This scary stat shows the importance of providing customers with the best experience and service possible to keep them loyal.

Digitally savvy consumers today expect a fast and personalized customer service experience and want to be able to engage with businesses how they want. Even with email, the average response time is over 7 HOURS!

This is where the ease and quickness of text messages come in.

Here are 5 ways text (SMS and MMS) messaging improves the customer service experience:

1) Solve Problems Faster

Did you know that 95% of texts will be read within 3 minutes of being sent? (Source)

Consumers today have extremely high expectations when it comes to customer service and expects to talk or chat with a customer service representative within 2 minutes or less. Phone and live chat are great ways to serve customers, but they still have potential long waiting times based on how busy customer service is.

With text messaging, customer service agents can quickly answer multiple questions at one time while keeping the personal touch customers expect. Many businesses automate response messages for simple requests such as business hours and WIFI passwords. This allows customer service agents to be more productive and help customers with more complicated issues.

Also, text messaging eliminates the need for customers to wait on hold and allows them to go about their day as their issue is being solved.

2) Keep Customers Engaged

Customer service is more than just solving problems. Another important aspect of customer service is keeping customers engaged and informed. Text messaging is a more effective way to communicate with customers since the friction to engage is so low compared to email. See stat below:

Quick Fact: Average SMS response rate = 45%, vs. Email response rate = 6%

Imagine if a customer is waiting on an important time-sensitive package to be delivered but does not have email access where he is. If a notification was sent through email, he would not have gotten it on time and this might cause potential issues. With a simple text message, the customer is notified in real-time and can arrange his schedule to receive the delivery on time.

Other useful text notifications include appointment reminders, bank account activity alerts, bill payment reminders and much more.

3) Instant Customer Feedback

The key performance indicator for customer service is feedback and ratings. In fact, star ratings are the number one factor used by consumers to judge a business (source)

Therefore, getting real-time internal feedback from customers is extremely crucial. Sending feedback requests via email is common, but may not be effective as it requires customers to take extra steps to log in to their email account, find the email, click on the email, then provide feedback on a website.

By text messaging a customer for feedback, it is real-time and easy to respond, anytime, anywhere. By getting this type of instant feedback, you can quickly address any problems before you lose the customer or even worse, seeing a negative review on Yelp or TripAdvisor.

4) Increase Customer Loyalty

97% of global consumers say that customer service is very important or somewhat important in their choice of and loyalty to a brand. – Microsoft Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report

Although it’s not specific to text messaging, providing great customer service is all about showing customers you care and want to solve their issues quickly no matter how they choose to interact with your business, whether through phone, email, live chat or text messaging.

Being available whenever and wherever your customers need you is crucial, so be sure to provide great service through as many channels as possible and let your customers decide how they want to contact you.

5) Increase efficiency

Text messaging is one key way to improve customer service efficiency. However, text messaging is only a tool and the success of it depends on how well customer service agents utilize the tool to serve customers. There are several key metrics that can measure efficiency:

First response time: How fast does an agent respond after getting a customer request via text message.

Time to resolution: How long does it take for an agent to resolve an issue (based on the number of messages exchanged for a specific issue).

Backlogs: Average number of customers who are waiting to get a text message response.

Customer service rating: How well do your customers rate your service after interacting with your business through text messaging.

These metrics can be compared to other customer service channels such as phone, email or live chat to truly get a sense of how effective customer text messaging can be for your business.

The takeaway here is to evaluate your current customer service strategy and performance and see if there are ways to improve it by leveraging SMS text messaging. If you’re already using a form of text messaging to engage your customers, use the metrics discussed above to make sure your investment is translating into happier and more loyal customers.

You May Also Like: How to Get More Feedback from Your Customers Through Text Messaging

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