Friday, May 6, 2016

Text messaging has become much more than a highly convenient communication method. It is now an essential ingredient in a good customer service stew, as it provides both businesses and consumers with an effective means of communication that’s not nearly as invasive as phone calls. Considering some 91 percent of the world owns a cellphone, SMS messages will likely remain the favorite business-consumer communication option for a long time.

Let’s take a quick look at what makes text messages a fantastic customer service option:


SMS messages are simple yet excellent ways to communicate, as they only involve typing and sending messages and replies. No interface is required. Phone calls often mean waiting on hold or pressing many buttons to speak to a representative, while emails present issues concerning accidental deletions and spam folders.

Any Phone Works

Consumers don’t have to own smartphones to enjoy text messaging with their favorite brands or services, as practically every cell phone on the planet offers SMS capabilities, even the now-retro flip phones.

Lots of Info, Little Space

Text messages provide necessary information without taking up a large amount of space. Messages are short and get to the point immediately, unlike long-winded salespeople who keep you on the phone for 10 minutes longer than necessary.

Immediate Reactions

SMS messages suit businesses arguably much better than emails, as 90 percent of all texts are read within three minutes of notification. The average open rate of text messages is 98 percent compared to 22 percent for emails, making SMS messages the better option for contacting customers quickly.

Better User Experience

Texting provides customers with a much better user experience, especially when personal information is included. For example, personal information included in text messages from financial institutions is considered “highly valuable” and the institution the customer’s “financial guardian.” Such texts alert customers to suspicious transactions, offer tips on investing and interest rates, and so on. Personalized communication like this is a great way to solidify brand loyalty.

SMS messages also help brands streamline the user experience when phone calls are involved. Brands can simply send messages that ask customers to rate the experience they just had on the phone. Short text surveys provide businesses with the information they need to ensure better communication and service in the future.

Missed Opportunities

As of now only about 7 percent of consumers use text messages to communicate with businesses. Since business text messages are hardly as intrusive as phone calls, it will be interesting to see how many companies harness the power of texting over the next few years.