How Businesses Can Use SMS Marketing to Offer Customer Support


31 May 2023


Bri Barnett

Text messaging marketing has emerged as a new contender to provide customer support. Many businesses have realized its potential and use it to provide exceptional customer support to stand out from competitors that are using the phone and other support channels.

Today, the majority of customers prefer SMS mode to get support for their issues. If SMS marketing statistics are to be believed, 66% of consumers want to receive customer service information and notifications via text message but only 23% of businesses do so.

These statistics establish that people are comfortable communicating via SMS with brands not only for promotional offers but also to receive support messages. Often underestimated as a promotional tool, SMS has proven its versatility and effectiveness as an ideal customer support tool.

But what is SMS customer support & why use it? This article provides powerful insights into the SMS channel and how to utilize it to provide top-notch customer support. Off the top, let me first explain what SMS customer support is:

What is SMS Customer Support?

For the uninitiated. customer support is the process where a company offers after-sales support and service to resolve any issue or problem customers face while using their product or service. SMS customer support refers to using the SMS channel to deliver enhanced customer support and service.

SMS customer support is the modern solution where businesses leverage the instant deliverability and unmatched accessibility of the channel to interact with customers and address their concerns.

It enables businesses to expand their customer support stack to meet customers where they are. The channel helps you offer support for basic requests like order status, transaction details, appointment reminders, gathering feedback, and even troubleshooting technical issues.

Thanks to its high open and engagement rate, it makes sense to use SMS to offer real-time assistance, provide important updates, and connect directly with customers.

5 Benefits of Using SMS for Customer Support

While SMS marketing has several advantages I can think of in my mind, using it to offer customer service also has many benefits. Let’s discuss what they are:

  • Offer One-on-One Support: Text messaging enables you to have two-way communication with customers. This makes sure that you and your customers can respond to each other’s SMS texts instantly and provide one-on-one support.
  • Immediate Responses: SMS feels more personal than the rest of the channels. Thus, most people keep checking it and respond quickly to important messages such as customer support texts from a brand.
  • Helps Create Omnichannel Experience: Given the rising popularity of text messaging, it’s hard to not include this channel in your customer support stack to create a truly omnichannel experience. Further, the majority of people want to explore different options like phone, email, and chat.
  • Cost-efficiency: Integrating the SMS channel is way cheaper than you think. For instance, using our Textdrip SMS marketing platform will only cost you $34.99 per month + credits required to send support messages. Also, Forrester estimates that a chat session with a customer can cost roughly $5, while the same for the call can range from $6 to $25 or more depending on the complexity of the issue.
  • Increased Customer Satisfaction: Emails and phone calls feel professional while SMS feels less formal and more personal. It is faster and more accurate and helps your customer support team exchange information quickly and provide resolution speedily, leading to increased customer satisfaction.

Quick Tips On How to Use SMS Marketing to Offer Customer Support

Here, I’ve provided some tips to help you use SMS marketing for customer support:

1. Set Clear Goals

Everything should begin with creating goals and objectives to ensure that you get the most out of them. In the case of SMS customer support, define what goals you want to achieve with it. For instance, do you want to reduce support costs, increase customer satisfaction, or attend to customer requests immediately?

It’s worth noting that your goals to use SMS for customer support will depend on which goal is most important for you. This will help you decide and prioritize things that are relevant to your business goal and help you achieve the same.

2. Select the Right Platform to Offer SMS Support

The right tools help artists to bring out the best creativity from the blank canvas. Similarly, the right SMS marketing software platform with the right features is essential to offer the best customer support. Also, this makes it easy for you to reach your customers and even collaborate with your staff internally.

So, when it comes to choosing the right SMS customer support software provider, look for the following features:

  • Two-way communication
  • MMS support
  • Message Scheduling
  • Conversation history
  • Auto-reply capabilities
  • Integrations
  • Fake number detection

Textdrip offers these and many other features that can come in handy for providing customer support through the SMS channel.

3. Automate Your Hustle with Human Input

Even though the best thing about SMS marketing is you can automate your hustle of sending text messages to a mass audience, it still requires human input for customer support. There are so many things your automated support tools can do, except answer like humans would.

