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The Complete Guide to Text Messaging for Customer Service (With SMS Templates)

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Published: Aug 4, 2021

Text messaging for customer service is offering support to your contacts and customers through SMS. This communication happens over your contacts’ phone, specifically in their text messaging application.

Now, why is text messaging for customer service so important?

Here are some statistics to answer that question:

  1. 85% of customers prefer receiving text messages from businesses over phone calls or emails.
  2. 31% of survey respondents said that texting should be a support option.
  3. 47% of respondents said text messaging improves their overall satisfaction with customer support.

Bottom line: Customers prefer texts over other forms of communication. 

Businesses have reduced response time, reduced costs, and increased customer satisfaction with text messaging for customer service.   

Let’s learn how this can work for you. 

Using text messaging for customer service

Text messages have a 98% open rate, while emails are opened 22% of the time. So, if you wish to reach your customers, join them where they are most likely to engage with you.

How is a text message different from an email?

Emails are expected to be formal and are often long, whereas your texts should be short, relaxed, and pleasant. Moreover, texts help you converse in a tone your customers prefer, cutting through corporate jargon. 

However, make sure you’re not being disrespectful in an attempt to sound friendly. 

How does text messaging for customer service work?

As with any customer service endeavor, the more information you have in hand for a customer, the better your service. Text messaging for customer service should be highly personalized and must focus on solving the customer’s problem to the best capacity. 

You need to get as specific as possible and meet their requirements with minimal effort and time. This way, you may develop more meaningful relations with your customers and turn them into loyal customers with a lifetime value, which is the ultimate goal of any business.  

With a long customer base, providing pre or post-purchase service manually could prove challenging. The risk of human error and the time & effort required to respond can become an obstacle in giving a good service.

A text messaging software provider like CallHub can overcome these challenges. The software is designed to connect with your customers and resolve their issues quickly and effectively. 

CallHub offers peer-to-peer texting, mass texting, and SMS opt-in for different use cases. 

Later in this article, we’ll show how you can use text messaging for customer service with CallHub. First, let’s look at the proven benefits of text messaging for customer service.

Benefits of text messaging for customer service

To set the stage, text messaging for customer service is scalable and affordable. Also, sometimes your customers may need to resolve one small query before they go ahead and make the purchase. Shouldn’t you be there for them then?

Here are some other reasons why you should adopt text messaging for customer service:

Collecting customer feedback helps improve your business

As a part of your customer service, you’ll be able to gather feedback directly from your customers. If you manage to implement the feedback (which you ideally should), it will help you build a strong relationship with your customers. 

Follow-ups increase the chances of engagement

What better way to remind customers of upcoming appointments, payments, and more with a quick and friendly text message?

Acting as their personal assistant for everything related to your business will take a huge load off their plates. This will avoid misunderstandings and increase the chances of your customers taking the action you intend them to. 

Quick and good service shows you care

After all, service is the one thing we remember businesses and brands for more than anything. Even if you have the lowest price in the market and provide lousy customer service, people will eventually leave you. 

Let me narrate my colleague Tanvi’s experience with a food delivery service. Here’s what happened:

Tanvi orders food on one of the food delivery platforms, and there seems to be an issue with the packaging. A large portion of the food is spilled, so she reaches out to the support team. And here’s how the conversation goes:

Support: Hi, what’s the issue?

Tanvi narrates the incident, and post this, the support team sends a pre-drafted response saying there’ll be a refund made. 

Done. 

Now, the next time, my colleague orders food from another delivery platform and reaches out to the support team due to an issue. Here’s how this conversation goes:

Support: Hi, Tanvi. How may we help you?

Tanvi narrates the incident, and they reply.

Support: I’m so sorry to hear that, Tanvi. I understand how this might be upsetting. I’ll immediately initiate a refund for you.
Now, what’s the difference between the service of these two brands? 

Although the final solution in both is the same, the way they handled the situation is so different. Just because there was a human touch with the second brand Tanvi interacted with, she felt heard. 

In fact, she testifies to ordering food from the second app specifically because of this incident. Although both apps have the same offering, she feels more loyal to the one that made personalized conversation.

This is why personalizing your conversations and solving customers’ problems is the root to increasing brand loyalty. 

