reminders and alerts via text is a great way to ensure customers will read those messages and further trust the brand.
  • Collect customer feedback with polls and surveys. Brands can take advantage of consumer availability on text messaging platforms to request timely feedback.

The one thing to remember across the board is that an SMS text message strategy needs to be carefully planned out. Customers should never feel overwhelmed with the number of messages they receive from a customer service team knowing the right time and context for each message is vital.

Intercom Engage