Thus, your customer support messaging should mostly be handled by customer service agents, and basic issues or things like order status and other messaging types be automated. Your customers expect to have personalized interaction with your brand similar to speaking directly with support agents.

So, balance your text message automation while still ensuring that customers can have interactions with real humans when needed.

4. Be Quick and Send Personalized Messages

Another important tip is to be quick in responding to user queries and personalize your texts to build strong relationships with your customers. For instance, addressing your customers by their first names and offering help immediately ensures that you build a good repo with them.

While emails and phone calls are effective to provide detailed information about an issue, text messaging feels more personal. Also, it’s easier to scale and get immediate engagement for customer support requests.

That said, here’s how the general flow of the message should feel like:

  • Greet users by their first name
  • Introduce yourself & your business
  • Include the necessary information only
  • End the conversation on a polite and positive note

5. Prioritize Your Support Messages

Once your SMS customer support has gone live, you may experience high support requests coming in after a while. In scenarios like this where you get a high volume of support messages, build systems to prioritize and manage them effectively.

Prioritize answering queries based on a first come first served approach, meaning answering questions in the order they are submitted. You can also categorize most basic queries separately from the complex queries that need more attention and prioritize answering them first.

Additionally, you can segment queries based on the customer value and urgency of their inquiry to immediately respond and resolve them.

6. Train Your Agents for SMS Customer Support

Training your agents for providing customer service isn’t about teaching them how to use the SMS channel. Instead, it’s about how to use the channel professionally to empower your customers and business.

Your support team should send messages that create a positive impression of your brand. This means tailoring the tone of the message that perfectly reflects your brand. Also, educate them about the type of language and messaging features they should use or shouldn’t.

7. Integrate SMS with Your Other Support Channels

As I explained above, you can use SMS to offer omnichannel support by integrating it with other support channels. Doing so helps you provide a hassle-free support experience throughout the customer journey.

According to eWeek’s research, 89% of respondents want to try different support options including text, chat, phone, and email. So remember this while you integrate SMS into your help desk to offer a truly omnichannel support experience.

8. Collect Feedback to Improve Your SMS Support

The reason why I think collecting feedback is important is that most customers would move on to a competitor after a bad experience. Only a tiny percentage of the customers would leave negative or neutral customer feedback.

With the SMS customer support channel at your disposal, you can ask customers to provide feedback about your brand, product, or service. According to a Brightlocal survey, 34% of customers would leave a review if requested, and 33% would do so if they were asked in person, during a transaction or business experience.

Thus, simply asking customers to write feedback through SMS might help you know what your consumers think about your brand. Further, you can take it a notch higher by offering some incentives to encourage customers to write feedback.

9. Be Clear and Concise In Your Communication

Text messages are, by nature, short and concise where you create a brief summary of the information you want to convey through the SMS. Since SMS has a limit of 160 characters, there’s only so much information you can include.

However, using SMS marketing platforms like Textdrip which has MMS support, you can send longer texts and include more information necessary to resolve customer issues. Still, avoid using complex language, long sentences, or unnecessary information.

For instance, when sending a promotional text about selling health insurance or showing properties on your real estate marketplace, you want to sound helpful, clear, and concise about what your clients can expect.

Take Your Customer Support a Notch Higher

In this article, I have delved into various aspects of SMS customer support from defining goals, to personalizing your messages, integrating it with other support channels, etc. The cost-effectiveness, real-time issue resolution, and convenience of the channel make it a game-changing customer support tool.

SMS marketing software like Textdrip can come in handy to help you offer SMS customer support. It includes features that allow you to create an SMS pipeline, run automated drip campaigns, and schedule messages in advance. The best thing: you can try the whole product free for the first month and continue later on with the minimal and affordable pricing plan on the market.

Book your demo now or talk to our sales for more information on how we can help elevate your customer support experience.

Bri Barnett

Bri is the head of the Customer Support Team at Textdrip and has helped thousands of customers by creating simple support workflows. Read More

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