Why Using SMS for Customer Service is a Good Thing

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sms great for customer service

Customer service is arguably one of the most important parts of any organisation. Happy, loyal customers spend more and ultimately bring you more business through positive comments and referrals.

But the environment is changing along with technology and the pace of our lives. According to a report from Microsoft, 53% of survey respondents in the UK have a higher expectation of customer service than they did a year ago. Fifty-nine percent say that customer service is very important in their loyalty to a brand or company.

Even companies that make it a priority though, may not actually be doing it right. An infographic from JitBit says that 80% of companies believe they offer superior customer service. In stark contradiction to that, only 8% of customers believe companies offer superior customer service. And on that note, let’s look at some data showing the state of customer service from a customer’s point of view.

How people feel about bad customer service

You know a bad experience is… bad. But these five statistics demonstrate how bad it can be:

  • It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one negative. People hold onto those bad experiences for a long time!
  • 89% of customers stopped doing business with a company because of a poor experience. It only takes one time to push them away.
  • 53% of customers leave a company because they feel neglected. Did their email support request disappear into the abyss? Or were they stuck in a voice response system hell?
  • After a bad experience, 39% of customers will avoid a company for 2 or more years. That’s a horrible statistic, but this is worse: 58% will NEVER do business with that company again.
  • 86% of customers will not purchase if there are negative reviews. One unhappy customer can turn a poor experience into a full damage control disaster.

Alright, so now you really understand why investing in good customer service is so important. What can you do to help improve your own processes? If you aren’t already doing it, you can start to improve by adding SMS message support.

People want the option of SMS

Here are five more statistics showing that people want something different – like SMS customer support.

  • 81% of customers report frustration at being tied to a phone or computer when contacting customer service.
  • On average, 64% prefer texting versus phone calls when contacting customer support.
  • 44% prefer to use SMS messaging rather than wait on hold for a customer service agent.
  • 40% believe a texting company is progressive – and that’s a good thing.
  • 28% would recommend a company that uses SMS messaging for customer service to others.

I sympathise, no maybe it’s empathise, with some of these numbers. I’m sure you do too. No one likes to wait forever on hold until “the next agent is available”. Even when the company is kind enough to let me know it will take approximately 33 minutes (or however long it is). Who has that much time to sit and wait? The Microsoft report says 86% of Brits will only wait 10 minutes or less (56% say five minutes or less).

Types of customer support

Not every type of support is appropriate for SMS messaging. But you may be surprised at how much you can do this way. Almost anything you can automate or include in a FAQ would be a great choice. Just a few examples are:

  • Password resets
  • Locate a store
  • Order a refill
  • Check the status of an order

Anything that a customer can do “self-service” could be automated and done via SMS. The benefits to the customer is they don’t have to search a website, or wait for an email reply. The benefit to you is that the customer feels taken care of (not neglected!), they’ll appreciate the options you give them, and the time you save them as well. All of those things add up to more loyalty and a better experience.

There are companies using SMS customer support in even more active ways including two-way conversations with a live agent. It works much like a live online chat session, but it doesn’t tie the customer down to their computer – thus not frustrating that 81% of customers who hate to be stuck at their computer.

If you think you could improve your customer service by using SMS, you can sign up for a free account at the top of the page. Still have questions? We’re happy to answer them. Just grab us on live chat, email or phone and we’ll help answer your specific questions and situation.

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