In the past, businesses would view customer support as a cost center but we now know that acquiring a new customer is many times more expensive compared to retaining existing ones.

While there are countless tools available to improve customer service one of the most powerful is text messaging especially when used at strategic touch points inside the customer service process.

In this article, I’ll share 3 ways you can use online texting messaging to positively impact customer relationships and in turn, help your business grow.

 

First, what is online text messaging?

Online texting allows businesses (or consumers) to text people from their computers using an online texting platform, all that is required is an internet connection.

When dealing with customers, speed is essential and texting allows customers to send in an inquiry that is received by the business (or specific department team) and can then be quickly responded to or moved over to another channel like the phone.

 

Why should you use text messaging?

273.8 million Americans now use mobile phones and that number is increasing rapidly year on year.

We live inside our phones, consumers use their mobiles to search for products, book flights, pay bills, organize social activities etc. so when you send them an SMS you’re communicating with them where they are.

Not only that but 82%-98% of people open their text messages.

 

#1: Appointment reminders

One for the most common gripes for businesses that rely upon setting appointments is having their clients not show up.

If you add these no-show appointments up over the course of a year it can be quite scary how much revenue is lost.

For example, when a person misses an appointment it is a triple-whammy:

  • You miss out of the revenue of that appointment
  • You still have to pay the team
  • You have dead time.  If you had known sooner you could’ve replaced that client with another.

What is the main reason for people missing their appointments? They forget.

They failed to note it down into a calendar and then life happened.

Businesses assume that customers will forget and put their own reminder system in place so that if the client does cancel, they have enough time to replace that slot.

Because text messages have such a high open rate this makes it the next best thing to calling the client up by phone.

 

#2: Two-way communication

Customer service is a back and forth communication channel and SMS allows businesses and customer service teams to ask questions and offer the right information or product advice inside one communication channel.

 

#3: Get the right message to the right person

If you have more than one department you can use text messaging to automatically send customer inquiries to specific teams.

For example “Text TIMETABLE to 8887 to get our latest screening times” or “Text CHECKUP to 8887 to have one of our technicians call you back”.

Customer’s love it because they don’t need to sit in a queue and business love it because it relieves call congestion which for customers who only need a very basic answer that can be satisfied with a short text message.

Each team will receive their own specific inquiries so they can quickly act on them.