You can engage multiple customers simultaneously

Unlike webchat, with texts, you can resolve multiple customer queries at the same time. Moreover, since your message doesn’t have to be formal and lengthy, your representative doesn’t need to spend much time crafting a response. 

From your customer’s perspective, they don’t need to have an internet connection or go to your website to get the help they need. 

Saved replies (with appropriate language and merge tags) also help you speed up conversations. 

With CallHub, you can easily send personalized text messages based on the information you have on your customers. If you have an integration with a CRM, all the data you collect from your customers during your interactions through text messaging gets automatically synced. 

This helps you understand your customer better and personalize your future conversations. If you’re not looking to personalize your customer service enormously, it will still help you improve your customers’ experience when they visit your business channels, like your website or app.

Related reading: Benefits of using text messaging for customer service

How to text customers effectively?

As more and more businesses embrace text messaging for customer service, it’s crucial that you give your best. How can you do that?

Here are some tips for compelling text messaging for customer service. 

1. Let them know they can reach you with a text message

Once you’ve set up your texting platform, it’s time to spread the word. Let people know they can now reach you with just a text message. 

There are many ways to do this. You can promote your message through

  • Social media
  • Email signature
  • Your website
  • The body of your product etc.

2. Text customers like you know them personally

The reason people reach out to you through text messaging is so they can speak to someone from your business. More often than not, customers want to hear from a human from your business instead of a machine. So, how do you make sure you sound human?

Here’s an example: 

text messaging customer service sample

Notice that the message sounds friendly and natural. Keep your messages short, simple, and straightforward. 

3. Express emotions and use punctuation. 

Punctuations help your contacts clearly understand what you’re saying. If writing is not your forte, there are things to help you. 

  1. You can set up saved responses for frequently asked questions.
  2. You can use examples and templates we have added in this post. 

Our brain identifies emojis as non-verbal information, and thus interprets them as a part of emotional communication. Emojis, therefore, help you convey emotions in fewer words. 😃

The good news is that our texting tool offers an emoji keyboard. Here’s how it looks:

text-messaging-customer-service-emoji-keyboard

Apart from this, depending on your target audience, you may also adapt to the normally used text messaging abbreviations

4. Offer value

Ensure every message you send out as a part of your customer service adds value to your customer. Your message should not only help them resolve their queries but show them the way forward. This will enhance their experience with your brand or business. 

Also, offering something extra the first time a prospective customer has shown interest in your business is more likely to elevate their interest. For example, when a prospective customer sends you a message inquiring about one of your products, you could offer them a small discount, even though it may not be listed on your website. This comes to them as a happy surprise, and they’re more likely to stick with you. 

5. Send your responses and follow-ups at appropriate times

Rule number 1: Be there for your customers when they need you the most. 

Have the right tools and methods in place to respond to your customers’ queries at the earliest. If your customers are texting you outside your business hours and you don’t operate 24/7, setting up autoresponders can save you. A quick reply shows them they’re priority. 

To use autoresponders on CallHub, you’ll need to set up an SMS opt-in campaign which we’ll explain later in this article. While you do that, here are the things you need to remember:

  1. Promote the trigger keywords and number to your audience, so they can contact you outside your business hours.
  2. Set up different keywords for different categories of queries. 
  3. Set up auto-responses further for each query and try resolving them with a link to your support articles.
  4. Direct the customer to schedule a call with your customer service manager or agent if the query cannot be resolved with any of the above. 

When it comes to sending follow-up messages or reminders, make sure you schedule them to go out at a reasonable hour based on your customers’ geographical location. Texting during business hours is the ideal approach in this case. You don’t want to have your inboxes filled with STOPs! 

6. Provide a way to opt out

We know you don’t want to let your customers go. But, giving them the freedom to opt out from receiving your messages is the ethical and legal way to do it. 

text messaging customer service unsubscribe text example

You can include an instruction to opt out when they want to, like in the above image. One of the simplest ways to do it is to dedicate a keyword like STOP, UNSUBSCRIBE, etc. When your customer replies with one of these keywords, they will be removed from your contact list. 

CallHub offers a feature to move contacts who reply with these keywords to a DNC (Do Not Contact) list automatically. 

