Part of the customer service ritual of a luxurious hotel is that when you check out, the front desk agent asks you how you stay was and if you found everything satisfactory. At the time, you likely think nothing of it.
Now imagine if the same hotel employee practically ignored you or took your room keys without saying anything. You might complain or at least make a mental note to never stay at the hotel again.
There is a valuable lesson in this simple customer service example: When people deal with a business, they go in with a set of subconsciously held beliefs about how the experience should go.
It varies from industry to industry, but no business is exempt. If you run a restaurant, people eating there expect the food to arrive within a reasonable timeframe. If you operate an online store, shoppers expect to receive an email confirming payment when they make a purchase.
What customers expect can make or break your business.
The challenge with customers’ expectations is that they are far from static. Consumers no longer give a cafe glowing reviews if it has functioning wifi or stick to one airline just because it offers online check-in.
The same is true for the expectations of your customer service offering. You might think you are off the hook based on your last customer service experience with a large enterprise. (You know the drill, you were told your call was urgent, forced through a maze of button pressing, and then put on hold for what seemed like a lifetime.)
The reality is that customers are no longer content to settle for a customer service experience like this. Rapidly growing companies are adapting, prioritizing customer success as a critical competitive differentiator.
According to the folks at Salesforce, 57% of customers have stopped buying from a company because a competitor provided a better experience. This focus on excellent customer service influences the avocado toast eating millennials more than any other generation. They’re almost four times more likely than boomers to pay 20% more for standout service.
Not so long ago, there were typically two key ways to contact a business, by telephone or by fax—shock horror! Today we can use email, social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook, website forms, live chat, and SMS. Beyond an array of channels to choose from, customers now expect several qualities when dealing with customer support.
Customers want quick responses that resolve their issues in a personalized manner. Not too much to ask, right? If you are feeling overwhelmed by the ask, don’t be. Your knight in shining armor is here.
Aspect Customer Experience Index found that text usage for customer service issues will increase by a staggering 367%. While this growth is impressive, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
For the average person, SMS has been the low cost, fast response way to contact friends and family for over a decade. This love affair has spilled over into the channel that consumers now want to communicate with businesses, 85% of people want to be able to not only receive a message from a company but also reply by text.
Let’s take a look at how an SMS customer service platform can help you meet the three customer service traits that customers expect.
As we recently mentioned in an article on texting sales leads, SMS can help get your response times down. The reason is simple, one person can easily send out 20 texts in 20 minutes, but it’s hard for that same person to make the same volume of calls.
People open 90% of SMS within 3 minutes, and 45% of text messages receive a response. When it comes to SMS customer service, this speed goes a long way; the less time an agent needs to wait for an answer, the less time it takes to solve problems.
Two-way SMS is the ultimate way to offer personalized customer service. It’s a direct message explicitly sent to the customer, with a real, live agent on the other end available to text them.
You might be thinking, is it more personal than a phone call? Since most modern-day conversing with family and friends happens through text, people are used to building relationships through the messaging app on their phone.
For companies of all sizes looking to improve their customer service, offering a channel that provides what customers want is crucial. From faster response times to personalized service, customers—and your team—will thank you.