Customer service is a very important activity for all kinds of organizations. Customerswho buy the organization’s products would require service from the organization. This service can be clarifying doubts, helping in product installation/usage, providing warranty/post-warranty service, repair, etc. Many organizations setup call centers to provide customer service. A cost-effective option that companies can explore is using sms marketing for customer service.
SMS or text marketing is a great way to reach out to customers. It is a simple, yet effective method of communication. Studies have shown that nearly 97% of all those who receive text messages on their phones would read the message. The response rate to text messaging is also just under 50% making it an extremely powerful way of engaging with customers. Organizations can effectively use text messaging to provide customer service. The following explains how this can be done.
1) Respond immediately
The first tenet of customer service is to respond immediately to customers. When customers want information or help from an organization, they expect an immediate response. This is the era of 24/7 customer service and customers are not ready to wait. Using online text message can help in ensuring this. When customers send a message, an automated reply can be used. The use of keywords would help in providing automated replies to respond to customers. The initial response can be provided through auto-reply. A detailed and specific reply can be sent later.
2) Engage with customers
Group texting can help in engaging with customers. There are different ways in which it can be done:
1. Companies can send text messages to all customers informing them of latest updates, information on new product upgrades, and other such information.
2.Texting updates to customers who have complaints or have requested service can be helpful in assuring them that their issues are being handled.
3.Guides to customers to help them solve their problems can be sent. This would be helpful as many customers would want to handle things at their end without waiting for service personnel. The SMS sent can have a link to a webpage containing self-help guides.
3) Send Reminders
Reminders need to be sent to customers on scheduled service calls, warranty expiry, warranty renewal, and other such details. Calling the customers for such reminders is difficult as many customers may be busy with other work and not appreciate such calls. Sending reminders through text messages is a great option. These messages would reach the customer and remind them of what needs to be done next. It is possible to schedule text message so reminders can be sent every week or every day before a particular event. For instance, if a service call is due, reminders can be sent so the customers can book the service. Similarly, renewing an annual maintenance contract can be done easily through text messaging.
4) Inform about offers
Along with service, customers need to be informed of latest offers and promotions. Mass text messaging can be useful in contacting customers and updating them with offers. This would be helpful in rewarding loyalty. Those customers who have been working with the organization and availing of AMCs and other such services need to be rewarded. These rewards in the form of offers, discounts, and renewals at lesser prices would help to reward customers and ensure they become loyal customers.
5) Conduct Surveys
Organizations providing service need to find out how effectively they have been providing service. Customer satisfaction service is a key aspect of service. Organizations need to understand how satisfied the customer is. This can be done by sending a survey text message to customers. This can help to understand if the customer is happy with the service provided for a particular issue and also to understand general satisfaction levels of customers. Customers can be asked to vote or reply to a question with Yes/No or a number. This is easy to handle through messaging. Detailed customer survey questionnaires can be created as a webpage and the link sent through SMS to customers.
6) Interactive conversation
Many times customers while using the product may need information. Calling a number, waiting for someone to pick up the phone and transfer it to the right person and then engaging in a conversation can be cumbersome. Text messaging is a better option in this case. It can be helpful in an interactive conversation with customers. Messaging is quicker and when a customer seeks help, a service representative can quickly send a brief message summing up what needs to be done. If the issue is simple, the entire conversation can be done through messaging.
There is no doubt that business text messaging can be an effective way of engaging with customers to provide service. This is a quick way of responding to customers and can help organizations improving their customer satisfaction.