7. Personalize your messages

Here we say it again; your customers need to feel important. Even when you’re using an automation tool, there are ways to personalize your messages.

CallHub uses merge tags to personalize the conversations effectively. Merge tags are preset fields that have a unique value in your database. When you add the tags, they get replaced by their original values when the message gets sent. 

text messaging customer service personalize messages

With everything going around, it’s the best time to adopt text messaging for customer service if you haven’t already. Check out our SMS marketing software here

Related reading: Tips to use text messaging for customer service

How do you send automated texts to customers?

If your customers need to get in touch with you with a query or a problem, they need an easy way to do so. What is easier than sending a keyword to you when they need to talk to you?

We’ll show you how to use this method of text messaging for customer service using CallHub:

Step 1: Create a free account on CallHub. You don’t need to add a credit card.

Step 2: Upload your contact list or connect with CRM.

Step 3: Set up a keyword that you want your customers to send you and rent a number. 

text messaging customer service sms opt in campaign

Step 4: Add your automated text message, which will be sent when your customers text you the keyword. Use merge tags to personalize your message

text messaging customer service automated prompts

Step 5: Hit finish. 

Step 6: Publish the keyword and the phone number on different channels and promote them, so it reaches your audience. 

Now, if you’re to send bulk messages like reminders, confirmations, etc., you will find mass texting helpful. 

Sending mass text messages

Here’s how you can use text messaging for customer service using a mass texting tool on CallHub:

Step 1: Set up your contact list by importing from a CRM or uploading a .csv sheet. 

Step 2: Choose ‘Text Broadcast’ from the dashboard to start the campaign.

Step 3: Give a name to your campaign and choose the contact list which you uploaded earlier. 

Step 4: Automatically rent a number or set sender name as your business name. This is the number or name your recipients will see.

Step 5: Type your message. In the next step, add your email address to receive the campaign notifications when you receive an inbound message. 

text messaging customer service personalize messages

Step 6: Schedule your campaign. 

SMS templates for customer service

Customer service texts are conversational. 

CallHub gives you the ability to personalize every message you send to your customers with the help of merge tags. We have added some of the most commonly used phrases and elements in these templates that work across multiple industries. 

Here are some examples:

1. Introduction messages

First impressions matter big time!

As soon as a customer signs up for your service or makes the first purchase, send them an introductory message. Mention how they can get in touch with you anytime they need. This is a great starting point for building a good relationship. 

Hi, {first_name}! Welcome to {business_name}. We’re delighted to have you with us. How did you like your {item_name}? Text HELP to (123) 456–7890 if you have any issues.

2. Lead generation

Potential customers may want to know more about your offerings, and they need a medium to get in touch with you quickly. Displaying a keyword that they can text you on your website is a great way to do that. 

For example, you can set up a keyword for each of your products. Now the moment someone texts the keyword to you, all the details on that product gets sent to them. 

KeywordMessage
ATLANTAHey! Here are all the houses available in {Area_name}. Reply with BOOK if you want to see the house.
DISCOUNTSHi there! Here are the products with discounts right now – {link}. We also have a sale coming up next month. Stay tuned!

3. Follow-up messages

It’s essential that you follow up with your customers after every service request of theirs, regardless of if they took the intended action or not. 

Your follow-up messages may also be a means to collect your customers’ feedback. Not only does it make your customers feel heard and valued, but also a great way to improve your service.

Text your customers after they make a purchase from you and ask them to rate their experience. It’s an excellent opportunity for you to help your customers or ask for a referral.

Hi, {first_name}! You had asked us about the sale. I wanted to remind you that it starts tomorrow. Here’s the link: {link}. Happy shopping 😄
Hey, {first_name}! Do you still want that new air conditioner? I can send someone over to install it. Let me know 😃
Hi, {first_name}! How did you like our service? Is there anything you need more help with? Let me know 😊
Hey, {first_name}! We hope you enjoyed your last spa. We have another discount coming up for a haircut. Let me know if you’d like to know more. 
{first_name}, there’s a new property at Beacon Street. I thought you’d like to see it. Let me know if you need more information 😃

4. Reminders

You need a quick and easy way to remind your customers of the various instances like payment dues, events, upcoming appointments, and more. Sending an SMS is one of the best ways to do that. 

