SMS as a Service Channel – What Is It Good for?
Recently, more and more of our customers have been asking us to open customer service or sales channels via SMS. Despite the strong presence of WhatsApp, you'll be amazed at how SMS is still a popular and useful tool for customers. This is a classic and efficient channel, almost devoid of drawbacks, for customer service, support and sales.
The following are the main advantages of SMS for our customers:
- SMS is an asynchronous (not online) channel that the customer takes with him everywhere and responds when it's convenient for him
- The channel allows you to transfer calls that are not urgent for the organization
- It enables agents to deal with multiple concurrent requests (due to the asynchronous nature of the channel)
- It allows customers and organizations to attach images to the message (MMS)
- It allows the organization to shift calls from the IVR and provide customers with a right call to action instead of forcing them to wait on the line and put up with irrelevant options
- An important advantage vs. WhatsApp – in SMS there's no need to add the phone number as a contact, so the service experience is less cumbersome
We see a constant increase in customer service via SMS, and the more people get used to it, the stronger the trend becomes.
Here are the main uses cases that our customers have with the SMS channels that we set up for them:
- Offering self-service to customers – information derived from the customer's account and a knowledge base of the organization
- Eliminating obsolete communication channels – for example, Ituran, a customer of ours that specializes in providing car protection services, completely stopped using faxes, which turned out to be unnecessary after launching its SMS channel. You can simply attach an image to the SMS message, and it comes directly to the organization's information systems!
- Digital shifting from the IVR – instead of waiting for a long time on the phone, customers quickly receive a message like "For quick SMS service, press 1"
- Contact from anywhere – the organization can offer its customers the opportunity to contact it via SMS through all its marketing channels and materials (for example, its website, newsletters, branded envelopes, company stickers, advertisements, etc.)
- Sales promotions – tragic-comically, most marketing campaigns conducted via SMS are still asking recipients to contact them via another channel (telephone, website). If the recipient is interested in the sent offer, why not reply to the SMS directly? Our customers who have opened SMS channels are able to offer recipients the ability to correspond with them directly via SMS instead of giving up easy sales opportunities
- Embedding SMS in landing pages – this way you can increase the funnel of leads and allow customers who do not like to be engaged by phone a "soft entry". In principle, for any person who is willing to speak on the phone, there are three people who are willing to start a non-binding SMS conversation
- Coordinating and scheduling – do your customers want to cancel the visit of the technician? Move a doctor appointment? Order a table in a restaurant? It is always more convenient for them to send an SMS message and "forget about it" instead of picking up the phone and starting to wait. And via a computerized SMS channel, this is also more convenient for the service provider!