Eight trillion text messages are sent every year. And every month, people send more than one billion messages to businesses. Despite these incredible statistics, many companies still haven’t migrated their customer service operations to text and mobile messaging channels. The reason certainly isn’t lack of customer demand. In fact, many companies who text-enable their existing business numbers see that people have been attempting to message them all along!
One of the easiest ways to know if your business should be texting customers is to check your website analytics. If a good portion (40% or more) of your traffic is mobile, your business is probably a good candidate to the add text and mobile messaging channel.
Companies often have misconceptions about text and mobile messaging:
We already do live chat–isn’t that the same thing?
No- live chat is a great option for desktop, but not for mobile users. It’s best to offer both live chat and texting to ensure that all customers have a great experience. In fact, we find that companies that see success with web chat will see success with text messaging. Texting is also much more efficient for your company, given that a single agent on live chat can only handle 1-3 customers at a time. The same agent on the text channel can handle anywhere from 5-12 customers depending on complexity of the issues being handled.
Below is a comparison of text and mobile messaging with web chat and AI-powered chatbots:
We already text our customers–we send them order confirmations and shipping notifications.
Anticipating the types of information customers wanted and sending it to them on the channel they preferred was a major improvement in proactive customer service. However, almost all of these notifications are one-way messages. An attempted reply by the customers triggers a robotic response telling them to call or email for help.
Forcing the customer to go from text to a phone call is an immediate “F” for unnecessary channel switching. This practice is proven to reduce customer satisfaction and, ultimately, sales and brand loyalty. With the right platform, you can reply-enable automated notifications so customers can ask questions or report issues without having to switch channels or start a new conversation.
One-way texting isn’t the same as offering true service and support throughout the customer journey. Customers should be able to text in with product questions and general inquiries as they make purchase decisions.
Isn’t texting with customers spamming?
Texting for customer support is different than sending marketing spam, because the customer has contacted YOU first. A business will not be penalized for texting a customer back after they have reached out, because simply by sending your company a text, the customer has opted in to receive messages back from your company in relation to that issue.
How Would My Business Use Texting?
Customer Service and Marketing
In the past, customer service was seen as an emergency room to help customers as cheaply as possible so they wouldn’t go to a competitor or return items. Today’s customer service departments, however, are undergoing a renaissance. They are seen as part of the overall customer experience, which companies now realize is an important aspect of customer acquisition, retention, and loyalty.
As shopping has moved from in-store to online, the need for help making purchase decisions has also increased. Text and mobile messaging have become more than customer service channels; they are conversion tools. Describing how something fits on the phone is awkward. Sending a photo or video of it via a friendly text message is helpful.
Sales and Account Management
Most sales professionals have been texting with customers and prospects for years. What they haven’t been doing is logging those texts into the CRM to track conversations and provide visibility to management into how deals are progressing. Using a texting platform with a companion app gives reps the continued flexibility to message with customers while ensuring those messages get logged into the CRM with other communications.
Offering the ability to text your company across the customer journey is an easy way to surprise and delight customers while making your agents more efficient. Given that more people today use their phones for messaging than making phone calls, it only makes sense to align business processes with this ubiquitous customer behavior.