Why everyone loves SMS for customer support

Let’s face it. People today are pretty impatient. Your customers don’t want to wait around for answers – which means you need to be snappy when it comes to customer service and support.

Amanda R - April 6, 2023

What’s the secret to a successful business? Put simply, it boils down to giving your customers something to smile about. After all, happy customers will buy more from you and refer you to their friends. 

Question is, what’s the secret to happier customers? Great products and services, for starters. But then there’s all the other stuff – like customer service and support – that goes into shaping a customer’s experience with your brand.

Top tip

89% of consumers are more likely to make another purchase after a positive customer service experience.

Offering helpful and friendly support not only improves the customer experience and helps with retention, but it boosts your bottom line, too. Loyal customers spend 67% more than new ones.

Given stats like these, you know you need great customer support. It’s just a matter of working out what ‘great’ looks like … and delivering it. To help, we crack open the lid on customer support and show you why SMS is up there as the most popular support channel in business today.

Help! How can you support your customers?

These days, customer support comes in different shapes and forms. From traditional call centres to web forms, email to SMS, different channels can suit different needs.

Here are your main options:

  • Call centre or phone. There’s nothing like speaking to a friendly support agent when you’ve got a problem. But then, there’s nothing worse than being put on hold for half an hour or more. 
  • Email. This tried and tested channel is great for ongoing conversations, particularly for those that don’t like waiting on the phone. But how long does it take for a response to come back? Sometimes, too long.
  • Web contact form. Like email, a contact form is great for customers who don’t need a response straight away. But again, unless your quick to respond, you could lose them.
  • Web chat. Chatbots have well and truly landed as a trusted service and support channel. They’re particularly helpful for new customers who have questions about your products or services, but might not be so great at building customer relationships.
  • Social media. Used the right way, social platforms like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok can be super helpful for customer support. But you need to be on it – you can’t afford to leave disgruntled customers’ comments hanging without a response for too long. 
  • SMS and messaging apps. For quick and urgent queries, nothing beats a text message. Fast, convenient and cost-effective, it’s a great way to handle both one-off and longer interactions with customers.

Top tip

90% of customers rate an ‘immediate’ response as essential or very important when they have a customer service question. 60% of customers define ‘immediate’ as 10 minutes or less.

Customer support SMS conversation about delivery

Why use SMS for customer support?

In an ideal world, you’d offer all the support channels listed above, all of the time. But let’s face it. Running a call centre, monitoring social media, and responding to emails can get pretty time-consuming – not to mention costly. 

It’s why more businesses are choosing to use SMS for customer support. SMS has some pretty clear advantages over the other channels:

  • It’s cost-effective. SMS is cheap and easy to set up and operate. Consider this: a customer service phone call can cost about $16, while the same conversation held over SMS costs between $1 and $5.
  • It’s easy to manage. If you use an SMS platform, it becomes the central storehouse for all your customer enquiries. You can track and monitor conversations, track trends, and more.
  • It’s quick and efficient. To make life easier for your support team, you can set up easy-to-use SMS templates for customer service. There’s less time spent on calls with customers, too.

But that’s not all. The benefits of SMS are felt by your customers, too:

  • No more waiting on hold. No-one, repeat, no-one likes hold music. If you offer SMS as a support channel, they can wave those bad tunes bye-bye.
  • A friendly chat. A convo via text message will make your customers feel like they’re being heard by a helpful human.
  • Support on-the-go. It’s safe to assume that most of today’s customers have their phones on them, all the time. They can easily send you a support enquiry from wherever they are. Too easy.

Just remember, for two-way support conversations using SMS, you’ll need a dedicated mobile number. This is like a normal mobile number, but anyone in your business can use it to chat with customers.

Top tip

Learn more about dedicated mobile numbers and other types of caller ID, and get ideas for other ways to use two-way SMS in your business.

Text message conversation with customer support

From basic account enquiries to troubleshooting of product faults, from FAQs to service updates, there are so many ways to use SMS for customer service and support. It really depends on the nature of your business. 

Think about when and why your customers get in touch with you. If the questions they ask can easily be answered via text message, then SMS is sure to be a winner for both you and them.