customer service through text messaging

Why You Should Consider Customer Service Through Text Messaging

Small business owners know customer service might be the most important thing to achieving success and retaining customers for the long term. How does a small business gain a customer service edge? The answer could lie in the device that’s right in customers’ hands.

Customers now spend around five times longer texting on their mobile phones every day than they do on voice calls, no matter the demographic, according to Forbes. The International Customer Service Association notes messaging app users expect brands to use text messaging to resolve their issues nearly instantaneously. Furthermore, global research firm Gartner Inc. reports that by 2022, 70 percent of customer interactions will involve an emerging technology, such as mobile messaging, up from just 15 percent in 2018.

Give them what they want

Customer service through text messaging meets the consumer demand for more mobile messaging in business transactions. Customers are looking for immediacy and convenience with the feeling of one-on-one communication, rather than wasting time on hold while they wait to speak to a representative. Using text messaging for business allows customers to inquire about the status of their service and receive text notifications in return, which can help a small business retain loyal customers and provide higher quality customer service. As Forbes notes, customer service through text messaging is “just as real-time as a voice call but with a lot more fluidity in how that time is allocated,” meaning the customer has full control over the interaction, including when (and for how long) they wish to engage with a customer service representative.

Using text messaging for business also saves small business owners time and money. Owners and staff spend less time speaking on the phone to trouble-shoot customer issues, which allows them to focus more on sales and operations.

Small business owners can also use text messaging to ramp up customer engagement and grow their businesses. Text messages can alert customers to sales, coupons and promotions; upsell them to new or related products and services; or remind them about a scheduled event, bill payment or appointment. Messages can also be personalized to send customers anniversary or birthday wishes with targeted special offers. Small business owners can also use messaging to conduct customer surveys and receive real-time customer feedback to help make customer service improvements.

Pick the platform

Small business owners should research and select a text messaging service for business, rather than use a consumer-grade service. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) options include digital platforms to establish, monitor, measure and grow messaging-based support for small businesses. Most of the SaaS options can be added on to existing social media profiles or websites.

For example, platforms such as Conversocial use functionality already inherent in popular social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram. It features applications for automated messaging, integrated human/bot-assisted service, social media, web chat functions and a crowdsourcing feature where business owners can employ loyal customers to help answer inquiries.

LivePerson is another software provider that uses a platform called LiveEngage, which allows companies to use their already-existing, branded apps or websites to offer customers messaging-based customer service. LivePerson provides the backend support and services, such as dashboards/workspaces, AI-powered chatbots, reporting and analytics.

There are other SaaS options tailored to specific industries. GoMoment’s offering, called Ivy, focuses on message-based customer service for hotel owners and management. Its automated guest-engagement platform is powered by IBM’s Watson AI engine to welcome guests, measure their satisfaction and provide instant service all via messaging.

Regardless of the platform you choose, today’s small business owner simply cannot ignore customer service through text messaging as a possible solution for engaging with their customers. As Forrester’s annual customer service trends report points out, today’s customers expect easy and effective customer service interactions with businesses. Using text messaging for customer service is one smart way to deliver the experience today’s digitally savvy customers want.

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The information provided is intended to provide a general overview. This information is not legal advice and should not be relied on as such. EMPLOYERS makes no warranties for the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of the information provided, and will not be responsible for any actions taken based on the information contained herein. If you have legal questions or need legal advice, please consult an attorney.