Why should you remind them, you ask?

Well, it helps them clear the headspace from remembering everything AND if you don’t remind them and they don’t turn up, you just lost a good business opportunity. 

Hi, {first_name}! You asked us to send payment reminders every month. So here we are at your service. 😁

Your next payment is due in 3 days.
Hey, {first_name}! This is a reminder that you have signed up for our webinar coming up on {date}. Hope to see you there!
{first_name}, you have an appointment scheduled for tomorrow with {name} to see the new property in Atlanta. See you there at 10!
Hello, {first_name}! You have an appointment tomorrow at 9. Reply C to confirm and R to reschedule.
Hey, {first_name}! Your membership will expire on {date}. Reply with RENEW for the renewal now. 

5. New updates

If there’s something your customers need to know, give them that information. For example, if one of your customers has shown interest in one of your product categories, you can send updates every time there’s a new product. 

Hey, {first_name}! There are some more houses available in {Area_name}. Reply with MORE if you want updates in the future. Reply STOP if you don’t want to hear from us. 
Hi, {first_name}! Here are some products with great discounts right now – {link}. Reply with STOP if you don’t want to receive updates. 

6. Order placement

Giving people the option to place an order with a text message can make it feel personal. It means they can make a purchase any time they need by just sending a message. 

Retail, e-commerce, restaurants, and other small businesses can easily adapt this method of selling. 

MessageResponse
I need to place an order.Aren’t we the luckiest 😋. What would you like to order, {first_name}?
How can I order fries?Hey, {first_name}! Just say the magic number 😁. How many plates of fries? 

7. Confirmations

Immediate confirmation on the completion of an action is a sign of good customer service. Because it can help the customer know all the details in one place while ensuring the intended action has been completed successfully.  

For instance, who doesn’t like knowing they’re soon going to be united with that one order they were awaiting! 

Hi, {first_name}! Your first installment payment for the property at Albany has been received. Pending: {pending_payment}. Thank you 😊
Hi, {first_name}! Your refund for the {item_name} has been initiated. The amount will reflect in your bank account in 3-4 business days. 
Hola! Your {product_name} has been shipped. It’ll reach you by {date}. Track your order here: {link}
{first_name}, we have cancelled your subscription to {service}. Please let us know if there’s anything we can do for you 😊

8. Offers and promotions

Sending promotions is one thing, but your customers coming to you asking about a promotion? How lucky are you!

Now all you have to do is send them the perfect response. 

QueryResponse
When does the sale start?Hey, {first_name}! The sale starts on {sale_date}. Up to 80% off! Shop online at {website_url}. 😄
Do I get a discount?Of course, {first_name}! You get a discount of 30% if you book your appointment before {last_date}. Reply with ‘BOOK’ to book an appointment now!
My water heater stopped working.Hey, {first_name}! As we promised, you get 25% off on the first repair. 😁

We will send someone over this evening at 5 pm. Reply ‘Y’ to confirm. 
Is there a referral discount?You bet there is, {first_name}! You get a 20% cashback when you bring in someone. Get your pal to sign up here – {referral_link}.
I need to book a new air conditioner. We are so glad to have you back, {first_name}. Book your air conditioner here – {link}. We’ll install it for free once you book. Happy buying! 😊

9. Appointments

Rather than receiving hundreds of calls to set an appointment, you could fix a date with a simple text. This saves you and your customers’ time. 

Hi, {first_name}! Thank you for contacting us. Here are the available slots: {link}. Please tell us when you would like to visit. 😊

We’ve added a good amount of templates here that’ll help you in keeping your customers happy. You can copy these as is or tweak them to suit you to a tee. See how you can personalize your text messages as we’ve shown in the templates. 

Keep in mind that your customers need to feel the messages are unique to them. 

CallHub offers a professional platform to implement text messaging for customer service. Try it out here. 

Get started!

As you can see, text messaging for customer service is now widespread among all businesses. 

Using this guide, you can effectively adopt SMS support and offer your customers the services they need. 

If you’d like to explore text messaging for customer service, click the button below and get started!

Featured image: Photo by JÉSHOOTS from Pexels

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